ECommerce, as such, is not a new concept, but it is considered as a new model when it enters the emerging economies, where infrastructure and technology is trying to keep pace with the people’s perception. Moreover, they would have seen the organized retail flaring new heights, people adapting to new culture, where they are exposed to brands on shelves, feeling it, investigating it & top it, freedom of choice. Given the behavioral adaptions & the technology advances, eCommerce is seeing a new wave with Social Media & mobile technology vis-à-vis web 1.0.
Not biased on the brand though, but it’s amazing to see flipkart’s approach to the dig in the 10,000 cr market segment in the book industry, commanding to sell a book every minute and gaining the foothold in eCommerce industry. The founder, while being interviewed in Young Turks, based his entry strategy to gain the consumer confidence, as books don’t cost much (helping the shopper to gain confidence) and secondly books don’t break or get damaged while in transit. Interesting to note here is, in spite of them being start-up couple of years back, they have gained a commendable market share and huge traction even in their newly introduces categories of with respect to white & brown goods. Yet another point to note is that they have good volumes churning from tier 2 cities and more so their advertising campaign have been very appealing as they are more on to the typical pain area, with respect to why people hesitate to opt for eCommerce.
Wooing shoppers is the toughest task with any player today in the internet space, Thanks to the digital advancements in terms of technology, operating systems, mobile technology & enterprise applications, eCommerce has seen a sea change. Players like DataLink , who are the prominent players in the space, help budding & existing eCommerce Companies, in developing, supporting, maintaining flawless architecture which are constantly been innovated & updated with the new ways like the social & mobile commerce which could help your platform to be on top of the mind of the shoppers. Such agencies play a crucial role in bridging the gap & help focusing the player on to the business.
As the social wave & mobile technology (in terms of smart devices) picks up heat and the numbers trending towards eCommerce being a prime channel strategy for any brands to reach their consumers. 6 point strategy to pin your customer to eCommerce model would be an approach towards finding ways & means to attract & have them with your model.
1. Play on Perception – Flipkart is a good example which has played a pioneering role in addressing and educating people, around their value proposition. The ad campaigns which were more on towards replacement guarantee, EMI options, pay on delivery and so on, caught bang on with Shoppers. The beauty of the entire campaign was, no where they touched on type of deals & offers. Such a thought process always creates the right kind of buzz and sets a platform in the emerging economies, which has a large addressable and consumption base.
2. Partner Brands as a channel in their sales Strategy – This point strategy builds the notional value among the user, when the consumer finds their choice of product tagged to the platform, it plays the much required promotions. A real life example, I was checking for the Samsung Tab in their website and curiously went on to see the online retailer in India, was Flipkart. This example is again not to talk on the Flipkart, but to articulate the value of being one of the prime channels in the sales strategy. Please note such a presence not only builds the loyalty but also helps to extend the brand loyalty of the product to the platform. In case of India, where eCommerce is seeing huge traction, such a move plays a lot on notional values.
3. Explore Mobile Apps for mobile devices – Mobile devices are proving to be one of the most intrinsic part of the consumer life, impacting their behavior, lifestyle and even more the decision-making process is not the same any more. We have already seen in one of the theories of Google and one of my previous blog on Zero Moment Of Truth . With the advent to tablets, every company is mooted towards developing applications which are lighter, quicker and smarter; it would be a big crime in this smart world, if the applications are not optimized to the mobile devices. Application plays a huge role in engagement too and also building the brand presence, and more so, smarter application reinstate the brand prominence in the mind of the prospects in influencing the decision-making, through various engagements. An example to mobile app, evaluating products, brand tracking through feeds and so on.
4. Adopt Social Commerce – Adopting social commerce principles could help the platform to boast their footfalls, also create the experience closer to reality and in the company friends, developing reviews, sharing, asking friends for recommendation and the list goes on. If not the social commerce platform at least the features, this ads to the engagement which is the core to pin your prospects. As in the case of the retail format, every outlet tries to engage his or her own customer to increase the footfall and enhance their shopping experience. Digital media could boast with the type of technology coming in, for example the augmented reality app connected to the social media can play wonders in promotion.
Courtesy Rackspace, building43
5. Building a community of Happy Faces “The Brand Face” & program around – It is very important today that eCommerce needs to create a connect with its customer, and what better way it could be having your happy customer on to your ‘Wall of Fame’. The time has come now to build a community around the happy faces, not to have the freebies, but to facilitate value ads to its frequent & loyal customers to its credit. This point strategy purely works on the consumer buying behavior and their spending pattern on the social media circle, for example in the case of category dealing with books, how fascinating it would be for a customer to have a personally autographed books or meet his favorite authors or thinking a loud a chat or live video from the author in form of streams.
6. Practice Zero Moment of Truth – When we look at the buying behavior of a shopper after having a desire to buy a product, he has different ways today to gather more information, either he gets on to his mobile device like Laptop, iPad, smart phone or get on to stand alone PC, hit the search button, the best in today’s world what people say is ‘Google’. Your favorite search engine is able to throw loads of information from the product details, availability, location, feedback to reviews; they are so intrinsic that no brand can actually neglect any of these details, if they want to win their shoppers’ heart. So in the case e-commerce, not only the site would have to be optimized to the search engine but it would have to be calibrated for various devices from the smart phones to other smart devices, making it friendly for the shopper to view the information. The last thing you would want is the opportunity loss for unfriendliness in viewing the product.
More or less, when you evaluate the different players, these point strategies are prevalent, what is missing today is being customer centric and building engagement around them. It is not hard to have a sale today, but what would make a difference is building a community around the happy customer & tools to engage, it is just not enough to have a fan page to communicate people on the deal, but what would work is allowing the brand to speak, listen & engage with their customer.
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