Five e-commerce strategies to grow business

Guest Column: Brands must work harder to amplify their voice and stay top-of-mind, writes Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, Criteo Southeast Asia and India

e4m by Taranjeet Singh
Updated: Aug 11, 2020 3:03 PM
Taranjeet Singh

As marketers continue to test new ways to connect with consumers who, now more than ever, have a wide variety of products to choose from, the e-commerce landscape has become exponentially more competitive. A recently released research paper by Bain & Company indicates that India's retail market, pegged at $850 billion and the fourth largest in the world, is largely unorganised at present. However, spurred by cheap mobile data, it could enable nearly 1 billion internet users by 2030 who would form the backbone of the e-retail revolution, the study says.

Criteo data shows that for online purchases, the average time between the first touch point and an e-commerce transaction is 28 days – nearly an entire month. This means that brands need to work harder to amplify their voice and stay top-of-mind. Successfully harnessing search marketing and getting past the search barrier isn't enough; online sellers must now remain visible throughout that critical evaluation phase. So how can brands capture consumers' attention before they finalise their choice? These five strategies can help.

 Prioritise mobile

Brands often talk about the importance of mobile and how crucial it is to persuade consumers to shop. But are you doing enough to enhance your mobile experience? According to behavioural marketing company SalesCycle, mobile accounts for 65% of all e-commerce traffic but only leads to 29% of sales.  This gap suggests that retailers could continue to improve their mobile user experience. Since the global pandemic, people have started spending time on their cell phones multifold and that makes it even more important for the retailers to prioritise mobiles further. This trend indicates retailers could direct more investment towards creating a positive mobile experience, particularly during the research phase of the purchase journey.

 Connect with the customer

Conversational commerce is growing in popularity among retailers, and it's easy to see why. Modern consumers are accustomed to getting most everything with the click of a button. Yet when customers shop online, they lose that one-to-one connection they get when visiting a brick and mortar store. To keep customers engaged, brands must communicate with them in real-time or they risk losing out to competitors that are investing in conversational commerce solutions. Chatbots and messaging are a way to preserve that engagement.

 Explore new payment options

According to the financial solutions company Razorpay, digital payments industry couldn't escape the pandemic crisis and witnessed a dip of 30% in online payments since the lockdown began. However, it is now seeing a rebound of 23% which is a sign of gradual revival of the digital economy. To help avoid shopping cart abandonment, businesses should look to provide consumers with an easy checkout experience and multiple payment options. Online sales growth can't exist without an optimised checkout, so brands should assess their existing shopping experience to determine where they can make improvements that will make them stand out among their competitors.  

 Set expectations around shipping costs

With so many large retailers offering fast, free shipping methods, many consumers are easily discouraged by unexpected shipping costs, especially with the growing prevalence of quick and free shipping among the retail giants. One way to avoid shipping sticker shock is to offer a shipping calculator prior to checkout. Empowering consumers to estimate their shipping costs before they add an item to their cart can minimise surprises later down the line.

 Encourage customer reviews

It's common knowledge that customer reviews can have a major impact on e-commerce sales, but this is truer today than ever before. According to the Spiegel Research Center, almost 95% of consumers read online reviews prior to buying. Today's shoppers are savvy and discerning, and they do their homework before committing to a product or brand. As such, it's important to bulk up your reviews by providing past shoppers with a chance to leave testimonials across online platforms. Omnichannel brand transparency is an effective way to boost consumer affinity for your brand and can represent the nudge consumers need to go from the consideration stage to making an actual purchase.

 With the right combination of strategies in place to augment your e-commerce offering, you can maximise your sales today and keep your business' growth on an upward trajectory tomorrow. 

(The author of this article is Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, Criteo Southeast Asia and India.)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of                                                                       

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