We hosted the Digital Transformation IRP event on 18 and 19 November 2014 for all our IRP clients. The event was organised by Pulse PR
We’ll summarise some of the key points in this article. We’ll also supply several links throughout the article to IRP Strategy Centre articles that discuss many of the points in more detail.
You can also download a PDF version of the PowerPoint slides using the link at the end of this article.
New Market Trends Demand a New Digital Strategy
A company’s size and prospects are dictated by their:
- Retail Market
Retail markets are becoming increasingly complex:
- Increasingly multichannel
- Increasingly competitive
- Increasingly dependent on technology & big data
- Increasingly require new digital skills
It’s all about sales. You need to focus on the fundamental ecommerce equation:
Number of Visitors x
Conversion Rate x
Average Order Value =
We’ll examine each of the elements of the equation in turn.
1. Number of Visitors
Traffic comes from your digital marketing channels. What marketing channels are you using? The essential ones are:
- Paid search marketing (e.g. pay per click)
- Affiliate marketing
- Organic search traffic (e.g. SEO)
- Social media and referral traffic
- Paid social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Marketplaces (Amazon, eBay)
- Remarketing and display advertising
- Paid offline advertising
The ideal is to be engaged in — and have a strategy for — every one of these channels. Multichannel is key.
2. Conversion Rate
All of the marketing channels we’ve listed work according to a ‘CCC’ principle:
Content — Click — Convert
It’s been said so often that it’s now a truism: content is king. You really need to have good content on your website. Clickable content. Content that makes people want to buy from you.
The problem is getting people to move from visiting you to buying from you: conversion. There are so many things that affect conversion. In relative order of importance the major factors include:
- Shipping costs
- Products in stock
- Site navigation, structure and layout
- Site search
- On-site marketing and key unique selling propositions (USPs)
- Product range
- Depth of brand and categories
- Product information and quality
- Product reviews
- Site and service reviews
- Company ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ information
- Delivery and returns information
- Checkout process
- Product RRPs and any sale or discount display
- Sale and clearance offers
- Up-selling and quantity discounts
- On-site help and buying guides
- On-site copy, news, events and engagement
- International considerations:
Covering all payment gateways
- Language translations
- Country-specific site marketing and key USPs
Keeping on top of all of this requires regular optimization, measurement and testing, including A/B, multivariant, and usability testing. And using ecommerce analysis tools is essential.
To quote Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), conversion thinking is:
ABC: Always Be Closing.
Conversion involves moving a potential customer through the sequence: Attention — Interest — Decision — Action.
You need to understand your customer first and work backwards from there. Design around their interests. Our article on Design Guidelines makes the following key points:
- Your messaging must be clear & fast
- Answer questions before they are asked (objection handling)
- Faster is better
- Adapt messaging to each customer
- Time is critical — do not be subtle
3. Average Order Value & Customer Lifetime Value
How do you keep customers coming back to you and not going somewhere else? In one sense it’s a deep science. On the other hand, much of it is common sense. It’s all about keeping the customer happy. Doing that is likely to involve most of the following:
- Great customer service
- Prompt issue resolution
- Effective delivery & fulfilment
- Loyalty programs & incentives
- Email re-order incentives & marketing promotions
- VIP & private sales
- New product sneak peeks & incentives
- On-site help & knowledge base
- Order tracking & information
- My account information & usability
- Returns management
- Social media engagement
- Customized content & offers
- Maintaining a strong market presence
Conclusion: Digital Transformation Means Having a Digital Strategy
These days, you can’t achieve success in ecommerce without planning it. You need to have a strategy. In fact, when it comes to increasing sales, ‘features’ alone account for only 10% of success. Having a strategy accounts for 90%.
To be successful:
- Analyse the challenges you face in your retail market. Assess your competitors.
- Create a digital strategy (we’ll soon be posting on IRP World an ecommerce strategy template that you can customise according to your own needs).
- Think: multichannel marketing.
- Rehearse the fundamentals: Traffic — Conversion — Retention. Recall the fundamental ecommerce equation:
Number of Visitors x Conversion Rate x Average Order Value = Sales
- Appoint an accountable ecommerce manager. Company owners cannot do this job.
- Align your ecommerce team with your strategy.
- Use IRP World. The IRP provides the proven, award-winning technology. IRP World is for services, education, resources, communication, information on ecommerce and on the IRP.
You need both the IRP and IRP World to succeed.
Download the Digital Transformation PDF
You can download a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation using the link below: