E-commerce strategies to boost your online presence

Yesterday we shared some tips for marketers to gear up this festive season.

But for brands that are testing the waters of their e-commerce ambitions, the path to executing a seamless online strategy is never an easy one.

Gary Teo, regional technology director, VML, explains there are several ways to begin on the e-commerce journey, and it depends on the size of the catalogue and desired brand experience.

For marketers who are not certain about launching a full scale branded e-commerce experience, the availability of marketplaces like Rakuten, Qoo10, Zalora, Lazada or HipVan can provide the convenient platform for brands to put up a catalogue and begin their sales there.

“Otherwise you can also set up a small e-commerce shop using user-friendly experience tools like Shopify, Prestoshop or BigCommerce. For the tech-savvy you can also use open source tools like Magento or Woo Commerce.”

Brands should also take into considering the variety of payment acceptance that these services offer. Teo  shared some tips on venturing into e-commerce:

  • Invest in online marketing (banners, SEM) and how you can advertise to draw crowds, especially during festive periods. Otherwise you’ll have a store but you won’t get anyone to visit.
  • Use analytics tools and sales reports to review your sales performance, then change things (banners, pricing, discounts) incrementally to see what impact it has on your conversions. Keep optimising.

Enhancing personalised experiences online 

As for brands that are already familiar of the various back-end support available, Nicholas Kontopoulos, global head of fast growth markets & marketing innovation, SAP hybris, shared some insights on how marketers can up the ante of their e-commerce game.

Given that many customers today are purchasing from online stores and through mobile applications, the expectation for personalised services in real-time and across channels has since risen.

In todays’ data-driven age, brands have the power to utilise information to better contextualise and enable real-time, one-to-one personalised digital experiences.

Here are the three must-haves for brands looking to enabling real-time, personalised digital experiences for their e-shoppers.

1. Capture all data.

It’s no secret that the key to personalisation is data, but the question is, are you collecting every piece of data that you possibly can? Simply put, brands have to think beyond collecting basics like email, location, and demographics.

Marketers must strategically collect, consolidate and utilise customer data, including real-time signals. Brands should also track every single interaction they have with a customer from every single touch point, across all online and offline channels, to get the full picture and achieve complete understanding of each customer.

2. Analyse, contextualise and personalise.

To create personalised experiences, brands need to better understand their customers – and with the right context.

It is now possible to analyze the complete history of customer transactions and identify individual shopping habits, patterns and motives that drive behavior. Beyond capturing customer data – from buying histories, page visits, to social likes – the ability to analyse and contextualise will continue to be the catalyst for omnichannel strategy development.

By collecting and harnessing omnichannel data, retailers and businesses now have the opportunity to not only meet expectations, but preempt and surpass them. More importantly, these omnichannel data needs to be analysed across a specified time period in order to identify key patterns to truly impress e-shoppers of today.

3. Entertain and engage consumers.

While location-based marketing is not news to most customers, numerous retailers are leveraging beacon technology to increase personalisation and interaction within the store.

These beacons are installed throughout shops to transmit these types of messages directly to customers’ mobile devices. One common application is delivering notifications about sales or promotions to customers as they walk pass the item on the shelf, possibly further targeting customers based on purchase history to ensure relevance.

The key is discovering what information and content will be pertinent or entertaining to customers. Retailers who focus on combining data and digital technology to deliver a better customer experience will unlock the ability to give customers what they want – a more relevant, personalised and convenient way to shop for and buy everyday products and services, and across all channels.