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With an overwhelming amount of content, intense competition and multiple channels, we all know today’s online retail environment is a particularly challenging one for companies looking to maximize sales. Ecommerce players are under no illusion that they face a tough battle to attract consumers to their online stores but many are struggling to identify exactly what it is they must do to succeed.
The explosion of mobile has already impacted ecommerce as many players have heavily invested in optimizing their interfaces for mobile usage. It definitely seems like this is the smart thing to do – in Indonesia for example, the time consumers spend on ecommerce apps has grown by a remarkable 188% over the last 12 months. And in Germany, Millennials visit ecommerce sites and apps 53 times per month [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017].
However, mobile is only the first step towards developing the right business strategies. There are many more opportunities out there – so let’s take a look at what they are.
To land more business, it’s essential that companies connect the right e-shoppers with the offers that match what they are interested in. Retailers often deploy segmentations and consumer portfolios to improve their ability to target consumers. However, bringing segmentations into play for marketing purposes is all but easy given a simple fact: segmentations are often siloed from media behavior.
To target the right consumers, companies need to better understand their media usage and cross-device behavior. Businesses can do this by enriching their current segmentations and in-house databases with key behavioral data based on variables such as media consumption habits, cross-device usage and visit frequency and duration. Secondly, they can build new online and mobile segments based on measured behavior to get a 360° view of consumers – from their gender, income and travel activities, to device usage, search habits and what markets they are interested in.
If there’s just one thing we know for certain about the connected consumer’s shopping journey, it’s that it is non-linear and easy to disrupt.
It is therefore crucial for online retailers to know which touchpoints they need to activate in order to maximize their sales.
Just as an example, when compared to offline shoppers, fashion e-shoppers in the Netherlands are 88% more likely to look for inspiration on Facebook and Instagram.
Obtaining insights based on single source behavioral data that links purchase acts with media consumption and cross-device behavior is a key enabler for e-retail businesses. Not only does it help to identify the touchpoints and content that are most important for converting browsers to buyers, but it also helps companies gain a competitive advantage by activating the major disruption points on the purchase journey.
Relying solely on online targeting and digital channels alone will not do the job of increasing revenues to the maximum level. Advertising via offline channels and TV in particular, will still be an important contributor to the flow of shoppers visiting e-retail sites or apps. While this certainly isn’t the big news, answering the crucial question of how to successfully measure the ROI of crossmedia campaigns for ecommerce businesses remains a challenge.
Properly tracking performance via agency provided KPIs and web analytics tools is a given, but it will likely lead to the trap of an isolated view on digital, TV and other offline media. To overcome this, campaign measurement needs to be based on single source data streams and businesses must use KPI assessments (e.g. net reach, incremental reach and target group attainment) wisely. This will allow them to plan successful future campaigns, know where to focus based on ROI and identify the optimal channels to drive traffic towards an online inventory.
Accurate behavioral and crossmedia data partnered with asking all the right questions is what’s behind developing the right ecommerce strategy. But on top of that, it’s essential to be aware of consumer preferences across different countries.
Comparing multi-country ecommerce leaders across a range of markets, it’s becoming clear that retail is a predominately local business, with consumers mainly purchasing from big local names. For example, in Poland we see that Allegro is the major player while in Indonesia, Lazda is on top. But, this may not always be the case. In the last 6 months, Amazon has registered 6.8 million more unique users in Mexico, which signals a potential challenge for the popular local retailer Mercado Libre [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017].
Therefore, it’s also becoming clear that to compete and succeed in this ecommerce world, companies need a constant 360° view of what their consumers are doing online – and where.
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