E-commerce is at a tipping point. Stay ahead of the game and streamline the online/offline experience

E-Commerce is at a tipping point.

In just a mere five years e-commerce has realized staggering growth with global B2C e-commerce sales set to increase by 20.1% in this year alone, to reach a staggering $1.5tn. This is all thanks to the speedy development of online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in m-commerce sales, better shipping and even payment options. Even more interestingly, reports from Deloitte suggest that an enormous 50% of all in-store sales will be influenced by digital services by the end of 2014. When customers first research a product online, this can uplift actual in-store conversion rates by 13%, which shows just how important it is for retailers to have a solid online strategy in place.

Move with the times, or be left behind

Recent developments in the way consumers interact with retailers allow us to engage with consumers more effectively than ever before. Retailers that capitalize on the opportunities can integrate their promotional activities to give customers even more convenience, and ultimately, grow market share. Those that do not will likely be left behind.

Retailers often lag behind consumers when it comes to blending the offline and online shopping experiences, but they are working hard to catch up. When in-store shopping is tedious and lacks personalization, companies lose sales and loyalty. The majority of stores are just learning how to sell online, however, others are leading the way by merging the online and store experience to enhance the overall consumer experience. Ideally, consumers will stop perceiving touchpoints as isolated parts of the same brand instead they will enjoy a holistic brand view through whichever medium they choose to interact with it.

Retailers should plan integrated campaigns across all media, with wording, tags and branding being used to help build recognition

Retailers should plan integrated campaigns across all media, with wording, tags and branding being used to help build recognition. Even if messages are consistent throughout all touchpoints, consumers expect them to be rich in content and valuable. “Is this relevant to me?” they will wonder. Content should always be informative, inspiring and memorable, and above all, it needs to be personalized to the individual consumer. This, ultimately, needs to start by the personalization of the marketing campaign email. See how Mojn can help.

Integrating online data to improve that all-important store footfall

Decent, actionable web consumer behaviour data is crucial to the integration of online to store sales. So it’s absolutely critical that retailers have the right technology on their website (like ours) in place to collect that all important consumer data, then use it to their advantage. Many retailers are now looking to website traffic data to drive retail foot traffic. Imagine being able to receive data from your clothing retailer website on, for example, what the top selling summer dress for the day has been, and who viewed it, but didn’t go through with a purchase. Imagine being able to send them a marketing email the next day with a ‘what’s trending’ email – with the main emphasis being that dress. Taken a step further you can also integrate a buy it now discount, or in store discount voucher. This will ensure that those that didn’t make the purchase have their interest re-awakened, and rather than having to find the item again online (or at another retailer!), they simply hit a button on their personalized email to ‘Order Now’.

Decent, actionable web consumer behavior data is crucial to the integration of online to store sales.

What about getting more from your existing customers?

This is all great for acquisition, but how can retailers stay ahead with their current customer base? Retention is all important, even for those that have only purchased from the retailers actual store or online site just the once. Statistics show that up to half of revenue comes from existing customers. Shoppers who have already taken the trouble to seek out your retail store in ‘real life’ are the best people to drive to your website initially, because you can use the Internet as a very low-cost method of getting them to return to your store time and time again. Collecting consumers email address in store, or getting them to provide it to your website, via a competition or offer email alert, is the first step, so you can continue to contact them in the future, and build a relationship that drives them to your store again and again.

You then need to ensure that you communicate with your email list regularly, driving retention through discounts, offers, trends and new arrivals or announcing a sale. The more personalized the communication is, the more successful it will be. Enter Mojn’s Performance Email Targeting (PET for short!), which allows you to send relevant and personalized emails to your customer email list, avoiding the need for never-ending segmentation work. PET simply links your customers online experience to your next customer emailer – for example if your customer spent the majority of their time on your site checking out bikinis for their holiday, and another customer browsed your maxi dresses – you could send out a ‘Summer is finally here!’ email, with summer trend news, and PET would insert a banner-like ad section (wherever you wish) tailored to either their bikini offering, or their summer dresses. Clever huh?

Send emails that change everything