How to creatively take your eCommerce to the next level
eCommerce is all about taking advantage of what you have as a product, service or built in commodity and start selling directly on either on an existing website mobile app or a blog. With Easy to set up strategy shopify generates code which you use to add products to your website which is as simple as copying and pasting. With the website shopifyed you have full control on customizing your brand on the site with few clicks here and there, you can customize colours and layouts to match your style and choice.
The new App Annie(mobile app analytics firm) & Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce App Index reveals Amazon.com, Groupon, Walgreens and Target top the list in the most popular mobile shopping apps as ranked by total downloads in Q1 2014. App Annie tracks about more than 600,000 apps via its proprietary analytics for about 55,000 companies including 90% of the top 100 sites and app publishers. App Annie also tracks plenty of metrics on 4.2 million apps for its Store Stats data offering. It has succeeded in tracking about 60 million app downloads and more than $17 billion in app revenues. It is relevant to mention here that the merchants behind the top 25 mobile shopping apps are who’s who of e-commerce and m-commerce heavy hitters. EMarketer data 2016 will represent 32% of e-commerce sales and 2.6% of total, consumer spending via smart phones jumped to 95% to $ 39.40 billion in 2015. US shoppers are using smart phones left and right to dial up online purchases. Phew......smart phone commerce has really zoomed with a prediction of 38% jump. E-Marketers data obtained from U.S. Department of Commerce, various research firms, historical trends, reported estimated statistics of revenues from top online retailers, online consumer buying trends, macro-level economic conditions etc. mentions products and services ordered online via mobile (excluding travel and event tickets), regardless of mode of payment or how the order was completed. This shows the user’s facilitating attitude towards purchases from mobile devices especially from iPhone6, 6S and 6Plus etc. especially retailers customizing and optimizing their websites for smart phones. It is estimated that by 2017 retail sales via Smartphone is to hit $75.51 billion and touch 50% of mobile commerce, surpassing tablets which is estimated to decline by 47-48.7% of m-commerce. eMarketers even goes one step forward to predict that by 2020 purchases via Smartphone will be somewhere $129.44 billion and 53.5% as mobile commerce sales. Overall e-commerce growth is between 13-14% per annum. In 2016 Mobile commerce is expected to represent 32.0% of e-commerce sales and 2.6% of total retail sales. (EMarketer) However it is predicted that Smartphone sales growth will slow down apparently, phones will surpass tablets in terms of share of mobile commerce smart phones summing to 53.5% of m-commerce sales (in 2020).
Consumers today are highly comfortable accessing web on mobile devices through apps than the web. Consumers love downloading apps, especially the young crowd as it allows them to engage with their smart phones in many different ways. Making mobile app experience much richer than mobile web site. It is important to be aware of mobile shopping apps and the names of the retailers involved. Following are the top 25 mobile shopping apps including retailer name and rank in the Internet Retailer Mobile 500 category:
1. Amazon.com Inc., No. 2.
2. Groupon, No. 5.
3. Walgreen Co., No. 31.
4. Cartwheel from Target Corp., No. 36.
5. Etsy Inc., No. 53.
6. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4.
7. Target Corp., No. 36.
8. Amazon Local from Amazon.com, No. 2.
9. Apple Store from Apple Inc., No. 1.
10. Living Social Inc., No. 95......
11. Zappos from Amazon.com, No. 2.
12. zulily Inc., No. 72.
13. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 14.
14. Best Buy Co. Inc., No. 24.
15. JackThreads.com, No. 88.
16. The Home Depot Inc., No. 33.
17. Sam’s Club from Wal-Mart Stores, No. 4.
18. Gilt Groupe, No. 1019. Lowe’s Cos. Inc., No. 116.
20. Joss & Main, No. 37.
21. CVS Caremark Corp., No. 89.
22. Macy’s Inc., No. 26.
23. PINK Nation from Victoria’s Secret Direct, No. 39.
24. Victoria’s Secret Direct, No. 39.
25. H&M, No. 177.
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Today everyone has to focus on aggressive promotion and visibility through various platforms. IRCE is a flagship event of the E-commerce industry forthcoming event to be scheduled on June 6-9, 2017 at McCormick Place West, Chicago. A very auspicious event for anyone who runs an online shopping cart. The event is attended by thousand retailers who are leaders from retail industry with a motive to peak their business. The event is mainly attended by CEOs or owners of small medium businesses, retail and brand marketing executives, wholesale businesses,executives from enterprise level retail businesses, non-profit organisations, educators and analysts from the fraternity. Exhibiting and attending IRCE events allows one to be connected to nearly 7000+online retailers looking for aggressive growth in their online businesses. It also allows them to be abreast of the changing trends and pick up latest trends by curated agenda and expert group of speakers courtesy Internet Retailer magazine. Curated agenda is exclusively available at IRCE and cannot be found at any other event of such nature. Attendees of this event (highly inspired by what they learnt from the sessions) visit the exhibit halls in search of partners who could assist them in implementing the latest technologies and solutions. Exhibit hall is a very important place of the event with its featured areas and attractions with a motive to lure increase booth traffic while intermingling with cocktails, receptions, fun lounges etc. These featured areas are great spots for offering branding opportunities and hence IRCE encourages every exhibitor to increase their branding by company’s exposure with varied sponsorship opportunities. Icing on the cake is that in 2017 IRCE app will be officially available offering attendees to connect and provide exhibitors an opportunity to sponsor their app.
Increasing company’s exposure and gaining more visibility @ IRCE. Making sure that the brand and message is centrally visible @ IRCE grabs high-traffic branding opportunities both before and during the event - Be seen
Allows being centre of attention with stand-out sponsorship opportunities for exhibitors. Offers variety of options based on exposure level and budget from $600 to $60,000.Offer amenities that matter viz. unique experiences including lounges and other experiential sponsorships - Be Involved.
Pick and choose sponsorship opportunities in order to be outstanding and successful. Engaging with attendees IRCE also offers meeting tools and outreach opportunities that allows you to be in contact with various attendees- Be Connected.
6 retention strategies for online retailers:
It is very easy to market a product today but to retain a customer on long term basis is a key to successful marketing. Marketers must therefore focus on customers to stay and not go away with dull-lull promotions because:
Improving retention of customers is correlated to increasing profit-growing business.
This challenge is overcome by creating appropriate effective touch points, giving away right offers, using multi-channel to an advantage.
All the above asks for a very strategic and creative thinking plus implementation.
Enumerating few fantastic retention strategies that go in a long way to allow maximize customer spend, which facilitates minimizing churn and at the same time allows to make rights on acquisition of dollars can be enumerated as under:
Being specific and very clear about stages of high-level lifecycle and building KPIs for each accordingly is excellent retention strategy. Retention of customers is based purely on building faith and confidence by way of loyalty as well as sharp edge on knowing who and why we are attending. Segmenting of customers is very essential here. This can be initiated by differentiating basic stages of customers between new, registered (only), churned and active. Separating and observing these categories of customers gives you basic idea and understanding of the customer’s behavioural patterns, retrieving meaningful data and the ability to communicate right message at the right time. Say for e.g. in case of Registered (Only) customers (one who has created accounts, signed up for newsletter, provided contact information, but not made a purchase) it is very crucial in such cases to know the acquisition channel. Whereas in the case of dealing with brand new customers it is essential to know the size of first order and also whether the purchased item was on sale or on offer. Whereas while communicating with a Churned customer it is important to know the previous experience with the customer whether it is a "qualitative" and a “serious” buyer. In short effective customer marketing is all about knowing to differentiate apples from oranges. However, customer conversions (registered to new, new to active, reactivating churned customers) is based on two strategies – when goals are predefined and defining relevant KPIs (for each group).
Retaining customer’s delight:
Research data with nearly 500 brands in eCommerce show that 55-60% of business revenue is collected from the first top 20-25% of customers. It therefore depends on the e-retailer to have the knack of identifying these top (25%) customers who are worthy of receiving VIP treatment from the company who not only endorse value but loyalty. This can be done either by predictive analytical model or by DIY Hack. Once the VIPs are identified it is very important to make them feel special.
Encourage Pre order Giving:
Giving away new collections to VIPs before upcoming items or collections made available to the public and especially for trendsetters proves to be great gesture to express special attention to the customers as well as a great bonus to boost their buying instinct.
Encourage free shipping:
Shipping charges do play a great role in a complete online purchase. Waiving shipping costs is a great gesture to show customers that you are concerned, and care for them genuinely and at the same time promote more purchase transactions.
Encourage free returns:
One of the very effective findings of customer behavioural pattern is that, customers who involve in more item returns are genuinely serious customers with higher average lifetime value. Free returns encourage VIP customers to explore and try more of the products/offerings and chances are that they will be loyal customers in the long run.
Encourage Event invites:
Invitation to parties, pop-up shop inaugurals or openings, etc. is excellent marketing strategies to lure customers to stick to loyalty and adhere to word to mouth publicity. Such invitations and events are great brand advocates since people have great tendency to adopt and identity anything involving action and group, since man is a social animal.
Encouraging Complimentary gifts:
Who in this world donot like to receive a gift? Giving away free holiday packages (tie ups with travel agents or travel companies) as well as seniority bonuses (for customers who are with you for more than two years) will not only strengthen customer bonding but will enhance traditional and emotional continuity in customer relations as well. Today the online world surrounds @ good CSR.
Acknowledging customer’s experiences:
Recording and analyzing user data does not necessarily allow you to know the wants and needs of customers. Assessing overall customer satisfaction, what particular features customers prefer their user experiences and subsequently, what needs to be updated and changed is of prime importance. There are many ways of having a profound understanding of user’s experience for e.g. creating a Qualitative data which can be procured by direct interaction with the users, which allows giving a good insight into the actions to be taken. However, Customer Satisfaction Survey is quite successful in giving better and deeper business insights into relationship between customer’s expectations and their actual vs desired experiences. Flashing survey reports to customers, who have made first purchases and inquiring about their experiences with regards to shipping, purchase process, delivery, item review etc., are equally encouraging and motivating. Specially giving a courtesy call to customers who have made their first purchase, a full return with the intention to understand their move and compensating the same, is an extremely effective marketing tool. It builds an emotional bond and goodwill with the customer. This exercise of generating qualitative data of the user’s experiences enables the owner to focus on more improvisations.
Reviving lapsed customers:
Due to various reasons it so happens that some customers who in the past, purchased with you, but didnot visit your website in the recent times or have not signed for the newsletter. Consequence, they are not aware of new launches, offers or new plans. In such instances one simple call or an email informing about new products, new offers will not only rekindle the dead customer relation but also stimulate more business deals. Remarketing is like renovating your old home, it always you to rejuvenate target ads to the upcoming, existing, lapsed and prospective potential customers who were your earlier customers who visited your website/used your mobile app. These remarketing strategies can go a long way in displaying ads on your websites which are specifically part of Google Display Network on Google; as they are constantly in search and reach of queries related to your products especially on social platforms such as Facebook Custom Audience etc. The basic motive of this exercise is to trace your customers wherever they are and make them aware/existence of your brand without disturbing them to visit your site or app.
All this while digital paradigm was more market oriented and fewer customers oriented. Customers today have plenty of options and the Retailers can no longer afford to be aggressive but have to operate smartly and allow customers to be in control. Market being customer oriented, customers are smart and savvy and can gauge very well when they are been taken for granted and when manipulated. It becomes therefore very essential in the present scenario to respect, retain and recognize customers to revive them in your kitty. For example, excite your new customer by sending an innovative, creative humorous feeler focusing more on your brand awareness rather than sermonic emails (E.g. email card on women’s day, mother’s day or father’s day, or a baby’s day out party happening near the customer’s vicinity) etc. Or say, in case of active customers give them options between discounts and free shipping, so that they enjoy sense of inclusion and control over process. Today marketers cannot afford to ignore old and churned customers but should adopt measures to revive them, retain new ones and restore old ones even if it means slowing down spending rates to enable engaging them over a period of time without burning them. This may not sound making much sense; but then marketing is not always making sense and you cannot promise that!
is an extremely important marketing strategy in today’s fiercey-piercy online marketing scenario. As per Abode’s study every increase of 1% in "returning customers” lead to a whopping increase of overall revenue to 10%. Interestingly, recent survey report by Bain & Co. also talks about an increase of 5% in customer retention that lead to profit increase ratio between 25%-90%. Every valuable customer maximized brings maximized value towards the growth of the company.
Marketing be it online, offline, offshore, outsourced is solely dependent on networking and proper connect. Importantly retaining and nurturing customers on long terms basis is the present mantra. To market a product, service, commodity is not very difficult but efforts to make your clients a long term venture of business relations is of core importance. In olden times word to mouth was an effective form of networking in the absence of mobile phones and internet. Of course it was a slower process as compared to modern technology and obviously a more monopolized one. Ecommerce is a buzz and a big marketing boom for coming years so let us therefore sail with it along with a big smile. If you feel this blog has stimulated you to even a fraction of your thirst for info + knowledg, would be thrilled if you shared it along with your comments. Will you?