How to capture online buyers
Retailers survival guide.
In the race to capture online consumers, retailers and manufacturers are redefining the shopping experience. The spotlight is on connected commerce, offering an anywhere, anytime shopping experience.
But to succeed in this space, you need to look past a “one-size fits” all commercial strategy. As a retailer or manufacturer, you can take the cue from a global report by The Neilsen Company.
This new report offers fresh insights into what people watch, listen and buy worldwide. A poll of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, including Asia-Pacific shows that digital is as pervasive as the milkman delivering your daily ration to the front-door. However, there’s more to online shopping than meets the eye.
Consumers prefer an omni-channel experience that integrates online with bricks and mortar. Among the trends, Asia-Pacific exceeds the global average for adoption of all online retailing options.
Growth in mobile adoption and broadband penetration, especially across developing regions, is boosting online grocery sales.
Ordering online for home delivery is the preferred choice, and this is especially high in China. Demand for fast-moving consumer goods is higher in Asia-Pacific compared with the rest of the world.
Rapid urbanisation and high-population density make home delivery economically viable. This combines with low labour costs, as in China.
Booming smartphone ownership creates massive commerce opportunities. Ordering online for home delivery is the preferred choice, and this is especially high in China.
Practical guide for retailers and manufacturers to succeed in this space:
1. Make every interaction count
Consumers are often hesitant to try online shopping. It’s critical you exceed their expectations during every interaction, especially the first. Be mindful of concerns around product quality.
For example, consider quality assurance for items that may be damaged in transit or do not meet expectations.
Orders must be delivered or ready for pick-up within specified times. Alert consumers immediately if their order cannot be fulfilled as expected, to avoid disappointment or lose repeat business.
2. Offer interactive and easy-to-access
Functionality and ease of use drives the online experience. This is critical for intuitive website or app design. Make online help readily available. Ensure the checkout process is simple and secure. If shoppers run into slow load times or confusing and difficult-to-use pages, they may abandon their digital shopping carts before buying.
3. Know your market
The global market varies around demographics, operating costs, competition or consumer preferences. There’s no one-size fits all strategy. Map the operating environment and tailor products to suit local markets.
4. Leverage specialised services
Modern retail models often take a “full-service” approach. These serve all trip types and categories. But some categories or shopping occasions are more suited to e-commerce than others.
You benefit from settling for a smaller piece of the pie. As a guide, consider a limited offering model, or focus on stock-up trips within a specific shopping segment. This may include baby goods, dry goods or personal care items.
Where you need to expand your product selection, consider partnering with other sites.
5. Boost your basket size
Experiment with formats and features that the boost basket size and add value for customers. The costs and logistics of home delivery and click and collect models can be extremely daunting.
Try alternative approaches to distribution, including teaming with third-party specialists. Manufacturers may experiment with order placement services, and carefully weigh their distribution options.
It helps to establish if you should own the fulfilment channel, or leave this to other distribution experts.
6. Offer an omni-channel experience
Among the trends, the omni-channel shopping experience is under the spotlight. Consumers are not shopping entirely online or offline. Rather they’re taking a blended approach and using a channel that best suits their needs, at any given time.
More successful retailers and manufacturers intersect between the physical and virtual worlds. They satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop.
To succeed in this dynamic space, be flexible about improving the shopping experience. Your goal is to drive increased visits and sales across multiple channels.
7. Opt for home delivery
The home-delivery model is taking centre-stage – but with a twist. Consumers aren’t just picking up the phone to order. Increasingly, they’re pulling up the retailer’s webpage or using mobile apps.
One-quarter of global respondents order grocery products online for home delivery. More than half or 55 percent will use this channel in future. The milkman is back. But this time he’s “gone digital.”
8. Track click and collect choices
A smaller number of consumers use “click and collect” services. Here, they order groceries online for pickup at a store or other locations. Just over one-in-10 global respondents say they order groceries online and pick them up in-store or using a drive-thru.
Slightly fewer order online for curb-side pick-up. More than half of the respondents will use these online options in the future (57 per cent for in-store, 55 percent for drive-thru and 52 percent for curb-side pickup).
9. Follow the Millennials
Digital natives or millennials are driving demand for online consumer packaged goods. They grew up with digital technology (the millennials and now generation Z). Online shopping is a deeply ingrained behaviour.
10. Will clicks replace bricks?
This is not happening anytime soon. Online shopping offers benefits. But physical stores have stronger advantages over e-commerce. This is especially for fast-moving consumer goods.
The shopping experience draws on powerful sensory experiences. These include smelling freshly-baked bread or seeing and feeling the vibrant colour and texture of perfectly ripe strawberries. This experience is impossible to replicate online, at least for now.
The Neilsen’s Company’s report “Digital is Redefining the Grocery Experience (March 2015) was published in March 2015.
This post first appeared at http://akolade-blog.blogspot.in/2015/05/how-to-capture-online-buyers-retailers.htm