Promotions, Discounts and attracting customers back
Sales sales everywhere, but how do we know what is a bargain, what appears to be on special and what is simply good promoting by a business? Consumers wised up last year realising times were tough, and a frugal spending nature was required. Many turned to online where bargains were a plenty, and bricks and mortar sellers returned fire by promoting heavily reduced stock more often than before. And now we have the market as it stands with retailers filling page after page of our newspapers and letter boxes and TV with sales - and online sellers need to re-attract and re-engage the bargain savvy consumer. Consumers have increased their ability to find value for money, retailers are desperate to lure them back or introduce their brand – so how do we as online businesses gain the ability to stand out of the crowd.
Written by Curtis Johnson, Managing Director Salmon Asia Pacific
eCommerce (or Online Retail) is all about ‘making money’, first and foremost. If you do not want to do this, then do not invest in these strategies. If you do want to, then keep reading.
When we talk about making money online, we are not talking about getting a return on initial investment, or doing ‘OK’, or making the
average expected revenue based on pre-eCommerce site visits. We are talking about having your online retail presence out perform your bricks and mortal stores year in / year out, if you don’t have stores, then your competitors’ stores. There should be no reason why it shouldn’t, you just need to fulfil the basic requirements and stick to it.
It is believed that Australian eCommerce lags 3 - 4 years behind our US counterparts! and is this surprising? Not really! one of IBMs Worldwide Commerce Executives, Joe Dittmar stated this week that the current immaturity of the Australian online retail market was more about retailers failing to take the opportunities in front of them, rather than Aussies failing to spend online. And for me taking this opportunity boils down to an issue of digital leadership.
This is something I broached a few months ago in a post detailing Why Australian Organisations Don't Do It?, however Dittmars recent comments has made me reflect and delve into this issue further.
Digital Leadership Starts At Board Level
Regardless of organisation size, digital leadership starts at the top. Whilst senior marketing professionals play a very significant role, it takes a strong personality with significant drive to change a mindset. Thus in most organisations, for digital to be truly effective, the strategy must be driven from the top and integrated with the organisations strategic direction. Unfortunately in Australia’s case, several large retailers still do not see the sizable opportunity that digital presents. Furthermore whilst others have made inroads on the digital front – their lack of intent to invest in the digital channel is a telling sign of their current success. The lack of buy-in particularly at executive level is still playing a significant role in hindering the Australian market and ultimately will see some retailers left behind.
Mid Level Digital Recruitment
Many organisations looking to invest in the digital arena for the first time, are looking to do so by hiring mid-weight or junior digital professionals. Whilst operationally these professionals will fill the immediate need, they fail to create a vision and lead an organisation into the digital future. In addition these individuals lack the breadth of digital knowledge that enables them to educate key stakeholders on the value of digital to an organisation. So whilst technical capability is paramount, individuals do not have the clout to lead organisational change, particularly early on in the digital journey.
Are visitors completing their tasks on your website?
The 4Q Website Survey is a collaboration between iPerceptionsand noted web analytics author and blogger Avinash Kaushik. It is a free website survey solution that allows you to find out why visitors are at your website, and whether or not they are completing their tasks (and if they aren't, what's getting in the way?).
The 4Q website survey provides answers to the following 4 essential questions:
• What are my visitors at my website to do? • Are they completing what they set out to do? • If not, why not? • How satisfied are my visitors?
Thousands of companies are already gaining tremendous insight into the customer experience on their website. You too can measure purpose of visit and task completion (and of course, satisfaction).
And best of all...the 4Q website survey is completely free!
Over the past few years I have listened to a few people talk about measuring customer service, and reducing email volume.
One speech comes to mind whenever I think about making more of an effort to improve customer service and reduce our time spent answering emails (and responding to phone calls.)
The topic of this speech was Amazon.com and the lengths they went to, to not only reduce their customer contact but improve customer support in the process.
It was really amazing to see what they had done. Using some simple measurements and following up some findings with implementation of FAQs and other information on the site they were able to drastically reduce the number of customers they had to communicate with, whether that be via email or phone. Most online businesses get emails, more than they do phone calls (I would guess), so I will talk a little about reducing the amount of emails you have to respond to!