In an ever-evolving world, digital eCommerce is taking more of a centre stage. With Amazon’s growth and the explosion of online retail across the UK in these uncertain times, many brands are looking to grow their own eComm offerings but if you’re new to this type of marketing it can sometimes be hard to know where to start or how to drive growth over time.
With a second lockdown threat looming over the UK there are a number of things all brands should be considering when planning their 2020-21 strategies and beyond.
- Stock availability – do you sell through retailers and are struggling to get your product placed? Do you have enough stock on hand to be selling directly to consumers?
- Social Footprint – With consumers less likely to be interacting with your products in store, how are you speaking to your customer base and keeping them informed? Do you have an active Facebook account? Twitter? Instagram? YouTube? Are you building a social footprint where your audience spend their time?
- Shipping capabilities – do you have a delivery provider in place for direct to customer sales? Can you compete on price/ time with other stockists in this space?
- Website – Do you have one? Does it have payment capabilities in place? Is it mobile ready? Can it be adapted to sell straight to consumers?
The above is important for any brand but if you are currently selling through retailers the question you need to ask is how important are your retailer relationships? If you decide to create your own B2C website you become a competitor to your retailer partners, so you need to bear this in mind. If you decide they are too important you need to look at an eComm strategy directing consumers to retailer platforms and using on-site advertising to drive sales growth through them. If you have the capabilities to sell direct to consumers and want to move forward with a direct to consumer website there are a few things you need to consider first: –
- The cost of website build/ set up and ensuring you have all the tracking capabilities in place to report on user journeys on site and build on performance
- Make sure your SEO strategy is at the heart of your website build. E.g. if you’re a shoe company, make sure you use that term throughout your site so your relevancy score on Google is high, and organic growth is strong
- Have a stock management system in place, customers don’t want to visit a website and find everything is out of stock. You ned to make sure you have the stock to manage customer demand and you have systems in place to manage stock levels
- What is the path to conversion for your user? Each click a user takes risks them not going through and moving off the site. What you tend to see is the easier you make a purchase the higher the sales, just Like Amazons one click purchase
Once all the above is considered and you have your website ready to go you need to think about what channels are going to be best for driving sales. When it comes to an eComm strategy, and selling direct from your website, you need to take a bottom up approach to advertising. Building on conversion channels like PPC first, then moving to social and display retargeting before moving to bigger awareness channels like TV, Press and Radio. The reason for this is your consumers purchase journey (see image below). If you were to spend money on a TV ad but didn’t already have a PPC strategy in place you risk your customer going online, searching your product, being served a competitor ad and clicking through and buying from them instead of you.
When it comes to digital, there are multiple touch points for your customer before they make a purchase. They could see the TV ad, then go on Facebook be served an ad and could see another ad on Twitter. After that they could go on a news site and are served another ad. As a brand you need to ensure your ad is being served at the right time and on the right platforms to ensure they take action on your ad and not on someone else’s they may see along the way.
The best way to ensure brand sale acquisition is to build your PPC strategy first as this is when brands are most warm to your advertising. Once you have a PPC strategy in place and you want to drive further growth by moving up the funnel to social and building up that channel. All the while maximising on the extra growth seen on PPC as a result of the increased awareness driven through social. You then keep moving onto channels further up the funnel, driving growth to your bottom of the funnel channels like PPC, offsetting the higher CPA channel like TV. If you follow this strategy and build your website growth up through highly optimised channels you can build your sales while retaining and low CPA level throughout, ensuring your adverting remains as profitable possible throughout the whole journey.
Every brand journey is different but as a general rule your media plan should be to strategically layer different media tactics to build growth over time. If you are already on this journey and want to speak about the best strategy to drive further growth. please, reach out as we’d love to speak to you about creating a bespoke approach that is right for your brand.