4 Key Growth Strategies For Your E-commerce Business

As previously blogged, the UK E-commerce reached a spend of £1B per week in March 2017! With this figure rising continuously the appetite of consumers for remotely purchasing goods is increasing. eMarketer predicts that by 2020 the global e-commerce industry will achieve sales of $4 Trillion.

Technology has offered retailers the chance to get ‘closer’ to their customers.  More so than ever experienced before.  Not only can people shop from home, they can shop from work, on the train and can make a purchasing decision in the time it takes to order a sandwich.  mCommerce, take a bow.

This rapid growth is true of the wider world, Forrester predicts China will reach $1 Trillion spend first, and India’s sales will double in the next five years.  With online marketplaces now offering a new level of exposure to retailers, consumers can, and do, easily cross boarders when choosing and developing a relationship with a new brand.

As with traditional commerce, hand in hand with a maturing industry comes an ever more mature consumer.  Customers expect more from their brands and marketplaces when it comes to quality of service, delivery options, selection, not to mention price points.  E-Retailers who are not ready for this shift will see the opportunity for online footfall disappear as fast as it arrived.

The level of choice for the consumer is massive and the level of competition between retailers is intense.  Following and interviewing key retail leaders has resulted in the identification of 4 key areas requiring attention to thrive in this environment.

  1. Develop the BRAND

What is your brand offering?  What feeling does your brand intend to give its consumer?  Some companies make a brand through the diversity of a product range, others have thrived doing the complete opposite – developing a product and nailing it.  High level strategy and deliberation is needed in what must be the most important facet of your business.

Development and protection of the brand is vital.  Making that step to become a brand is one of the most challenging a retailer can face.  The product must be excellent, with laser like focus on customer service.

  1. Know where your customers are

Where do you customers shop?  How do they shop? What times of the day and why are they shopping?  Without knowing the answers to these questions, your retail business is playing pin the tail on the donkey.  In the age of big data and a depth of analysis that defies belief, there is no excuse for not getting deep into the research.

In 2016, six times more phones reached UK shores than laptops, yet a staggering amount of retailers I meet state their mobile site is inferior to that of their desktop.  In this scenario, not focusing on a mobile strategy as a key priority could be suicide for your business.

  1. How strong is your advertising?

Advertising will quickly separate the industry leaders of tomorrow from the chasing pack in the coming months and years.  With the rise of intelligent and targeted marketing campaign via Google Ads, Amazon, Facebook & Twitter, not having a strategy incorporating these avenues will leave many extinct.

Do not be fooled, these methods of online social media advertisement are as much for the SME as the blue chip industry leaders.  Facebook adverts delivers your product to an incredibly specific and targeted audience of your choosing.  This can be based on almost anything, age, gender, what type of sport equipment you liked, or the book genre you bought.  As a result you could be turning your nose up to an immediate increase in sales.

  1. FULFILLMENT FULFILLMENT FULFILLMENT

You have developed the brand, you have found the customer, through your red hot marketing campaign and the sales fly in.  Job Done?  Top retailers know better.  How do you deliver?  Can you deliver?!  Having this process locked down is the key to growth, failure results in all the good work completed to collapse.

The aforementioned ‘mature consumer’ is now lightyears beyond delivery by the end of the week.  Asos deliver the next day, Walmart believe that two-day delivery is vanilla.  This piece of the puzzle needs to be tight.  This can mean outsourcing – but with who?  If you hit the big time in sales, not being able to deliver on your promise is criminal.

These are the four areas that have been identified as paramount to online and retail success between now and 2020 – Do these issues ring true for your business?  As always, feel free to get in touch.

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