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Surf Your Way To Success in E-Commerce

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According to a Google Temasek study, e-Commerce sales are slated to hit US$88 billion in the next 8 years. The entry of Amazon and Alibaba in the Southeast Asian e-marketplace is further proof of the e-Commerce potential in this region. While this provides plenty of opportunities for businesses to grow – there’s also more competition than ever. Launching a successful e-Commerce venture takes more than connecting a valuable product or service with the right audience. This white paper outlines key principles and strategies to help you ride this wave and come out on top.

Published in: Business

Surf Your Way To Success in E-Commerce

  1. 1. SURF YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS IN E-COMMERCE According to a Google Temasek study, e-Commerce sales are slated to hit US$88 billion in the next 8 years. The entry of Amazon and Alibaba in the Southeast Asian e-marketplace is further proof of the e-Commerce potential in this region. While this provides plenty of opportunities for businesses to grow – there’s also more competition than ever. Launching a successful e-Commerce venture takes more than connecting a valuable product or service with the right audience. This white paper outlines key principles and strategies to help you ride this wave and come out on top.
  2. 2. The 4 drivers of e-Commerce in Southeast Asia. 1 Proliferation of users of mobile devices – Internet and network access have expanded at an inexorable pace – currently about 53% of the region’s population or 339.2 million people have internet access. This figure is predicted to double by 2025. This tremendous growth of mobile users means the acceleration of e-Commerce sales will be exponential – and explosive. 2 Delivery infrastructure, redefined – The growth of online marketplaces has brought many opportunities to transportation and logistics companies in integrated areas of freight, customs management, warehousing, fulfilment and last mile delivery. These companies are reinventing themselves to stay relevant and competitive as the sophisticated demands of e-Commerce rapidly evolve. 3 Creation of a new digital payment ecosystem – From credit cards to e-wallets, e-cash to mobile payments, money is making the world go around in ways like never before. Through the advances of technology and enhanced web security, these new electronic payment systems have been developed to facilitate and improve e-payment transactions. 4 Huge investments by e-Commerce giants – China’s e-Commerce leader Alibaba ramped up its presence in Southeast Asia when it upped their controlling stake to 83% in Lazada for $1bn. JD.com bolstered its expansion into Southeast Asia in a $500 million JV in e-Commerce and fintech with Thailand’s top retailer, Central Group. Amazon has also thrown its hat in the ring by launching its Prime Now service in Singapore in July 2017. These are unmistakable signs of massive things to come. THE GROWTH - EXPONENTIAL. THE DRIVING FORCES - UNSTOPPABLE.
  3. 3. WHYIS E-COMMERCE IMPORTANTTO THE SURVIVAL OFYOUR BRAND In the realm of e-Commerce, will your business fit in? While it’s a fact that the current global share of e-Commerce in most FMCG categories is low, a majority of consumers today are open to shopping in a virtual market. As e-retailers improve their offerings and expand into more product categories, more brands are making their products more accessible on these platforms. This encourages more consumers to try out shopping on the internet. As e-commerce grows, brands with an established online presence will get the first mover advantage and stand to profit from a larger share of online shoppers. Brands which choose to ignore the advances of online channels ignore it at the peril of losing customers to first movers.
  4. 4. Create a new e-Commerce experience in ways 01 Assess Opportunity and Model Mix 02 Understanding your consumers in their shopping mission 03 Don’t think of e-Commerce as simply ‘The cart’ 04 Don’t let your offline distributors manage your online presence 05 Understanding consumer intent 06 Knowing what differentiates your digital shelf 07 E-commerce is not just another channel - brands need a new team structure and partners to manage it 08 The power of social media as a demand channel 09 Time to think beyond the first purchase 10 Never settle: test, learn and optimise
  5. 5. • OWNED PLATFORM Brands can launch their owned and operated e-store on their brand dot coms like Apple.com and dolce-gusto.com You control your online retail platform. The advantages are obvious: you enjoy greater visibility of your own data; Media Attribution is easier due to end-to-end ownership of the eco-system and you control your branding and product pricing. However, the disadvantages are just as apparent: there are high setup costs coupled with high media costs needed to create awareness and to drive traffic to the store; costly resources are needed to develop skills for end-to-end management and there are additional processes for first time shoppers and more often than not, these extra steps trip up consumers leading to high drop-off rates. Finally, owners need to invest heavily in establishing credibility as an e-Commerce site. • PRESENCE ON E-RETAILERS Brands can list themselves on e-retailers like Amazon One advantage with this model is that e-retailers like Amazon get a large quantity of organic traffic. They also invest extensively on performance media to create awareness and to drive traffic to their e-stores. The setup cost for brands on e-retailers is low, since the e-retailer has an established presence, fine-tuned and user-friendly processes. Since the e-retailer takes care of the fulfilment, the brand doesn’t need to learn new skills in this area. However, brands do face the disadvantages of having little control over the look, feel and pricing on e-retailers, while being charged high commissions for the service. • PRESENCE ON MARKETPLACE PLATFORMS Brands can set up their shops on marketplace platforms like Lazada and T-mall The advantages here are similar to those for e-retailers. Platforms like Lazada and T-mall enjoy a large share of organic traffic, an optimised and user-friendly checkout process for shoppers. Additionally, since brands set up their own stores, they have control over the look and feel and also the pricing on the brand page. Adisadvantagehereistheneedtodevelopskillsforend-to-endmanagement. Also, as some websites wish to minimise tracking pixels for fear of affecting the user experience on their site, media attribution can be problematic. ASSESS OPPORTUNITY AND MODEL MIX 1.
  6. 6. The same consumer on different shopping missions might take different routes to arrive at the point of purchase. Depending on the product category, the occasion, mindset or need, the consumer journey could involve webrooming, showrooming or a complex cross channel OtoOtoO process. UNDERSTANDING YOUR CONSUMERS IN THEIR SHOPPING MISSION 2. Showrooming Webrooming Browse In-store Browse Online Buy Online Buy In-store VS
  7. 7. SHOWROOMING – see it, touch it in-store, buy it online Essentially, in Showrooming, local stores become showrooms for online shoppers. Here, a shopper walks into a store and checks out a product. They hold it, feel it, try it. Then they walk out, go home and promptly purchase the product online. This occurs because of the simple need to see and touch the merchandise. Significantly, many of these products are available at lower prices through online vendors. According to Google Consumer Barometer survey, home furnishings is a category where 20% of Singaporeans use showrooming. WEBROOMING – see it, know it online, buy it in-store Webrooming is a reverse behaviour to showrooming. Here, consumers trawl online for product information and price comparisons. Then they walk into the store for a final evaluation and make the purchase. A perfect case in point is the mobile phones market. In 2015, 54% of buyers in Singapore completed their phone purchase offline after researching, exploring and making their choices online. MOBILE ENABLED CROSS- CHANNEL JOURNEYS – seamless OtoOtoO Mobile devices have enabled shoppers to embark on complex yet integrated OtoOtoO journeys to fulfil their shopping missions. They might be checking prices of products or even making the purchase online on their mobiles whilst being present in a brick-and-mortar store. In such a scenario, it is extremely important for brands to take an omni-channel approach to retail. RESEARCH AND PURCHASE BEHAVIOUR BY CATEGORY
  8. 8. REPEAT • Reviews and Loyalty Management SHOP FULFILL • Value proposition • Product Mix • Content • Supply chain Process • Ratings FIND • On and off platform search management • Promotions For a purchase to be holistically successful and to fully meet a customer’s expectations, multiple activities need to happen before and after the purchase. And they happen like a chain reaction: DON’T THINK OF E-COMMERCE AS SIMPLY ‘THE CART’ 3. For the consumer to want to put the product in the cart, they first need to know that your brand is available online. You will need to employ the vastness of the digital marketing ecosystem to lead them to your e-Commerce store. Micro-targeting on search, social and display is one cost-effective way to achieve this. Once the shoppers are in the e-store, they need to be able to find your products quickly and easily. Appropriate search engine marketing on-and-off the platform can be utilised to guide the consumers to the product. Competent search engine optimisation will ensure that the product listing stays on top in the search engine and on platform product search results page organically. Now that they are on the brand page, it’s essential to ensure that the product mix meets the customer’s expectations with an attractive value proposition. The content on the page needs to engage and enrich the shopper with value-added shopping experiences. The content must appear credible in every way so that consumers are assured they are buying a quality product as advertised. Once the consumer has added the product to the cart, the brand needs to ensure that it is delivered to the consumer in pristine condition and in timely fashion. Online feedback is an increasingly important way to add credibility to any e-Commerce business. As such, the brand not only needs to ensure that shoppers have a good experience the first time and thus will return,but also that they leave favourable reviews and ratings for other consumers to view and consider. An excellent CRM program has been proven to help the brand maintain a good relationship with the customer and increase their lifetime value. KNOWA FINDB SHOPC FULFILLD REPEATE E-COMMERCE FUNNEL KNOW • Digital marketing ecosystem • Micro-targeting • Social Commerce
  9. 9. In the offline supply chain, distributors have the logistic and transportation expertise in managing physical distribution as well as driving sales through offline sales channels. The conventional offline model for distribution has been perfected over decades. There is little need or cause for innovation for distributors and so they focus on the repeated executions of a set of Standard Operating Procedures. However, e-Commerce has a constant need to transform and test different models. Logistics and transportation providers, therefore, should innovate in tandem with the expansion of e-Commerce with an ever-shifting curve of testing and learning. In essence, there needs to be a paradigm shift in mindset. For distributors that manage both online and offline presence for brands, their main priority is current B2B customers like FairPrice and Cold Storage. This is due to the high order value as compared to online consumers who purchase in smaller quantities. Assigning lower priority to e-Commerce could prove fatal to these brands as shoppers will experience poor service which in turn will result in instant and highly visible negative public feedback on social media. Hence, the brand needs a service partner whose utmost priority and passion is in e-Commerce. The rise of e-Commerce has led to the emergence of a new role in brand teams – that of the online store manager.While the distributors’ main role in the offline value chain is to ensure stock availability and shelf visibility, managers of online stores need to go beyond into content marketing, performance media, customer experience and marketing analytics. We strongly recommend that brands engage with a partner who has the new skills required and also the mindset to innovate in the constantly evolving ecosystem. DON’T LET YOUR OFFLINE DISTRIBUTORS MANAGE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE 4.
  10. 10. Since the consumer now starts their product search by using product pages and reviews to compare products, the product page has become an important tool for brands to initiate the shopping experience and, hence, a relationship. Here, the brand can declare its product differentiation, stamp its credibility and address any queries from consumers. In short, product page content is now king. A RECENT STUDYBYE-COMMERCE CONSULTANCY BLOOMREACH REVEALED THAT IN THE US, ONLY 28% OF CONSUMERS BEGIN THEIR PRODUCT SEARCH ON SEARCH ENGINES. WHEREAS 55% BEGIN THEIR SEARCH ON AMAZON AND THE REST ON OTHER E-COMMERCE WEBSITES. ‘‘ ‘‘ UNDERSTANDING CONSUMER INTENT5. When brands understand the intent behind a customer’s search in Google or an e-Commerce platform’s search engine, they can then develop appropriate content that will direct customers to their pages. This is why Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation are two of the most important tools in any brand’s quest to make itself highly visible and easy to locate.
  11. 11. 3Cs When brands are clear about their e-store’s value proposition, they tend to be more successful on e-Commerce. It makes it easier for the consumer to buy your brand from your store over another brand or your own product from your offline presence. Online stores not only have to compete with other brands but also their online and offline presence through product and experience differentiation. Product differentiation can take the form of selection and price – The brand can offer a wider selection online and this can be a differentiator. Since e-Commerce can have a lower cost structure than offline, the brands can also offer lower prices. In addition, it can stand apart from others by holding exclusive promotions, value-added offers and special deals. KNOWING WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOUR DIGITAL SHELF 6. CONTENT CREDIBILTY CONVENIENCE Content that adds value to the consumer journey’s in the brand e-store can enrich the experience. Credibility is crucial for an official store when its categories face the onslaught of counterfeits. Convenience at any level is key to many consumers of e-Commerce. For example, a store can differentiate itself by being the only one to offer COD with same day or next day delivery. EXPERIENCE DIFFERENTIATION CAN HAPPEN IN THE 3CS – CONTENT, CREDIBILITY AND CONVENIENCE.
  12. 12. Brands need to relook its relationship with its customers – In many ways, Marketplaces like Lazada and T-Mall, can be seen as similar to a mall with the company’s presence functioning as a storefront. Given this scenario, the brand now has an obligation to start behaving like a retailer and build a direct relationship with the consumer. Along with sales channel management skills, the e-Commerce team also needs knowledge and management of performance marketing, customer experience, marketing analytics, fulfilment, driving repeat purchases, warehousing and final mile delivery. It is now crucial for the teams at the Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain to step out of their silos and work as one holistic whole. These 3 traditionally separate functions are now interconnected for e-Commerce. With granular data being generated, it is clear to see how actions in media directly affect sales, or how delivery glitches can tarnish store and product ratings and sully shoppers’ experience. E-Commerce requires deep and smooth collaboration between sales, marketing and supply chain. E-COMMERCEISNOTJUSTANOTHER CHANNEL-BRANDSNEEDANEW TEAMSTRUCTUREANDPARTNERS TOMANAGEIT 7. Products and service ratings and reviews which are crucial to the store’s credibility and reputation are directly affected by delivery flaws. It is highly important that shoppers have a delightful experience through the fulfilment process to ensure favourable ratings. Of course, it is important to point out that legacy supply chain systems at FMCG companies are geared to servicing larger businesses like grocery chains and pharmacies. They are not designed to servicing consumers directly, which involves smaller quantities in much greater transaction volume. Obviously legacy systems will face complications in dealing with the volume of transactions and brands need to be prepared to manage this change. Getting free delivery is one of the most considered factors affecting online purchasing decisions. Invariably in each of the market inThailand,Malaysia,Philippines,Vietnam,Indonesia and Singapore,more than half of the audience stated that free delivery service is the one factor to clinch their purchasing decision.So,while it makes business sense for brands to minimise delivery costs, it is paramount that they are uncompromising when it comes to service quality. And that should include free delivery. WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE, WHICH OF THESE FEATURES WOULD MOST INCREASE YOUR LIKELIHOOD OF BUYING A PRODUCT?
  13. 13. A. HYPERTARGETING AND ITS VALUE TO BRANDS Hypertargeting lets you drill down much further in hitting the mother lode of your target audience. With hypertargeting, customised messages get delivered to a very defined and niche audience across various advertising mediums. Brands can reach their targeted customers by leveraging on audience segment data and advanced technologies. It all begins with defining and fully understanding exactly who your target audience is. This includes tangible attributes of your audience, such as age, gender and location; and intangible attributes that may include hobbies, interests, beliefs and sentiments. Consider this: Facebook has 35 main targeting criteria, with thousands of categories and subcategories. Twitter has 30 categories, LinkedIn 16 and Snapchat 5; all of them with plenty subcategories and proprietary options. Whatever target you’re after, in most cases it’s easier to find them on Facebook than on even the most sophisticated internal databases that companies have built over the years. B. SCALE Social platforms let you have the twin advantage of precision and scale. So even if you have very narrow targets, chances are you will still end up with a significant audience. By matching owned database of customers’ email addresses or phone numbers to the network’s audience, brands can deliver posts only to the people in their database. Called ‘custom audiences’, this gives brands the ability to send different messages to customers and prospects. Because of the ‘lookalike technology’ available on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest, you can identify your core audience and then expand it to other similar people. Finding your customer’s ‘twin’ has always been the key to marketing nirvana. Now, thanks to the unparalleled richness of social databases, brands can do exactly that. This allows brands to scale up very quickly while maintaining their core audience. THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS A DEMAND CHANNEL THESE DAYS, BRANDS HAVE MANY POWERFUL REASONS TO BECOME EXCITED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL SOCIAL PLATFORMS BRING TO E-COMMERCE – HERE ARE FOUR OF THEM. 8.
  14. 14. C. REAL-TIME FEEDBACK Good communication has always been about the testing of new ideas, new formats, new audiences. On Facebook, you can set up test cells and get real-time results on the performance of each cell. This allows us to optimise brands’ audiences, formats, offers and creative executions instantly. Which is why when we execute CRM campaigns on Facebook or Instagram, the real work starts right after the launch. D. OMNI-CHANNEL – TRUE MEDIA INTEGRATION Studies have shown that people spend an average of 3 hours per day on mobile and that 62% of mobile users check their phone 30 times a day. This means that shoppers in their consumer journey now experience more touch points than ever before. It is inevitable that social platforms will continue to 
innovate, not just with revolutionary targeting techniques
 but also with fresh formats. This will unleash the creative powers of CRM, social and media specialists.
 We are able to target individuals and offer up highly personalized digital experiences like 360° videos, video carousel, or richer formats like Canvas. Consider the possibilities created by the leading players of social media coming together to enrich our e-Commerce experiences – Instagram and WhatsApp are integrating with Facebook to provide a constant flow of additional data points and multiplying the targeting options available. And already a reality is the Addressable TV, a marketer’s dream tool. Imagine using Facebook’s current targeting criteria for TV. Yes, it will be laser sharp targeting based on the TV viewers’ demographics, location, age and ethnicity. More importantly, e-Commerce marketers will now create messages that will resonate with consumers, rather than irritate.
  15. 15. Brands should cherish and treasure loyal customers. Admittedly, brands spend a lot of money in the ‘know’ and ‘find’ stages to acquire new customers. But a loyal consumer who has fulfilling experiences doesn’t need much persuasion to ‘repeat’ purchases.This amounts to significant savings on acquisition costs. So, loyal consumers are much more profitable for the brand than acquiring new consumers. CRM programs benefit brands with retention. An excellent CRM program is one which periodically reminds consumers about the brand and its constantly improving offers. And it will increase considerably the lifetime customer value of a shopper. Use of social media for CRM outreach. A collaborative approach that focuses on retaining customers, growing their value and increasing their advocacy. It is a customer-centric approach that leverages on the full capabilities of today’s social media platforms. It all starts with an insightful understanding of the customers’ needs and uses meaningful content and highly targeted amplification to engage not only in conversations, but also to increase conversions and customer value. TIME TO THINK BEYOND THE FIRST PURCHASE 9.
  16. 16. A big aspect of running a successful e-Commerce operation is testing, learning and optimise. Any marketer who is serious and passionate about her business should be in a constant state of learning. Even if a channel is performing up to expectations, there should still be investments to always optimise. Real-time data provides us the ability to test. In the offline world, optimisation is a waiting game. Brands received behavioural data after a long-time lag which could range from weeks to months. In the online world, data is available real-time. Hence, optimisation can also be done real time. If your agency partner is unable to lead you on this, your business will face many drawbacks in e-Commerce. Cheaper to test now. Traditionally, FMCG companies followed the FTR (First Time Right) principle for launches because in the offline world, a mistake is one mistake too many and can be costly. Companies planned extensively for months before releasing a product into the market. However, in the online world, speed is vital. Here, companies limit the cost of a potential mistake by testing a new concept to a small, selective audience. Hence, brands should ensure their presence online and test at the earliest possible. At same time, they can regularly implement optimisation. In this way, they can correct all the kinks in the system as they continue their operations. High number of unknown variables in e-Commerce. E-Commerce thrives on change and this is what makes its future so immensely exciting. And whilst the offline model has been perfected through decades of learning, the online model is nascent with a wide range of variables and will need constant innovation over a prolonged period to even come close to a perfect model. What might have worked in a certain market for a certain category at a certain earlier time may or may not work for your brand today. In such a case, it is imperative that the brand be nimble and test as many variables as possible. Such AB testing should be carried out regularly. After all, every test is one step closer to achieving the perfect model for your brand and helping your business surf the e-Commerce wave. NEVER SETTLE: TEST, LEARN AND OPTIMISE 10. TEST LEARN HYPOTHESIZE ANALYZE OPTIMISE ROLL OUT AUTHORS Lucy McCabe, President, OgilvyRED Asia Pacific Hemanth Magal, Vice President, E-Commerce, OgilvyRED Asia Pacific
  17. 17. OGILVY E-PARTNER SERVICES Our E-Partner Services offers end-to-end management of marketplaces on key e-Commerce platforms. We work with brands on their high-level strategy to develop an effective e-Commerce ecosystem, concrete value proposition and tactical pricing and promotion strategies. Moreover, our services also encompass designing stores, creating engaging content, and the day-to-day running of store operations that includes media planning and buying, analytics, and optimisation. SOURCES: 1. Google Temasek Study, 2016 2. Nielsen Future of Grocery Report, 2015 3. Shopify, 2016 4. Global Web Index, 2017 5. Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/2015 6. Reuters.com - Business News, 28 June 2017 7. Reuters.com - #Technology News, 15 September 2017 OGILVY E-PARTNER SERVICES STRATEGY DEMAND PROMOTIONS CONTENT IMPLEMENT OPTIMISE ANALYTICS Forecasting JBP’s E-commerce Proposition E-commerce Ecosystem SKU Mix Pricing Owned Media Paid Media Social Commerce Search Direct Promotional Calendar Promotion Design Promotional Partnerships Store Design Brand And Product Content Store Set Up Promotions Set Up Media Buying Search Implementation Test And Learn Weekly And Monthly Optimization Demand Forecasting Sales Analysis Optimization Analysis

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