Millions of #StayAtHome consumers have discovered e-Commerce for the first time
- How to expand your business by attracting profitable e-Commerce customers
- Why not all of your products should be sold online ... how to decide
- Keys to getting Internet clients to return—and to bring their friends
Resistance to Change is hard-wired in Humans. You know how it goes:
- Internet was a "fad", good only for geeks. That is, until it became the very air we breathe.
- Smartphones were just for upscale teenagers, until their mothers discovered them.
- And e-Commerce was the domain of techno-savvy millennials, the Chinese and a few forward-thinking Brands.
The problem is, even Grandma and Grandpa are now visibly excited every time the doorbell rings.
Could that be the Amazon Man?
Whilst it's clear the COVID-19 Crisis has given online business an enormous push, you still might have your doubts. Is it right for your strategy?
Keep reading: we'll show you why it's time to invest in e-Commerce to ensure your company's future.
The sooner, the better.
|POST-COVID WINNERS||POST-COVID LOSERS|
|Healthy Food||Processed Food|
|Private / Virtual Transport||Public Transport|
|Electronic Commerce (Internet)||Traditional Commerce (Real World)|
|Working from Home||Traditional Workplace|
Source: PM Farma / Ipsos Consulting. Spain, April 2020.
1. Expand Your Business
As we can see from the chart above, the needs and habits of 21st-Century customers have just been dramatically jolted into a New Reality, as a result of the Coronavirus Crisis. Traditional ways of doing business have become outdated. This might mean a massive upheaval for your business, as customers choose new ways of seeking, finding and buying what they need.
Here in Spain, a stunning, early consequence of the #StayAtHome confinement policy was a +55% rise in the use of e-Commerce, practically overnight! Yet, not only for those accustomed to buying online. Millions of people suddenly found themselves making their very first purchases on the Internet.
And finding that they really liked it, thank you very much!
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A key first step for you will be to look at the information you have about your customers, your sales data, and store performances. Depending on the nature of your business, in most countries, a tremendous loss of sales might have resulted during the "lockdowns", as you were forced to temporary close your physical establishments. If you already had an online presence, an "e-store" on the Internet, you probably saw your "virtual" sales suddenly rise.
However, you'll only know this if your Business engine has sufficient OIL to allow it to run smoothly. What is this "Oil"?
Ensuring that you have all of your customer, product, and sales information consolidated in one central place, well-organised and always up-to-date, is critical for 21st-Century Business. Fragmentation -- with these data sources "all over the place" -- should be considered your worst enemy from now on.
Taking care of your data, knowing how to use and interpret it, will allow you to identify your most profitable customers: that 20% which causes 80% of your sales. With the correct personal data and sales histories, you'll then be able to know how -- and where to reach them. Offline, or On?
2. Offer Your Best Products
Knowing who your "Profitable 20%" is the basis of Intelligent Marketing and a solid Sales Strategy. And in this new Millennium, it's especially important to get to know and deeply understand the personal profiles, products and promotions that match and appeal to your e-Commerce shoppers.
We know it might seem strange to make this switch; you may feel like an anthropologist, suddenly asked to travel to a dense jungle to study an unknown group of strange "savages". Yet, it 's absolutely essential to understand these new 21st-Century tribes: they way they see the world, live, work and buy.
'Oel ngati kameie' - I See You - is how the exotic tribe in James Cameron's epic movie, "Avatar" greeted one another in their native language.
By using all the Data you are able to legally and ethically collect (with their permission), you will discover how to market your products to them. You'll know which products in your catalogue are perfect, and which just aren't right for them.
You'll learn how to say 'Oel ngati kameie!'
Photo: Twentieth-Century Fox
By wisely listening and learning, you'll discover very quickly that these e-Commerce customers are not "savages" at all. Rather, they are some of the most sophisticated, demanding (yet loyal) any business could wish to have.
What are those "Best Products" that you should include in your future e-Commerce Strategy?
Precisely those which most closely match the desires and solve the needs of your most active e-Commerce customers. Avoid putting the company's entire product catalogue online. Instead, apply the same "20/80 Rule" to the first set of products you plan to include. These should be the most relevant ones that sell best online (we'll show you additional criteria for this in an upcoming post.)
Use the old US Navy formula, KISS: "Keep It Simple Stupid!"
From there, you will work hard to create customised experiences on your e-Commerce site, using Data once again to personalise their online shopping process as much as you can. This will keep them coming back, again and again.
3. Keep Your Customers Loyal
Whether the person who buys your products or services goes to the physical store or to your new (or optimised) e-Commerce platform, everyone likes to feel recognised. It's more likely that people will continue to buy from you if they feel "seen", as we saw from the "Avatar" example above. Since e-Commerce is Digital and Data-Driven, you will soon discover the power of Personalisation.
Knowing how to always greet them by name, recommend products they truly want and need -- all of this will come from your Data about their tastes, purchase history and responses to your Marketing.
Email Marketing continues to be key, by the way. A recent study published by Marketing Charts shows that a whopping 73% of adults in the United States make purchases online, thanks to Email Marketing:
Personalised emails make every customer feel like they are very special and everyone wants to feel that way. A study from Selligent* reveals that 65% of people are willing to share their personal data in exchange for more personalised recommendations and service. Personalised marketing can help increase Brand awareness for your products and ROI (Return on Investment) for your business.
E-Commerce is becoming a highly competitive market and Brand Loyalty can be an elusive concept. There are many factors that determine customer loyalty. E-Commerce is not only about selling online but retaining customers as well. Speed, relevance and great service -- along with the ease of use of your Internet store -- are what many call "The New Customer Loyalty" or "The Convenience Revolution".
When it begins to rain, enterprising street sellers seem to appear from nowhere with umbrellas.
In the same way, you'll be able to move quickly with e-Commerce, when you spot relevant opportunties, such as the "Work from Home Trousers" shown here.
* * * * *
Once you have a solid base of e-Commerce clients, you'll be able to create MgM Strategies ("Member Get Member") that will move your most profitable customers to tell their friends and family about your online offering. We'll be explaining this in more detail in a future post.
We sincerely hope that we've been able to convince you that
e-Commerce is essential for your company's success. Shopping online is no longer the distant future, it's today's Business reality.
If you'd like to deepen your knowledge about e-Commerce, please follow our brand new 4-post series. You learn how to create your winning e-Commerce Strategy from zero. In plain language, step by step.
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