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How does a truly integrated digital agency evolve the ecommerce journey?

10 min read by Jordan 23 Sep 2022

The countdown is on to eCommerce Expo 2022! Taking place at ExCel over 28-29 September, it’s going to be buzzing and we can’t wait to meet and share ideas with our ecommerce community.

While the Expo promises to be a brilliant showcase, there’s a real possibility for overload. Successful ecommerce starts, as ever, with a strategy.

That’s where an integrated digital agency can help.

Here, our specialists cover how harnessing expertise around data, content, CX and personalisation can help you harness the power of ecommerce to build a sustainable and cost-effective strategy for your business growth.

ecomm and reporting – assessing your data stack in a sunsetting landscape

Josh Crawford, Head of Performance

We all know that a strong data stack underpins decisions about which areas of your ecomm strategy are generating the most revenue, and which need to be improved. And yet ecommerce performance reporting is about to see the most significant shift in technology since the introduction of web analytics – sunsetting of Universal Analytics.

GA4 is replacing Universal Analytics – a change that has seen a variety of reactions. From outright denial through to the optimists who are excited to learn and harness new technologies. Regardless of your views of GA4, now is the time to review and refine your performance reporting stack.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my current stack provide me with all the data points to make effective decisions?
  • Is my data easy to access and visualise?
  • Am I utilising technology effectively across quantitative and qualitative data points?
  • Is data being collected effectively and with appropriate consent?

If you’re unsure of the answers – spend the time now to set your ecommerce store up for success with performance data at the core. Without performance data – you will be unable to make effective, informed decisions.

ecomm and CX – it’s time to join the dots

Lauren Oliver, Head of Customer Experience

To win at ecomm, you’ve got to create that connected journey – from the first moment of awareness to purchasing and return. Since 2020, more customers than ever have entered the space – creating an insanely competitive environment where businesses that master CX can gain an edge. Ultimately it’s all got to be slick, personalised and easy.

Ecommerce businesses should ask themselves:

  • Do the different elements of my tech stack talk to each other?
  • Am I delivering an omnichannel experience across platforms?
  • Do I know the best ways to touch different customers? E.g. SMS, email, Retargeting/Remarketing, direct mail?
  • Do I have the metrics to back it up?
  • Have I delivered a personalised experience? For example, do you know someone is female when they land on your website?
  • If so, are you able to offer them suitable products, not only online but in emails and on social?
  • Have I taken into consideration user behaviour when delivering personalised communications?
  • Do I have web tracking enabled? Am I using AI product recommendations in your emails?
  • Have I pushed personalised cross-sell recommendations on our website?
  • As a customer, can I easily move through the checkout, using elements like Apple Pay?
  • Can a customer easily contact customer support? Do I deliver communications throughout the customer journey – including after post purchase?

Here’s Lauren’s four steps to creating a personalised customer experience:

1. Keep it simple

Many businesses start their personalisation journey with the best intentions, sending automated communications when people sign up to a newsletter, make a purchase, or follow them on social. The problem comes about when you use multiple platforms to do the same thing.

This can result in customers being either bombarded with repeat messages, or conversely, not receiving anything at all. When a user makes a purchase, they only need one confirmation email from you, before you then take them into a post purchase journey.

2. Make profiling a priority

Conversely, there’s so many exciting things happening in the technology world that you can do to personalise your comms – and it doesn’t have to be difficult. The right platforms and partnership can empower you to collect data from multiple sources to build up a deep picture of customer activity.

The data you collect from profiling – for example – customer activities, purchase history and web insight behaviour – can help you create a really great customer experience. Whether that’s personalised product recommendations in emails, loyalty points or personalised blog articles.

3. Extend it across all platforms

It’s a cliche, but in the ecomm space, your website really is your window on the world – so don’t just stop using profiles in emails – extend it to your website too.

There are ways to personalise your website experience around customer interest and behaviour. For example – someone that’s only ever purchased vegan products won’t be shown the same advert as a meat eater when they land.

4. Use location data

Personalisation can also be very powerful when used in location-based marketing. For example, visitors looking for a solicitor might be shown practices within a radius of 50 miles.

An online clothing retailer could show raincoats and umbrellas in line with the weather forecast. The technology is now so advanced that people can be shown content that matches their stage of the buyer journey, for example, a prospect could be shown products that they’ve read about in a blog, while a returning customer could see suitable upsell items.

In summary…

Ultimately, many brands are doing great things, they are mastering great email or great online experiences – but they aren’t connecting all the dots. If you can connect the dots, you will truly see your customer experience, retention and advocacy elevate. It’s time to connect the dots, and a truly integrated digital marketing agency is the key. Our video explains more:

 

Content and ecomm – why a killer narrative is critical

Emma Burley, Head of Content and PR

How much do you know about who you’re writing for? What information do they need and how can you take them on a journey of persuasion and conversion while staying true to your brand’s personality and values? Killer copy on the ecommerce journey is simple, persuasive, compelling and absolutely on brand. It tells a story, from opening line through to end of transaction that connects with your market and creates an experience that builds digital relationships.

You’ve got approximately 8.25 seconds, which is the estimated average attention span of your reader, to grab their attention and open the next chapter. Which means your headlines have got to be absolutely bang on. Specific, engaging and creating a sense of urgency. Even better if you can stir up a bit of FOMO.

Brand storytelling is pivotal in product descriptions and at all stages of the ecommerce journey as it creates a vision of how the potential buyer’s life will change, improve or evolve if they take the desired action. Underpinning that brand story with other areas of the site will solidify trust in your brand when the moment comes to take action.

Less is absolutely more, and don’t be a passenger on your own journey. Get active, use verbs, ditch the waffle and get to the point. This is copy styled to sell, to drive action – and on that note, make sure your calls to action are really, really clear. Never underestimate the power of subtle changes in tapping into buyer behaviour, it could be the margin you need to smash your ecommerce sales stretch targets.

What are businesses looking for from an ecomm agency?

Jordan Bambridge, Business Growth Manager

A truly integrated digital agency can offer you access to technologies, partnerships and expertise that simply aren’t cost-effective when working within the traditional in-house setup. A large integrated agency recruits specialists into roles around every aspect of the ecomm stack, going beyond simply branding and website development through to customer journey mapping, big data and personalisation.

Networks: an agency can reach out to networks and communities of literally thousands of people in the know. That includes global clients with proven ROI and deliverables.

Tech: The result is that they’re able to truly understand your brand and how to market you – not just on a surface level, but around business metrics. They’re the first to hear about trends and new technologies, meaning businesses can focus on what’s important to them rather than having to keep up with what Google Did Next.

Partners: Moreover, it’s a long term partnership based on principles of sustained ecommerce growth – the best integrated digital agency won’t focus on the tactical elements of an audit to blast the problem, but get under the hood to work on real, sustainable growth.

Talent: When you partner with a truly integrated digital agency, you don’t have the revenue-sapping task of keeping bums in seats to fill vital roles. You don’t have to train your social media specialists, your content team, or developers, in ecommerce best practices. The agency bears the load, investing in training, testing, saving you time and money to focus on driving your business.

Looking for a partner to deliver your business ecomm strategy?

Just drop us a message via our Contact Form – we’re here to help. Interested in how we do it? Discover how we helped Dorchester Collection achieve double-digit revenue growth with a new Magento ecommerce website for the hotel group’s exclusive gifts & experiences.

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