Author: pramod

Is it the right time to get your business on the marketplace?

The constant endeavor of any retailer is to grow the business and take it to the next level. Whether you the owner of a brick-and-mortar store or a web store, your next move is obviously going to be on the marketplace. But are you ready to join the big, wide world of online marketplaces yet?
Here are a few indicators that could help make a better decision:

Your current set up is asking for more investment
Although it is easy to set up the store in the first place, it takes more investment of time, effort, and resources to take it to the next level and make it exceptional.

Managing your marketing activities is becoming cumbersome
No matter how much you push your marketing activities, there’s only so much you can do single-handedly. Marketplace management includes automatic marketing strategy that helps each retailer to be on the promotional bandwagon, and boost your own marketing efforts.

Your sales strategy feel outdated
The E-commerce industry is evolving every day, with new features and advanced processes, which can enhance your brand visibility online. Marketplaces make the most of these and build a robust strategy with live chat services, product videos, user-generated content, and so on, to keep themselves updated with the customers.

You realize the need for smarter payment methods
If you want to expand your customer base, you need to have universal payment methods that work everywhere. If you feel that the payment process is restricting you from expanding your market, then online marketplaces can help you reach out to more customers with their multiple, easy payment options, and suited to different regions.

You are not too savvy to handle tech operations
When it’s your own store, you have to take care of every operational aspect, including tech support. Even if you hire a resource, you still need to be well-aware of basic troubleshooting etc. With marketplaces, they have dedicated teams to handle the complexities of tech operations, so, even the non-technical retailers can operate without much hassle.

For more efficient operations, you can also seek the support of marketplace management services and enjoy your own piece of the E-commerce pie!

Top 5 eCommerce trends to look forward in 2019

From mobile-first practice to integration of augmented reality on the platforms, eCommerce future trends are promising a new and improved online experience for every customer. Here are some of the practices that every retailer and marketer is eyeing to implement in the coming year and change the face of the eCommerce landscape of future.

eCommerce trends 2019
AR (Augmented Reality) & VR (Virtual Reality)
Major brands in the fashion and interior space (like Sephora, IKEA etc.) have already started using AR to create a realistic experience of their products. But as the usage of VR become widespread and retail giant Amazon taking the lead in AR-based apps, most retailers will follow suit and start integrating this trend in their customers’ shopping experiences.

Mobile-first experience
The mobile app industry could cross $189 billion by 2020 and all retailers are vying for their piece of pie in this growth. While search engines already require websites to be mobile-friendly, the practice will be more common with an increased number of smartphone users, where frameworks like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), will enable retailers to create fast-loading websites for mobile devices.

Videos on landing pages
Videos will very soon replace static content and comprise 80% of web traffic by 2019. However, besides using videos for brand films, educational content, testimonials, products, and FAQs, retailers will also look at increasing traffic by using a high-quality video in the hero carousel on the homepage or landing page of the brand site.

Digitizing Real World Experiences
The future of eCommerce 2020 will be all about creating a ‘phygital’ world. By extending the in-store shopping experience to the online platform through technologies like ‘scan and go’ retailers can reduce checkout processes and let their customers enjoy the benefits of both services.

Voice Commerce
The voice-enabled search will make for 50% of total online searches by 2020. Such a game-changing trend will influence Search Engine Optimization for businesses where retailers would redesign their site search algorithms and set the path for voice commerce.

Such trends are sure to help you with ideas that can grow your eCommerce business and see a promising future.

The 7 unspoken laws of ecommerce success

The landscape of ecommerce in India is growing leaps and bounds with every retailer vying for their unique space in the industry. While online marketplaces are getting their fair share of success, ecommerce a lot of potential for new businesses. Unlike marketplaces, retailers have a lot more freedom to integrate innovative ways of boosting their business and join the bandwagon of rising ecommerce trends. Besides the mainstream technical knowledge and market insights, there a few tips that can help retailers and marketers to succeed in the ecommerce space.

Treat your ecommerce business as a thriving offline business
Except for the tangibility of your store, there’s not much difference between the efforts and time that you need to invest in a brick-n-mortar store and your ecommerce business.

Find the right software for your business
While it is important to make your ecommerce website really stand out, you need the most appropriate platform to build it on. Look at software that supports your creative idea and is sustainable.

Be where your customers are
The old trick of the trade calls for tapping right into the needs of your audience and fulfilling it. To do the same you need to be visible in places where your customers are.

Build Buyer Trust
Empower your customers through personalized communication and allow them to share their experiences with your product/service through reviews, feedback featured blogs etc. This not only builds trust with them but also makes them your brand ambassadors.

Keep the checkout process easy
Majority of conversions drop at the checkout point. Integrating a popular payment method and minimizing the page loading time can help reduce friction at the point of sale.

Offer Excellent Online Support
Think beyond calls and emails and consider live chat support on your site, across the user journey to enhance your customer support strategy.

Partner with other brands
Even if they are small local brands, partnering with complementary businesses add value to your brand and enhances your reputation among your audience.
There is no ideal model for a successful ecommerce business. With innovative business ideas, trial and error, and steady growth, your business can see the future of ecommerce, provided you are ready to take the leap of faith.

Why your site needs an eCommerce audit

Why your site needs an eCommerce audit?

If there’s one common goal for all e-commerce sites, its conversions. With the online marketplace dominated by retail giants, it becomes essential for e-commerce sites to stand out among the clutter and get their share of the pie. Hence an e-commerce audit, to help you understand where you stand among the crowd. It not only helps you boost your organic traffic and drive quality visitors but also spike up your conversion rate.

Reasons for considering an e-commerce audit:

Stay ahead on Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Once you run a review of your content marketing strategy, you will know where you need to improve upon- whether it’s the content or the SEO strategy that needs revising. And if you are striving for that first page of search results, then your site needs to be well-optimized to start with.

Better On-page SEO

An audit of your e-commerce site will relook at the Meta Tags, keyword frequency, HTML headers etc. to see if your target keywords are at the right places on your site. This will increase your searchability to your users and search engines.

Check for mobile optimization

Needless to say, almost every user today uses their mobile phones for shopping. And that is why your e-commerce site needs to be user-friendly or optimized for a better experience of your customers. An audit can help you with ‘touchscreen readiness’, ‘mobile viewport’, UI/UX feasibility etc. so your audience gets the best experience on your website.

Enhanced site performance

This is probably one of the most important deal-breakers for e-commerce sites. Sites are evolving in their designs and integrating the best in class images, layouts, etc. But if these enhancements create a handicap for your users, by slowing it down, then you can lose as much up to 40% of your site visitors. User experience is essential for e-commerce success and site speed and its performance play make for an important element of it. When you run an audit, it can tell you which parts or pages lag in speed. It can also give you ways to elevate your site performance through techniques like compression, minification, image optimization and caching.

From content upgrade, keyword check, to restructuring product placement, and site analysis, an e-commerce audit is the key to a successful online retail business.

5 Reasons you should hire an expert to enhance your user

5 Reasons you should hire an expert to enhance your user’s shopping experience

The millennial shopper is always on the lookout for the best experience irrespective of what they shop for. That is why marketers and brand owners need to enhance the user experience and the customer journey while they browse through your site. And all this requires an expert, who can use his/her understanding and expertise to take your users’ shopping experience to a whole new level.

Here are our top 5 reasons to hire a user experience expert-

Help understand the human element

The best sales happen when you are in sync with your customer’s buying behavior. For that, you need to pay more attention to the user psychology. In other words, knowing what works for them, what they like, what improvements they are seeking, etc. This makes for a scientific study using consumer insights which can be best conducted by an expert qualified for the same.

Better customer relationship management (CRM)

User experience and CRM are not mutually exclusive. A customer complaint is usually seen from different perspectives, depending on where the fault was, which can lead to multiple inferences. An expert in such a case, can pinpoint the problems and help in problem-solving of consumer concerns. By assessing and analyzing their feedback, they can help in improvement of a product or the seller service, thus enhancing customer relations. CRM is one of the most important aspects that helps a business grow. And using expert knowledge to resolve their issues can ensure long-term relations with your users.

Contributing to Innovation

With a more scientific approach to consumer behavior, user experience experts can provide better insights into R&D and assess if a new concept or a strategy will work or not. And that too without exhaustive experimentation.

Keeping up with market changes

People change and so their habits. Surveys and focus groups stick to demographics and are not enough to assess the psychological reasoning behind such changes. Experts in user experience go beyond the theory and apply a deeper understanding of human nature which helps in better brand outreach.

Better marketability forecasting

Before a product is launched in the market, user experience experts can analyze if it will work with the brand users or not, thus providing the right marketability forecasting. By availing such expert knowledge prior to launches, brands can save the time and money on trials and errors

tricks-to-get-more-sales-via-Amazon-ads

5 tricks to get more sales via Amazon ads

As of today, it is nearly impossible for a retailer to imagine sales without being present on Amazon. With more than 50% of all retail product searches starting with this global marketplace, brands need to have an effective advertising strategy and make the most of their ads on Amazon. So how do you ensure more sales using your Amazon advertising?

Here are 5 ways to effectively generate more conversions, beyond ‘Sponsored Products’:

Optimize targeting options

When it comes setting targeting options while creating your campaign, the key is to use one for the benefit of the other. Use manual targeting to keep control over your campaigns but run a test with automatic targeting. You can create a keyword campaign using the manual version, like you would do for any search engine and then combine it with an automatic targeting campaign. By setting lower bids, you can use the latter as ‘keyword research’. Then if and when the search terms starts performing well, you can use that keyword in your manual campaigns.

Leverage Amazon Keyword Tool

Just like a search engine campaign, it is important to identify the right set of keywords for your Amazon advertising. Invest in extensive keyword research to get a better idea of how and what buyers are searching across the platform. Optimize your keyword bids based on their performance. This can make your campaign more efficient and opens up great chances of winning against your competitors.

Use the power of Feedback Five

Your customers are your best salespeople and their opinions have more impact on your sales. Leveraging the customer reviews using the Feedback Five tool, can put you on a 5-star rating and help boost sales. If you have abundant positive reviews, use it to showcase yourself. On the other hand, if you have customers with negative experiences, use for product enhancements or improve your marketing strategy.

Consider running discounts

Everybody loves a discount. And, from a marketing perspective promotions have always been a great way to increase traffic, visibility and yield reviews. Spread your discount strategy across ‘lightning deals’, price discounts, best deal, BOGO (buy one get one), hourly deals or even shipping discounts. Use these to leverage sales and highlight your products amidst the marketplace clutter.

5 Actionable ways to make the most of Marketplaces

Online marketplaces have grown to become one of the major trends in retail business. However, with more aware and knowledgeable customers, marketers need to be more strategic in their approach to reap the benefits of marketplaces.

Here are 5 simple, yet actionable ways to optimize your existence and make the most of marketplaces.

Consider product upsell

By bundling similar or related items, or offering add-ons at the point of purchase, can grab the attention of the buyer. For an effective product upsell, it is essential for retailers to have a diverse and exhaustive product offering, for the customers to choose, thus increasing sales opportunities.

Integrate Instagram

In the current digital landscape, Instagram, with its extensive user base, has grown to be an effective promotional platform for retailers. By using high-quality images of your offerings and related photos, you can target your audience right where they are. Also, by associating with such Instagram influencers, retailers can leverage their social followers and expand the customer base. This also develops a better connection between the customers and the brand.

Reduce ‘abandon carts’

This is one of the most prevalent problems for online retailers. Despite the most user-friendly and interactive site, attractive product listings, and competitive pricing, retailers often face unfinished transactions. That is why is important to revamp the point of purchase and increase conversions. For instance, integrating a live chat at the checkout stage can create interactivity and convince the buyer to complete the transaction. Similarly, offering a time-based discount at the POP can also help reduce abandoned carts.

Invest in an Email campaign

Emails might be a traditional marketing tool, but it is still relevant for the millennial shopper. One of the most budget-friendly marketing techniques, emails can be an effective email marketing campaign can result in conversions. Depending on your product and expected outcome, emails can range from drip mailers, image-based, or text mailers.

Use the ‘Wishlist’ Reminder

Most often than not, customers would indulge in window-shopping and not end up purchasing, but their product preferences are saved in the ‘wishlist’ for later use. This buying behavior makes for an excellent opportunity for retailers to reach out to their customers using a wishlist reminder through a text message, email or remarketing campaigns, by displaying products from the wishlist.

 

 

 

 

10 KPIs to Measure eCommerce success + Free Resources

10 KPIs to Measure eCommerce success + Free Resources

Key Performance Indicators are a measurable value to denote how a business is meeting key business objectives. Businesses segregate their KPIs into High-level KPIs and Low-level KPIs based on the impact they have on their business goals. High-level KPIs focus on the overall performance of the organization whereas low-level KPIs focus on performance of their departments.

Why set KPIs

  • KPIs help drive business to greater heights
  • They ensure that everyone in the organization is working efficiently to fulfil business goals
  • KPIs help meet strategic and operational goals effectively

KPIs for eCommerce

There are a number of KPIs you can set, but we have curated a list of 10 KPIs that are absolutely essential to monitor to tweak your eCommerce performance

 1. Return on Investment (ROI): One of the most thrown-around Jargon in any industry, Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics to monitor when it comes to eCommerce. Return on investment may be measured per each important channel or per total marketing spends.

  How to Calculate: Revenue/ Costs

  Tools: Google Analytics & Measurable

 2. Year over Year Growth (YOY): Scaling your business consistently over time is a mandate if you want to succeed instead of merely surviving the wave of eCommerce. Year over Year growth can be measured as a variation of revenue, conversion rate, average order, customer lifetime value.

  How to Calculate: (Metric) Last Year / (Metric)Current Year

  Tools: Google Analytics & Measurable

 3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Customer lifetime value is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. CLV is one of the most important metrics for measuring gross profit and success over time. Generating new customers has been proven to be the most expensive endeavor for almost all eCommerce businesses and so CLV becomes an important metric to watch out for.

 How to Calculate: Profit/Customer/Year x Average number of years

 Tools: Google Analytics & Measurable

 4. Average Order Value (AOL): Average order value (AOV) is yet another important metric for your ecommerce store. Average order value (AOV) tracks the average amount spent each time a customer places an order on your website or mobile app.

 How to Calculate: Average Revenue / Customer

 Tools: Google Analytics

 5. Conversion Rate (CR): Conversion Rate is a metric to measure the efficacy of your marketing and eComm efforts. A high conversion rate reflects the success of a business. Though the benchmark over industries vary, conversion rate remains an important metric in every industry including eCommerce.

 How to Calculate: Conversions / Visits

 Tools: Google Analytics

6. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Customer Acquisition Cost is the cost associated with convincing a customer to buy your product/service. This cost is incurred by the organization to convince a potential customer via marketing efforts. This cost is inclusive of the product cost as well as the cost involved in research, marketing, and accessibility costs

 How to Calculate: Traffic Cost + Discounts + Incentives + Prizes

 Tools: Google Analytics & Measurable

7. Cart Abandonment Rate (CAR): Abandonment is an ecommerce term used to describe a visitor on a web page who leaves that page before completing the desired action. Examples of abandonment include shopping cart abandonment, referring to visitors who add items to their online shopping cart, but exit without completing the purchase.”

 How to Calculate: Conversions / Cart Visits

 Tools: Google Analytics

 8. Purchase Intention (PI): Purchase Intention can be broadly defined as the number of visitors on your webpage willing to make a purchase

 How to Calculate: % of visitors that want to buy

 Tools: Marketizator

9. Search Penetration Index: SPI can be defined as the number of visits you are getting on your site from all search volume like PPC and SEO efforts.

 How to Calculate: Number of visits / number of searches

 Tools: Google Analytics & Measurable

10. Customer Satisfaction Index: CSI can be determined with post-purchase surverys. Customer satisfaction plays an important role within your business. Not only is it the leading indicator to measure customer loyalty, identify unhappy customers, reduce churn and increase revenue; it is also a key point of differentiation that helps you to attract new customers in competitive business environments.

How to Calculate: Monthly Surveys

Tools: email and Marketizator surveys

Top categories that are pegged to grow big on eCommerce

The global e-commerce industry is growing at light speed and is a standing testament of where and how the market is headed.  With changing behavior of retail buyers and sellers alike, the industry space is expected to cross trillions in the coming years. It owes largely to the increasing users of internet across the emerging markets, rising spending power of consumers, payment options, convenient purchase processes and cheap logistics. With more strategic e-commerce business process management, innovative offerings, and creative marketing strategy, retailers have managed to build strong customer loyalty.

Here are the top categories in e-commerce which are expected to grow in the next few years:

Apparel & Accessories

As the best-selling e-commerce category, the ‘apparel & accessories’ space beats every other industry space to the top. Unlike in its earlier days, apparel retailing is more mature with interactive e-commerce websites, better shipping facilities, flexible buying and returning options and so on. Also, by optimizing the power of mobile channel, ecommerce applications of apparel and accessories make this category more popular among the ‘always-online’ shoppers.

Automotive

As surprising as it may sound, global automotive industry seems to be ahead of other industry segments when it comes to the e-commerce space. With more convenient buying/renting/selling options, 24/7 real-time support, doorstep services, and above all, a completely stress-free shopping experience, are making more customers to resort to new and evolved automotive retailing business.

Games and gaming accessories.

For the 24/7 online consumer, the most convenient and comfortable way to unwind is through gaming. For mobile users, just an app does the trick. But, for the more pro and serious gamer, it is all about the ultimate experience. This category in e-commerce continues to surge as more game lovers get unbound access to cheaper gaming devices, more creative game plays and easily available apps.

Jewelry & watches

As jewelry retailers restructure their ecommerce business process management and get more liberal with their marketing techniques, they encourage increased number of buyers every time. With seamless shopping experience and credible user-generated content, jewelry (fine) marketers are hitting it high in the e-commerce space.

On the other hand, the retail space for watches are experiencing a leap in their e-commerce business, owing mostly to smart watches and digitally enabled features for the millennium consumer. As the demand for IOT (Internet of Things) keep soaring, it pushes watch sales up the sky.

How can FMCG win on e-Commerce?

In the constantly disrupting and erupting digital ecosystem, the e-commerce landscape remains the most pervasive aspect of retail businesses. Needless to say, it is indispensable to thrive in the modern world of business, without e-commerce and FMCG brands, particularly, find it quite challenging.

The E-commerce challenge of FMCG brands

Most often than not, FMGC brands across online supermarkets tend to lack integration of the customer’s decision-making processes and the brand marketing that influences sales. This has led to major FMCG players with a single-digit sales percentage range. To add it to, traditional FMCG brands are still trying to grasp the fact that the millennial shopper journey map has changed radically, with the first touch-point being a digital one. Unlike traditionally, marketing and sales are no more separate functions of the brand but merged as a holistic technique to connect with your audience and create customer influence.

FMCG needs a different digital marketing strategy

So far, we have been used to ‘high-involvement brands’ (books, gadgets, bags, shoes, clothes, holidays) ruling the e-commerce landscape. With such products it becomes easier to map the customer journey across online supermarkets, by mapping time, effort and interest. With FMCG the online behavior is rather different. Since the choice of the retailer drives the e-commerce purchase decision and is mostly instant, it is important for FMCG brands to adopt a different digital marketing strategy. Rather than following the established path of online retail marketing and reinventing the customer journey, it is more rational to align your brand behavior with your shopper.

It is important to remember that FMCG purchases often happen as a ‘part of a purchase’. You would rarely find someone buying ‘washing detergent’ standalone. Shoppers visit online supermarkets to save time, energy and money and get household needs in bulk. The idea is to optimize that investment by reducing time, effort and money for the shopper.

To win the battles of brands in the E-commerce war, every FMCG brand need to look at e-commerce platforms as not only a channel but a primary destination, where your shopper starts the brand journey. A more effective strategy would be to integrate e-commerce and its tools to design the entire brand communication and use it to jumpstart your customer’s journey. And, finally lead them to the point of purchase, thus taking them through a memorable customer experience.

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