Over the past decade, retail giants such as Amazon have set the bar incredibly high when it comes to on-platform UX, attractive costs and fast delivery. As a result, customer preferences are becoming increasingly sophisticated and their expectations when dealing with an online retailer are at an all-time high.
(Unless you’re Zara, of course)…
While user behaviour had massively shifted in favour of the adoption of online shopping during Covid, that exponential growth is not here to stay, with some retailers already seeing some downward trends in traffic.
So, in an uncertain market filled with a myriad of potential roadblocks, what are the key factors that brands need to work on in order to win over (or win back) their online customers?
Hone in on customer retention
If customers’ growing expectations are not met, chances are that they’ll run as fast as they can towards the competition. Most industries now offer a plethora of options to choose from, and consumers aren’t shy. And it’s not all about cost: studies have shown that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
In such a competitive landscape, a lower churn rate and higher customer lifetime value are key metrics for retailer success. Brands must work hard to gain a better understanding of who their customers are, what their barriers to purchase are, and ultimately predict how customers will behave in the future.
Tools like Resolution Digital’s Flightdeck allow brands to gain a better understanding of what their customers are searching for, including which content to optimise on-site, which can help improve overall customer retention by improving the customer experience every time they return to your site.
Getting eCommerce attribution right
Data is the be-all and end-all for modern marketers, and although there has been a lot of progress over the past few years in the eCommerce space, attribution is still a pain point.
For retailers, this puts a crucial emphasis on the ability to track the consumer path to purchase across channels and for each buyer. If you’re a brand selling on Coles or Woolworths, and you’re running a product awareness campaign on your site or social media, how can you reliably link a sale on a retailer site to someone who saw your ads? In other words, how can brands assess their media efficiency across the whole eCommerce ecosystem?
While retailer partnerships with Flybuys (the Australian loyalty program) are making first-party data acquisition and audience segmentation easier, we’re still a while away from seamless attribution modelling for retailer eCommerce.
Resolution Digital’s attribution modelling can provide an omnichannel view of the entire purchase cycle and an understanding of how different marketing channels work together, including an accurate attribution of revenue and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).
Mobile UX should never be an afterthought
Although most retail conversions still occur on desktop devices, mobile is the preferred device for users in the consideration phase, when they’re browsing for products. Retailers should ensure the mobile experience is at the very least on par with their desktop experience and that cross-device navigation is made as easy as possible.
With 63% of Google searches being performed on mobile, search is a key component of the overall mobile experience. Tools like Flightdeck allow brands to craft the ideal experience by helping SEO, CRO, content, and e-comm teams identify growth areas within organic search results, owned assets, and eCommerce platforms.
Look towards category innovators for answers
Quick commerce companies such as MilkRun, Voly, and DoorDash hinge on their good reputation, even more than ‘traditional’ retailers. For that reason, they usually deliver a much more seamless, to the point, experience for customers.
These businesses can accurately predict product recommendations, limiting pain points in the journey, and heavily investing in technology to optimise efficiency (read: speed) and profitability.
Often, the best experience can be found from little known Australian brands (that I may or may not have found via my Instagram feed). These brands are only just emerging, but nevertheless, understand the value of good customer experience and are not afraid of challenging the status quo and trying new things.
Retailers would do well to learn all they can from these category innovators, who are rapidly becoming serious competitors to even the biggest retail brands.
Ultimately, if the choice comes down to finding cost efficiencies or providing a better onsite experience, brands should always prioritise the latter. Review sites, social media and word of mouth are all powerful forces to be reckoned with. In a hyper-competitive landscape, retailers can’t afford to take a wrong turn.
The post Better, faster, stronger: Increasing sales and profits in a competitive eCommerce landscape appeared first on Mumbrella.