1: For many brands, the pandemic is the reason more brick and mortar stores are investing in ecommerce. What advice do you have for people developing their ecommerce business?
Despite what many might think, the brick-and-mortar store is far from dead. Yes Covid-19 had a colossal impact on physical retail experiences, but it forced businesses to think outside of the box – navigating the new normal and bridging the gap between online and offline channels. An omnichannel approach that drives consumers to physical stores through the use of ecommerce and digital presence.
Take fashion brand G-star or department store and e-commerce platform Bijenkorf as examples. Over the past few years they have been working on building a core relationship between their offline and online experiences. Mapping out the reasons why consumers visit their ecommerce site, or their physical store, and using this data to connect their channels for omnichannel optimization.
Knowing how a target audience makes decisions is very valuable. Companies should map out the touchpoints that drive people from the store to an online environment, with tools that tempt the consumer, such as:
- Do you want to redeem this voucher code?
- Do you want to activate an account?
- Do you want a receipt at the register or sent via email?
Once you ask these questions, people leave their information in the store and consent to send emails. This data can then be sent to an online environment to make user profiles in a privacy-safe way.
2: How to determine which customers you should target for your ecommerce business?
Start researching who your audience is. Are they young, old? What are their interests and passions? What do they like and dislike? This kind of information will give you more internal insights and secure you a higher return on your investment. Obtaining this information can be done easily by placing a tracking code on your website. The code will automatically start gathering data that can then, dependent on the information collected, be analyzed within a marketing platform (such as GMP). From there the data can be used to create personas, personalize content, and build valuable, and rewarding relationships with your customers.
We did just that for one of our clients, a brand selling travel passes. By analyzing site visitors, we established two different audiences and subsequently built individual personas for each audience; siloeing marketing activity within each persona. A campaign that saw eye-opening results for our client.
By analyzing the visitors on your website the right way, you can derive who your audience is and use it in your marketing activities. If you don’t use research results, you’ll likely be spending a lot of money without a good return.
3: What aspect of e-commerce do people usually overlook?
The middle of the funnel. More often than not people think there’s a split between branding and sales, but there’s a layer in between the two that’s critical for ecommerce optimization. In the middle of the funnel you unpack your brand and show your personality and tone of voice. That’s how and where people will remember specific characteristics or aspects of your brand. It’s where you can unpack your narrative and gain valuable insights on the signals that matter in your sales stage. The middle of the funnel is, by all accounts, vital for any ecommerce business.
4: What role do reviews and social media play in e-commerce?
Reviews and how your brand or product is perceived is crucial in e-commerce, especially with consumers repeatedly searching for answers to their questions online; How reliable is this brand? How good is their customer service? What are their product reviews like? The fact is, that 90% of consumers will read an online review before visiting and/or purchasing from a business. Good reviews equals positive brand associations, and customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
If brand appreciation is low, and reviews are mainly negative then it can render an ecommerce business obsolete.
The same goes for online platforms and social media. There’s a lot of sensitivity around online platforms and privacy processes – particularly data handling and user protection. Work out which platforms fit your company, and identify what kind of outcome you wish for.
Social media, consumer consideration and reviews go hand in hand and can either build-up your reputation, or tear it down.
5: Is my e-commerce store ready for a world without tracking cookies?
Cookies still drive a big component of most ecommerce businesses but by the end of 2022 we’ll see the total deprecation of 3rd party cookies as we fondly wave farewell to retargeting ads all over the web.
The solution? Invest in a customer data platform where you can safely bring together information. That data can then be used across marketing platforms to find similar profiles, retarget, or exclude them in specific campaigns. This way, you’re not just relying on your cookie data, as users legitimately visited your website. You could also consider investing in alternatives such as contextual marketing, and thinking of ways to gather data in a GDPR-compliant way and target consumers via marketing platforms. Google’s marketing platform has one of those capabilities through customer match. With customer match, you can upload an email list or other identifiers from users.
Want to learn more? At Incubeta we’re experts in media, creative and data. Supporting brands to achieve the best results by targeting their audience smartly, building cutting-edge creatives, and collating data in a GDPR-compliant way. For more information on how Incubeta can help you, get in touch today.