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Online Retailer Expert Tips for E-Commerce Success – Part 1
Online Retailer e-commerce experts tackle the question about the demise of Australian retail and offer strategies to drive cross-promotion between all channels.
With just under two weeks to go till the Online Retailer Conference and E-Commerce Expo and focus razor-sharp on the local retail industry, we ask some of the local and international e-commerce experts who will be speaking at the event, for some timely advice about how Australian retailers can get ahead in the online retail space.
In the first part of this three-part series, our local and international experts, tackle the question:
There has been a lot of discussion around the demise of the Australian bricks and mortar retail industry of late, what strategies can you recommend for Australian retailers to drive cross-promotion between all channels?
“We’ve had success by educating our store staff about the benefits roots.com brings to their stores. This helps us engage our staff to become advocates for the online store and allows us to more easily convert store shoppers to become online and in-store shoppers increasing our overall share of wallet. We encourage our staff to participate on our Facebook page, sign up to receive Tweets, watch our YouTube videos and rate products. All of these functions allow them to interact with both the company and our customers in a digital realm in real-time. Additionally, what motivates many consumers to shop online is either price or convenience. If you’re able to make the online experience as easy as possible in all aspects, consumers are more likely to be willing to pay a bit more for a product because of exemplary service.”
“Ensure that each communication and promotion will work well across all the channel opportunities that your business has, not just one channel. Make sure your organisational structure is not a silo structure, and instead a structure that encourages your people to think of ways where one channel can assist another channel. Use these newer and emerging channels to listen to your customers, and make it easy for your customers to communicate with you. Your customers want to provide you feedback, and you can use that valuable information to help set future promotions that are relevant to your customer’s needs.”
- Determining your customers’ communication preferences is key. There are many ways to communicate with customers. Which do they respond best to?
- Email, SMS and Social media can all help alert customers to sales and happenings but what special value will have your customer give you their information?
- Personalise the customer experience. Offer in-store pickup to customers who live close to a store and offer discounted shipping for those who do not. Tailor your messaging for each segment of customer.
“I don’t think there is a demise in the bricks and mortar industry at the moment. The current economic climate, the lack of any government stimulus and talk about carbon taxes and increases in household utilities is dampening consumer confidence as a whole. Consumers are a lot more cautious as to where their discretionary spend is going and until such time as that confidence comes back it will be tough across all retail channels. Online is becoming a critical component for all businesses and at the very least a presence is warranted. My recommendation is to ensure that your presence online is top of mind for consumers so focusing on just having a website won’t cut it. It’s about how you use the online channel to drive in-store foot traffic to generate sales. Social and mobile engagement will be paramount to any business that wants to ride out this storm. Customers will tell you what they expect. Be prepared to listen.”
Stay tuned for part two, where our resident Online Retailer experts will discuss successful strategies for providing multichannel customer experience.
Register now to hear from our above experts who will be presenting various sessions during the Online Retailer Conference & E-Commerce Expo. The full conference agenda is available at: http://www.onlineretailer.net/or/conference/main-conference.
Delegates who register for the free Online Retailer Expo Pass will be able to attend all keynote presentations*, plus additional seminars in the Ideas Theatre on both Tuesday, 27 September and Wednesday, 28 September 2011.
Name: Online Retailer Conference & E-Commerce Expo
Dates: Monday, 26 September to Thursday, 29 September, 2011
Venue: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Official website: www.onlineretailer.net
*Subject to seating availability.