Cutting through the e-commerce clutter

E-commerce is a cluttered space. Chances are if you are a retailer today, you have thought about going online. But the online world itself is no longer just about the survival of the fittest, but rather it is about the smartest and the boldest. In order to stay afloat in such a highly cluttered space, out of the box thinking is needed.

Retailers online cannot be afraid to experiment, said panelists during a discussion at the Millennial 20/20 Summit. Jill Standish, senior managing director, retail practice, Accenture said today experimentation is a must given how fast the face of e-commerce industry is evolving.

“Every consumers is a little bit different. If I were a retailer today, I would want to do fast experiments and try something new. If it works then great, otherwise shut the project down,” she said. But the real problem arises when retailers forget to measure the success of their experiments.

“There are retailers who think that a concept is cool and keep rolling it out without measuring the profit it brings to the business. People in the future are going to question how your experiment increased traffic, sales and conversions around the brand. So you need to know what metric did it help increase,” she said.

If you are going to experiment, go ahead and measure it before and after.

She added that technology has brought about a change in buying behaviour of consumers.

“This ensures that the retailers are always on their toes to come up with fresh ways to reach more consumers,” said Standish.

Also on the panel was Rashi Talwar, head of onsite merchandising, regional marketing, Zalora who said for Zalora, being a young online shopping fashion brand, experimenting with pop-up stores was largely done to educate the regional audiences about the brand’s presence.

“We set up temporary pop-up stores around the region once in a while to educate our customers,” Talwar said. But despite playing around with ideas, sticking to your core brand DNA is vital. So despite creating physical stores on ground, a priority for Zalora was and still is to ensure that the shopping experience remains online. As such, the purchasing is done through designated computers set up in the stores.

“This has worked well in terms of our new customer acquisition to cater to the audiences that are traditionally more towards the brick and mortar store,” said Talwar.

Arguing that visibility is a key factor in gaining brand traction was Suresh Dalai, head of retail merchandise planning, Levi Strauss & Co. At the end of the day, having a touch and feel of your brand aids in creating a personal bond with the consumer and creating an experiencene, he said adding:

Size and visibility is the simplest level of personalisation. Without which, you are lost.


(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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