When it comes to ecommerce, organisations often seem to make the same key mistakes, hindering their ability to add real value and drive business growth through harnessing eCommerce correctly. Simon Hall, Managing Director, EMEA at Overdose Digital looks at 5 common mistakes and how to overcome stumbling blocks.
Against a backdrop of rapid change and innovation, it’s becoming harder than ever before for brands to stay ahead of the digital shift. With disruptive technology, demanding customers and the need to stand out against agile competitors and ever-changing markets, organisations must harness and embrace emerging technology and modernise traditional business models.
New innovative technology, being used by forward thinking organisations, is driving unique levels of customer demand and expectation. Competitors are exploiting digital expertise, turning out-dated business models on their heads.
Businesses are rapidly bringing new ideas and products to the market, disrupting long-standing organisations. This is especially true in the eCommerce space. New channels, for instance buying directly through social media, offer an attractive, current proposition.
Developing a true understanding of eCommerce and the role it plays in your business is vital to on-going success. A good eCommerce strategy can enable personalisation, streamline operations as well as drive efficiencies. By taking a central and measured approach, rather then a series of tactical campaigns, a comprehensive strategy will mean businesses can identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as further opportunities and benchmark performance.
When it comes to eCommerce, organisations often seem to make the same key mistakes, hindering their ability to add real value and drive business growth through harnessing eCommerce correctly.
1. Treating eCommerce as purely a technology issue
Some organisations still only regard eCommerce as just a technology consideration rather than a strategic part of their business. This misinterprets the value of a well thought out eCommerce strategy. Treating it as a tick box exercise is a short sighted tactic and organisations should take a joined up approach to eCommerce, merging digital marketing, operations, fulfilment and delivery.
2. Focusing on acquisition over retention
Commonly, we see businesses focus efforts on acquiring new customers, then not placing enough emphasis on retaining them. This is not only depriving organisations of key revenue, but it is also delaying the evolution of existing loyal customers. Subsequently, if all the focus is on finding new customers, you will affect an overall positive customer experience, especially in terms of developing targeted and engaging content.
3. Becoming over reliant on one channel
Organisations becoming addicted to one channel is another common mistake we witness, especially when it comes to search and PPC. Although these are important elements in a well-structured digital marketing strategy, it’s important to not disregard other aspects simply because one is delivering well. You must incorporate new, current ways of working into your eCommerce strategy.
4. Not properly using data
Data can be overwhelming, though it offers an unprecedented insight not only into a customer’s behaviour, but also into how the different elements of an eCommerce strategy are working. Despite this, the majority of businesses are not gathering, analysing and acting on data. They are producing hugely in-depth and over complicated reports, resulting in leadership teams not auctioning plans due to misunderstanding.
5. Ignoring the importance of benchmarking
Benchmarking is key when it comes to effective goals and objectives. Businesses should carry out a competitor analysis, comparing how their performance is doing to rivals. They should also look inwards and see their strengths and weaknesses. This is turn means that organisations will know where to invest to improve performance as well as areas to optimise further.
Overcoming stumbling blocks
Recognising key mistakes when it comes to eCommerce and the role it plays in driving value is key to on-going business success. Identifying faults and setting out a strategic eCommerce plan, should allow you to classify gaps and weaknesses, pinpointing future opportunities for growth. It will also keep you on top of the forever-changing technological market as you will be able to recognise current trends across all platforms.
A well thought out and executed approach has the potential to thrive business growth. Getting it right can seem a daunting challenge, but understanding your mistakes is the first step in harnessing eCommerce and achieving your goals.
By Simon Hall
Managing Director, EMEA