Get Prepared Yesterday

The following 5 pieces of advice could be the most important things you read today.

Multipart ecommerce strategy series

By Matt Sayer

It’s an ever-evolving industry that continued to move at an accelerated pace over recent years. And while the future of ecommerce is one framed by technology, the key to success will always be human. Fundamentally, it’s about translating great customer experiences from the physical world to the digital one; in turn it means meeting the customer where they are in the moment and in addition to drawing them into your shop front.

It’s the ability to add the ingredients from a recipe on a site and connect it to your grocery shopping list, or to click on an image and shop the look.

Customers expect these small experiences to be connected and easy within an ecosystem of “online” that you don’t own. We are trained to expect that our search results will follow us around with a context for conversion.
In today’s environment. Translating your customer experiences into converted carts necessitate taking a closer look at the gaps in your established commerce stack, and then setting yourself up for success across key pillars which a brand can own and control and integrate with online behaviours where customers exist.

Brands are struggling (or refusing) to adapt to changes in ecommerce marketing and it’s keeping us up at night. The following 5 pieces of advice could be the most important things you read today.

Read them. Take them in. Action them.

1. Create an avenue to sell directly to your customers. All brands need to establish a DTC channel. That sense of consumer loyalty you’re holding onto is now a myth. People will go whenever they can – manufacturers, wholesalers, anywhere – to get something cheaper.

2. Build your own customer audience. Changes in privacy rules mean brands need to find a way to collect 1st party data. The wild west of the commercial use of personal data has ended, and you can no longer simply buy lookalike data sets to make market predictions.

Adapting to this new cookie-less reality means re-jigging or rebuilding processes to stay compliant. It’s time to establish a 1st-party data strategy to build your own customer audience.

3. Social media is (for better or for worse) the castle of eCommerce marketing. Today’s buying experience is layered with innovation and change. The rise of influencers means ecommerce is moving to social platforms and those that resist might be cast aside. Take the likes of Kylie Jenner. She proved that an influencer can come along and create a cosmetics company overnight that dwarfs a 72-year-old company like Revlon which doesn’t react to the influencer trend… so much so that it found itself in administration.

As much as we love to give social a hard time, it’s where customers are heading. The next generation of tools is here and we need to tweak our eCommerce marketing strategy to suit. Businesses will have to develop tentacles into different marketplaces without letting the wrong ones steal their attention.

4. We’re living in a cost-of-advertising crisis. Just like everything else in the world, advertising and traffic acquisition costs are rising. Businesses are spending more and getting less. In some cases, this is simply eating into their margins and they need to re-think their budgets. In others, companies are collapsing overnight because Facebook has stopped delivering people to their door. While we can’t freeze these costs, we do need to find ways around them.

5. The payments space has been disrupted. We often find ourselves in back-and-forths with CFOs choosing transaction rates over security. Plus, as things like crypto and NFTs are being introduced as brand builders, incentives and augmentation, eCommerce brands are juggling unexpected disruptions in the payments space.
Mostly, though, B2C customers want it to be easy to do business with a company. The digitisation of transactions, such as frictionless payments and social payments, is growing fast.

That said, there’s one thing that never changes.

And that’s the need to let the customer experience lead the way. No new technology – no matter how shiny – will ever transcend that. As we move into a future that’s even more dominated by social media plus AI, AR, VR and subscription-based commerce, humans will always come first.

Join us for next article in the series – Published Tuesday 18th June.

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