Continued UK e-Commerce growth hides inevitable flaws in ‘one size fits all’ digital retail strategies
Leading DX specialist suggests that traditional transactional e-Commerce has taken online retailers as far as they can go
Retailers interested in finding out more about CoreMedia’s 2016 Personality Test for Shoppers, can download a copy of the guide here.
“With the proportion of e-Commerce as a share of overall UK retail sales set to grow strongly from 15% this year to almost 20% by 2019, there’s clearly still strong enthusiasm for e-Commerce among UK shoppers – indeed the UK accounts for a third of all online sales across Europe,” commented Doug Heise, CoreMedia’s Global Product Marketing Director. “However that doesn’t mean that everything’s perfect for UK retailers. Relentless pressure from online-only discounters, as well as increased e-Commerce competition suggests that it’s getting harder to stand out in today’s increasingly crowded online ecosystem. Our new field guide to the key shopping personalities suggests that it’s time for the leading brands to move away from traditional ‘one size fits all’ digital retail strategies.”
According to Heise: “rather than appeal to the broadest range of shoppers, most online stores remain committed to targeting impatient and price-conscious customers who know exactly what they want and are constantly in search of bargains. That’s fine, but it effectively rules out the large proportion of indecisive, reluctant or emotional shoppers – to name just three categories – who are looking for a much more engaging experience. To help retailers avoid this trap, our 2016 Personality Test for Shoppers not only sets out specific engagement criteria for each of the eight different e-Commerce shopping types, but also identifies the most common mistakes that retailers make when targeting our shopping types.”
To help UK retailers focus their e-Commerce effort, CoreMedia’s 2016 Personality Test for Shoppers not only identifies the online store features that appeal to specific shopping types but also tactics to be avoided in order not to lose them. For example, ‘Determined Shoppers’ appreciate clarity, added value services, inline validation, digital coupons and repurchase reminders. However, e-Commerce approaches that don’t offer a straight line from product to purchase, have restrictive delivery options, and don’t exclude out-of-stock products are a big turn-off.
In contrast, ‘Indecisive Shoppers’ respond well to smart filters, curated collections, easy comparisons, explanatory features such as unboxing videos, wish lists and retargeting. However, there are still lots of mistakes that retailers are making that drive indecisive shoppers to abandon online shopping baskets. These include providing too many options, introducing new choices during checkout, and not making the right information available.
“Simply highlighting the differences between ‘Determined’ and ‘Indecisive’ shoppers shows just how easy it is for retailers to make mistakes that lead directly to lost e-Commerce revenues,” explained Doug Heise. “And you can see the same contrasts between ‘Informed’ and ‘Reluctant’, ‘Practical’ and ‘Emotional’, and ‘Brand-driven’ and ‘Social’ shoppers. That’s why it’s no longer good enough for today’s retailers to just enable an online catalogue with transactional e-Commerce. Today’s marketers need to tell brand and product stories through the deep personalisation and contextualisation of content, so that they can create digital experiences that evolve to meet the specific requirements of each our shopping personalities.”
Unfortunately, most methods for enhancing online stores are slow, costly and inefficient. To overcome these challenges, CoreMedia encourages retailers to adopt a more experiential e-Commerce approach. Experiential e-Commerce is more immersive, and is focused on attempting to anticipate the customer’s needs throughout their journey and working to create a more emotional connection that delights, inspires and informs.
CoreMedia’s own LiveContext solution, for example, augments IBM-powered Web stores with content and digital asset management capabilities to allow retailers to deliver a customisable online experience with the right context at the right time. CoreMedia LiveContext enables enhanced digital experience management to any B2B or B2C customer using IBM WebSphere Commerce and Marketing Cloud – allowing customers to build upon their existing investments without sacrificing years of effort or putting current operations at risk.