29 April 2020
By Drew Smith
Drew is the Director of Product Strategy at Upp and focuses on how technology can help brands and retailers deliver what their customers want.
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We live in a retail world where customers are purchasing on a number of channels beyond just brick and mortar. Because the climate has changed, this has meant it’s more important than ever for retailers to ensure they have a solid online presence. It’s never been more vital that all types of retailers are successfully advertising across all the online marketing channels they can.
Companies that take an omnichannel approach achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates, which makes it a no-brainer. But it comes with its challenges. Here are some tips on how to solve the problems caused by omnichannel retail marketing strategies and how to increase the benefits.
Having reviews on your online shop promotes customer trust in your brand and your products. 42% of online shoppers want more testimonials from online retail platforms and a majority see them as essential to making a purchase.
Reviews reassure customers that your products are real, that they are worth the product’s price and that people have bought from your online retail store. This is especially true right now where people currently don’t have the option to check prices online and see what a product is like in-store. They will rely on reviews to feel reassured they’re making the right purchase. You can also avoid cart abandonment by displaying reviews at the checkout — as long as they’re positive!
Product data is the lifeblood of retail, especially online. But getting it right even on one channel can be a huge challenge for companies with thousands of products, let alone on multiple platforms. When businesses do this manually it leads to many continuity errors and there are three main reasons for this: invalid attributes, mislabelled data or missing data.
On top of this, new trends emerge constantly and if brands aren’t using updated and fast-moving terminology in their product copy, they fail to remain relevant and grab attention. Achieving accurate and inspiring product data without technology is almost impossible. So, it’s a great thing that AI software exists to solve the problem! Getting the right AI-driven software will not only allow you to enhance your product listings, but it will also give you a better overview of your product margins at SKU level, which can give you insight into how to better sell certain products.
Making sure that your online retail platform is operating well is another way to ensure consumer confidence that empowers and protects your brand. As well as using detailed product copy, check that your images are high quality and improve your website load times. These may seem like small things but 87% of customers think that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless online experience. So, ensuring that your online platform is performing correctly will help win you an improved customer experience and more sales in return.
Paying for advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube is worth it. The 72% of B2B marketers that used paid social advertising in 2019 agree. A staggering 52% of online brand discoveries also happen on social feeds, making it almost crazy not to get involved.
Adverts on Instagram alone reach 928.5 million viewers. A huge 92% of all Instagram users have followed a brand, accessed their website or made a purchase after seeing a product on the site. It’s especially smart for content marketers to use videos to advertise their brand and products because the average engagement rate on videos is higher than photos.
Remarketing with cookies is another top tip for targeting customers and increasing your returning customer rate. In fact, 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from an online retailer that recommends options based on past purchases or recognises them by name.
Reducing the time of getting products and styles listed online is a key objective for online retailers and marketers. It’s especially important in at a time when demand is so high and customers are expecting instancy. If you can’t keep up with your customers, you’ll fall behind and lose sales. The best way to avoid this is to create a streamlined and technology-enabled process to optimise your online platform product listings.
Not only will these technological tools help you put up your listings, but the right solution can point out missing information and stop the product from being listed and advertised incorrectly. This prevents compromised customer experience, brand image and missed sales opportunities.
With 43% of internet users researching products on social media and 52% of online brand discovery happening on social feeds, it’s obvious that the place to be producing relatable marketing content is on social sites. The best way to do that is to increase your influencer marketing budget over the next year, like 63% of other marketers who intend to do the same. There’s no better time to target the many customers who are stuck at home scrolling through social media. And Instagram, the most important channel for influencer marketing, is the place to start!
It’s important to bear in mind what Priyanka Dayal, content marketing manager, has to say about influencer marketing: ‘for influencer marketing to sustain, authenticity and credibility is key’. The best influencer marketing campaigns are the ones that don’t look like advertising. Social media users want to feel like they’re being recommended a product by a friend rather than a company, and they can smell a sales pitch from a mile off. So make sure that you’re choosing the right influencer that can genuinely promote your product.
Having online capabilities to sell to customers is critical — and to better achieve this, retailers need to have better visibility and control over their listings. You need to have full visibility over your products and how they’re displayed and selling on each platform — and that means understanding your customers too. But in order to succeed online, you need to ensure you’re taking an omnichannel approach. The downside of omnichannel, however, is that you don’t have that full visibility over all of your product listings.
AI technology software can help you achieve this even across omnichannel marketplaces. Not only can it ensure your product listings are correct and uniform across all channels, but they supplement data loss imposed by the online marketplaces with an even greater wealth of information. This ensures that no matter where you’re selling, you’re not missing out on important data. This kind of software can also help retailers to get a more comprehensive end-to-end view across the whole product lifecycle, meaning you can get the product data you need to glean actionable insights and improve your operations — which we’ll get to in more detail in the next tip.
Software targeting and access to wider online analytics engines provide customer data and estimates of potential reach and audience. They offer visibility across all online platforms and actionable insights — making sure you’re doing everything you can to reach as many customers as possible.
Understanding your company’s margin performance at SKU level is the best way to bring all of your departments together to work towards one goal: profitability. While it’s important to focus on revenue to ride out the current climate, getting an overview of margin performance at SKU level can help you gain a better understanding of your customers and increase sales.
Sometimes, different departments focus on different things, for example, the marketing team will look at ROAS (return on advertising spending), whereas the eCommerce team will look at conversion rates. If the whole company isn't aligned around the right metrics for success, this has the potential to divide teams and create silos, which doesn’t benefit anyone. Communication and aligning goals have never been more important across a business.
The right AI-driven platform allows companies to look at the specifics of ROAS and revenue. But without technology that can show retailers how their whole business is performing, they miss the mark. Technologies shouldn’t just be used for product data enhancement for retail marketing strategies, but also for overall business performance. This is because even though your revenue or ROAS may be successful, your overall business may not be. Inspecting your margins and profitability will unite your departments and boost your marketing team as a result.
This tech will help you see where you could be minimising costs and improving your bottom line while gaining revenue, allowing you to lay the foundations for the coming months so you can beat your competitors in the coming years.
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