eCommerce is eVolving – to stay ahead, you need to stay aware
With the summer holidays a thing of the past, many businesses will begin working on their medium and long-term planning in September. At CCL, much of our business comes from the ever expanding online retailing environment. Here, we offer you our thoughts on the changes we’re seeing as the eCommerce sector matures – to help you think, plan and prepare.
If you’re an eRetailer, these are critical areas for you. If your business services the eCommerce supply chain, you need to keep abreast of these developments and the new demands they place on global freight and logistics, to remain responsive and competitive.
Customers in the USA and Europe have been shopping on PC’s for years. But now online shopping is fully mobile. It takes place, end-to-end, on tablets and phones. This means shoppers can browse on their daily commute, in a coffee bar or airport lounge, or from their bedroom or their armchair, as easily as in their desk. The online retail experience is re-engineering to suit this smaller screen and the ‘swipe’ mentality. Major retailers now have their own Apps, including GPS-based services, which create an enriched interaction with shoppers. Apps filter products they display based on the customer’s location, past purchases, ‘likes’ and reviews, collating an unwieldy mass of stock items into manageable and co-ordinated selections. This ease-of-use fuels growth, especially amongst younger consumers, who vigorously pursue the latest trends, fashions and upgrades.
But that growth isn’t taking place only in countries traditionally regarded as ‘developed’. Growth of eCommerce is mapping expansion of the mobile network across less developed but highly populated regions in Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, Africa and South America too. As the technology and the bandwidth becomes available, so your shop window can attract buyers in potentially vast untapped markets.
As an eRetailer, what are you doing to capitalise on the mobile eCommerce experience and build your business in emerging eCommerce markets? As a supply chain logistics service provider, what added value can you offer the retailer as they push into more unfamiliar territories? At CCL, we’ve always aimed to stay ahead of the way the market is changing – let us listen and advise you.
Static billboards and television ad-breaks still have their place – but only just. Advertising and promotion is increasingly migrating online, into the social media space. Retailers can’t afford to be left behind.
When it comes to marketing, social media has carved a niche for itself by cultivating brand advocates and ambassadors amongst its community of consumers, and providing an array of opportunities for reviews, product placement and shares. Prospective buyers look online to see what others think, not only of the quality of the products they’re considering, but the service, value, delivery timescales, ease of returns efficiency and more. They’re looking not just for reviews, but for a breadth of information – tips and techniques, quick-fixes, style guides, outfits and accessorising, décor solutions and complementary products. That’s sales, cross-sales and up-sales potentially building market share and consumer loyalty.
‘Share’ buttons everywhere prompt customers to tell their friends, family and, increasingly, armies of followers. Blogs and Vlogs have sprung up on every topic, with the forward-thinking brands already actively engaging with these super-sized global social communities via their forward-thinking hosts. These ‘lifestyle bloggers’ earn from sponsored product placement to their massed followers; They are today’s new celebrities and young consumers especially, look to them for advice and validation.
To stay ahead, retailers have to ‘go social’. They must make it easy – and rewarding – for their customers to become advocates, and for social promoters to connect via social media and engage with those within their sphere of influence. And the larger that sphere of influence, the more value it has to the eRetailer.
Digital marketing is an ever-increasing area for eCommerce businesses. But the personalisation of marketing and promotional offers today goes far beyond weekly emailers and those ‘if you liked that, you’ll love this’ suggestions on websites.
Marketing via Facebook and Google Ads is now almost shockingly personalised. Who hasn’t been taken aback by the sight of an advert that, seemingly by coincidence, reflected exactly what they were messaging about only that morning? And with highly targeted adverts come highly targeted, relevant offers. Put simply, if you can identify the words or behaviours that indicate a propensity to purchase, you can send out your adverts and promotional offers to chase those specific words and behaviours.
Big Data offers a seemingly infinite range of possibilities for precision ‘micro-targetting’, giving the retailer the chance to speak directly to every individual consumer’s specific interests and preferences.
As an eCommerce retailer, if you’re not finding ways to maximise the impact of digital marketing, by targeting and personalising, you’re missing a trick.
With cart abandonment rates running at an average of nearly 70%*, the goal of every eRetailer is to convert ‘just browsing’ into buying. Thus we’re seeing more facilities tailored for busy lifestyles, such as rapid check-out, one-click ordering, easy payment processes and a breadth of payment options.
Significant for international eCommerce retailers is that 61% of shoppers abandon their cart due to extra costs such as shipping, taxes and fees being unanticipated or ‘too high’. To combat this, eRetailers need to address these additional charges up-front. Offering clear, secure and easy-to-use tax and duty payment processing options such as App-based CC Collect (see below) can help encourage customers to continue through to purchase.
If you’re an international eRetailer, particularly if you’re suffering high cart abandonment, consider simplifying your payment processing options for overseas buyers. Logistics businesses too can streamline the ‘final mile’ and help ensure more consignments are delivered successfully, by automating the tax and duty payment process. Ask CCL how CC Collect can help.
Key to growth of eCommerce is convenience. That means a wider range of delivery options, shorter delivery timescales and extra-convenient returns handling. The easier it is for customers to accept delivery at alternate addresses, use click-and-collect or pick-up points, and return what they don’t want, the more they will spend.
We’re a long way now from those ‘please allow 28 days for delivery’ cut-out forms in magazines. These days, consumers expect worst-case delivery within 3-5 working days, and many are becoming accustomed to next-day or even later-same-day services.
As an eRetailer, how are you ensuring your customers aren’t put off from shopping with you because you can’t deliver to their increasingly demanding expectations? As a logistics provider, consider what flexible and added-convenience options you can offer your eCommerce clients, to help you remain competitive in today’s faster-paced supply chain? CCL’s services can add value, particularly when it comes to volume consignment processing and returns handling – ask us how.
CCL is a market-leading gateway logistics service provider and eCommerce logistics specialist. We handle all aspects of importation and exportation, gateway customs clearance and compliance, warehousing, break bulk and onward delivery, with a specific focus and tailored services for global eCommerce retailers and delivery businesses. In CCL, eCommerce retailers and delivery providers have a one-stop-shop, giving access to an experienced and knowledgeable team, an integrated suite of services, and connections across the globe. Find out more about CCL’s services for eCommerce businesses here.
As part of its unique service portfolio for eCommerce, CCL has developed CC Collect, a market-leading App-based digital payment system for DDU. Buyers can pay taxes and duties via their mobile phones, from anywhere, helping to ensure speedy processing and delivery of their international purchases. Find out more about CC Collect here.
* Aggregated statistics from 37 different studies between 2012 and 2017 (https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate)