E-commerce Live! was billed as the latest inspiring top event in the field of e-commerce. The newest developments, best tactics, latest trends and coolest innovations. It was immediately clear to us: we had to be there! So we jumped into the car and headed to Amsterdam.
These are our most notable findings:
Predictive analysis & personalisation
Predictive analysis and personalisation are set to be the key drivers for the future success of any online business.
The basic idea is that you need to save your customer the trouble of looking for a product or service in your webshop. It's about understanding your customers' 'online journey' and offering them real-time recommendations in your webshop. By analysing previous data, you can predict the path and personalise the content offered.
Why go to these lengths? The answer is very clear. Personalisation is no longer a differentiator: it has become an expectation. 73% of customers say they prefer to do business with brands that make personalised offers (also known as ME-commerce). The effect on your business is clear. Personalisation increases both involvement and customer satisfaction, and ultimately leads to higher conversion rates. Take this important piece of advice from me: forget the so-called 'static shelf'.
Customers explore various channels to gain access to their favourite brands and products. The predictions are that by 2020 about 50% of all purchases will be made online. We also know that today, 80% of consumers already use online channels to make purchasing decisions. Physical stores, websites, mobile applications... many brands have recently added channels to their offering. When it comes to integrated channels, however, there are still many challenges to be addressed.
The first challenge is to get a complete picture of the customer. If you really want to understand your customers, you need to be able to integrate online and offline sales information. Having this type of data at your disposal can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your search advertising campaigns. For example, did you know that the ROAS for digital advertising (Google Adwords) is 2.4 times higher if offline sales are integrated?
This brings us seamlessly to the second challenge: the technical side of building such unified real-time insights and the automated marketing actions that are adapted to them. You soon start to realise that choosing the right functional platform is extremely important for future successes.
Thirdly, the traditional 'brick & mortar' stores will have to shift to becoming inspiring brand temples where customers really feel they are the centre of attention. Offering in-store personalisation options for your product is just one way of doing this. Magic mirrors are another good example of how to make your customers' lives easier. These allow customers to see whether a different colour would suit them better without having to actually try the garment on. Providing these new digital transfer experiences also benefits retailers, because it allows them to offer and sell a wider range of products than what is actually in stock in the shop.
From transaction to inspiration
It’s not just for physical shops that inspiration has become extremely important. Providing innovative ways to discover your online offering, such as digital magazines, 'View all accessories for your product' and the 'shop the look' tactic has turned out to be very successful. In fact, the aim is no longer to sell the product, but to tell a story. This finally brings us to the idea that a good content marketing strategy will be indispensable for almost every online store.
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Do you have any questions about your own e-commerce strategy? Come and have a cup of coffee or invite us over: we will gladly provide you with more explanation, free of obligation.