Ecommerce Seminar Round-up: 24 September 2015

by Jessica Ramesh

The Figaro Digital Ecommerce Seminar took place at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden on 24 September 2015. Here’s a quick round-up of insight from speakers at Liberty Marketing, CAKE, Branded3 and Red Technology

Advanced AdWords Strategies
Gareth Morgan – Managing Director, Liberty Marketing

AdWords is developing exponentially. Your ecommerce site could benefit in the search rankings from the multiple new features being offered, and Gareth Morgan at Liberty Marketing outlines some of the more prominent ones. “If you’re an ecommerce retailer and you can only do one thing, make it Google Shopping,” says Gareth. Google Shopping allows you to increase the visibility of your products before users click through to your site, maximising conversion rates. You are able to competitively benchmark your brand against others, and you can see your cost-per-click as well as your impression share. You’re also able to add promotions, but you need to make sure that these are genuine and appear on the homepage.

Traditionally, retailers had online-only and offline-only products, and it was up to the marketer where they wanted to send their customers. Local inventory ads have introduced the option of multichannel, so as long as you have Google My Business listings, users can choose whether to buy your product in-store or online. This means that advertisers can develop a strategy around where they want their customers to go, and divert budget accordingly.

Shoppable TrueView, which involves inserting products into the YouTube ad so that users can click on products in the video and be taken to the purchase page, is ideal for ecommerce marketers. With 64 per cent of consumers having referenced YouTube as the most influential channel when making a purchasing decision, it’s time to look at incorporating video into your PPC strategy. Gareth also highlighted Lightbox ads, Gmail promotions, remarketing for display, remarketing lists for search ads, ad customisers and ad extensions.

The Importance of Centralised Real-time Insights for Evaluating Customer Acquisition Costs
Ewan Darby – General Manager EMEA, CAKE

The UK is the largest digital retail market in Europe. In fact, it’s predicted that we will spend £52.25bn in 2015, and ecommerce is the driving force. Retailers are charged with growing revenue on a lower budget, so understanding shopper needs is essential if spend is to be optimised. According to the Aberdeen Group, data-driven retailers are 33 per cent more likely to tailor each interaction based on consumer needs.

We know that tailoring communications is important, or Google wouldn’t invest so much in helping marketers to do it. Ewan Darby at CAKE says the first step is unifying the tech stacks and the separate data, which can enable cross-channel measurement. A data-management platform is a good way of managing this, as you can gather data across the customer journey and put it in one place. From here you’ll get some idea of customer lifetime value or loyalty.

Being able to influence that in real-time is critical in order to optimise spend, so you need to be capturing real-time actionable insights. Analysing data will enable you to produce a cost-efficient marketing campaign that’s optimised as a whole as well as by channel.

User Experience and How to be Better than Ecommerce ‘Best Practice’
Andrew Machin – Creative Director, Branded3

The emerging ecommerce landscape dictates that marketers need to do a bit better than ‘best practice’ if they hope to differentiate themselves from competitors. Search behaviour has changed significantly over the past few years, and Amazon is now the dominant force in the search space.

Three times more people start their purchasing journey on (39 per cent) than on Google (11 per cent), and millennials have a rapidly growing affinity for the brand. This poses challenges for ecommerce websites, which need to be able to engage with consumers organically.
But, says Andrew Machin at Branded3, this new generation of consumers is most concerned with building relationships with brands, and if you’re providing an experience that is relevant and adds value, you’ll increase your chances of being seen organically. Think about user experience as part of the entire customer journey, not just at the moment of conversion. If you do that, you can add value beyond Amazon. To become relevant to Google, you need to show that you’re the best result because you’re offering a valuable experience. This is where you’re going beyond best practice. It’s about delivering a step-change in business performance, not just a small optimisation.

Demonstrating How to Use Gifting to Boost Online Sales and Average Order Value
James Candy – Business Development Director, Red Technology

There’s a lot more to gifting than wrapping and messaging. It’s about using data intelligently to understand the context of each individual gift purchase, and using that to provide an efficient, relevant and engaging experience. James Candy at Red Technology took delegates through a case study for Hotel Chocolat, who wanted to enable their customers with technology to make gifting simple and stress-free.

They introduced functionality that allows users to manage as many orders as they like from within one order. This means that customers can send multiple different gifts to multiple different people from one place. But gifting is not restricted to online, and can be used to empower your in-store transactions. Hotel Chocolat are able to promote their gift products and services online with emails and web banners, as well as offline with their catalogue. Users can also set up gift reminders so that they’ll receive a notification when an important birthday or event is coming up. To further personalise the experience, users are able to create a wishlist with the products they’re interested in—this is invaluable data that marketers can then use to offer promotions on those products.

Triggered emails for one-off timely promotions or remarketing efforts can also be sent out to get consumers excited about products. All this goes towards building a creative customer journey that will increase average order value and, with intelligent re-engagement efforts, build loyalty.

The Science of Mass Conversion
Richard Summers – CEO, CrowdCat

For Richard Summers at CrowdCat, understanding how users behave online means applying a mix of psychological insight, scientific principles and the lessons learned from big data. Underpinning his presentation was the impact of chaos theory. Chaos in this context is marked not by randomness and chance. Instead it’s a force for innovation, sensitivity, creativity and connectivity. While crowds may be appear to be subject to random forces, in fact they’re governed by clear, observable principles.

Three basic forces drive the crowd, says Richard: the drive to conform, the drive to polarise or belong, and the drive to be creative or resolve conflict. Consolidation is the process by which the crowd starts to move towards a single opinion. When a new topic breaks, everyone has an opinion. Over time those opinions were start to align. Correlation is the point at which unrelated opinions  group together. Diversity is the stage at which opinion starts to level out, and that in turn gives way to polarity: a hardening of opinion.

The lesson for marketers seeking to influence opinion is that they must target the right people at the right time. If you can influence an influencer when their opinion is at its most powerful your marketing has the potential to be significantly more effective than when blanketing an amorphous group of users.

By Estelle Hakner and Jon Fortgang