The surge in grocery demand combined with supermarket accessibility restrictions has made shoppers turn to the convenience of ordering online establishing a new normal during lockdown. With eCommerce unlikely to recede anytime soon, we’ve summarised three things brands can do to seize the moment and ensure an excellent online shopping experience regardless of the retailer they are selling through.
1. Get a handle on the eCommerce basics
At the start of the global lockdown, many shoppers had been grappling to get products or online delivery slots with any of the supermarkets. 54% of Brits interviewed by YouGov, a research analytics group, state their experience of getting the items they wanted was negative. The research also found that 46% of shoppers were dissatisfied with the time spent queuing online. Reacting to this Tesco and others started implementing measures to handle the explosion in traffic - Morrisons and Ocado e.g. have plugged in Queue-it, a filter system to support customer communication thus trying to manage expectations in times of tension. According to the Financial Times, Nielsen, a data analytics company, estimates that over 600,000 households tried online grocery shopping for the first time by late March compared to the same period in 2019. For CEO’s and Directors online has now shifted from being a nice to do, to a must do.
As a brand looking to grow and retain your customer base, it’s imperative to consider the key steps necessary to create trust: brand visibility and consistency. Our clients are achieving this by applying our framework of 8 fundamentals. The framework enables brands to win and compete on the digital shelf, delivering the optimal experience for the online shopper. Through the fundamental Fix the Basics brands monitor consistency of brand imagery, messaging and product compliance across all of their designated retailer’s websites. First time online shoppers will likely be looking for visual product familiarity between their in store experience and when loading up their shopping basket online.
- Ensure that your brand assets are engaging and up to date. You wouldn’t want to spend time perfecting your brand visuals only to find out that there are inconsistencies across partner’s sites. Ensure your PIM data is accurate.
- Are your product images online optimised for online shoppers? Ensure pack size, and serving size are displayed where possible with accurate hero images.
- Are your products showing in the correct digital shelves? Check your taxonomy is correct and not missing out on retailer opportunities.
- Are your product listings allergy, regulatory and nutritional information correct? Shoppers have become more health conscious so detail is king.
2. Be visible online and in stock across your retailers
Your product optimisation can only be as good as your brand’s online visibility and understanding of online shopper behaviour. If your intended audience is searching for pasta or laundry, how confident are you that your products will appear in the search results on page 1? After all, you want your products to be Easy to Buy and that means appearing in the retailers search engine’s results, matching a shopper’s search term at any time. In order to optimise these results, our ecommerce insights platform enables you to:
- identify which products are and aren’t ranking
- target and track keyword ranking performance
- understand your competitor keyword performance across your category
Combine a thorough eCommerce keyword analysis with rich content to Sell the Benefits of your brand’s product the way you intended it to. Putting you another step closer to providing an excellent customer experience. As a brand manager, you want to remind yourself to retain the shopper’s perspective at all times.
Get a clear view of your products availability to highlight potential supply chain issues and commercial opportunities. Knowing when you’re SKU’s are out of stock is vital to your bottom line during times of heightened demand and beyond.
A customer shopping for the first time will give your brand a miss if they can’t find your product or they learn your products are out of stock. Within our fundamental Deliver Value that Counts we’ve added an Availability report with which our clients have been able to check instantly if SKU’s are delisted or out of stock. Ensure your brand can always win the shopper. Shoppers are more likely to find and purchase your products when you're on page 1 of search and in stock. Having access to data that keeps your teams informed daily about visibility and stock performance is critical to growing online sales, profitability and driving a positive online customer experience that keeps your brand in the basket.
- Carry out a search on retailers websites for your products, do you show up? Amend your product titles to get you on page 1 of the search results.
- Are your products listed in the correct retail categories? Check your products taxonomy to uncover quick wins and new opportunities.
- Is your brand visible everywhere your shopper should see it? Category pages, display advertising? Consider Moving your physical marketing execution in store to online display ads to gain additional shopper awareness and drive basket conversion.
3. Listen to the shopper’s voice
It's a false assumption to think that if customers don’t complain, they’re satisfied. What’s more is the effect when they do complain. Jeff Besoz, Amazon’s CEO, was famously quoted saying “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends [our emphasis].” Customer reviews spread like wildfire on the internet so keeping a continuous eye on these should be a key priority for any brand manager looking to retain brand loyalty. But how do you do this without switching between dozens of tracking tools? Simple. You rely on one tool to solve your eCommerce analytics needs that can also aggregate your customer feedback through product reviews.
One area within our 8 fundamentals framework is specifically dedicated to Learning from the Shopper’s Voice. Ecommerce teams and brand teams can use our insights to see shopper reviews and product feedback across multiple online retailers at a glance. And with this they can:
- understand shopper feedback across retailers and categories
- mitigate risks to category performance and reputation
- Highlight anti-competitive behaviour such as review manipulation
- evaluate the impact on sales and identify opportunities
- and yes, at the same time understand what the competition is doing
Ecommerce performance analytics are now essential to drive CPG retail strategies.
With eCommerce having gained momentum almost overnight, brands find themselves under pressure to match the speed, apply best practice and gain the insights needed to drive eCommerce performance. As so many online shoppers are ordering for the first time across demographics and a wide range of retailers. CPG brands now need to have an eCommerce performance platform that can help support teams with the insights to develop, improve and manage online retailer strategies. It's no longer enough for brands to focus eCommerce efforts on one or two major retailers such as Amazon, Tesco or Walmart. Brands need to ensure they have a complete category view to drive their online shopper experiences across the online landscape. With the data and actionable intelligence from an analytics provider you can enable front line sales and eCommerce teams to grow performance and react to change faster than your competitors. e.fundamentals is the only platform designed for today's new normal trading environment and a smart choice for C-Suites looking to shift focus to eCommerce.
What’s more, at e.fundamentals we offer best in class and personalised eCommerce expertise, to help your brand transfer in store expertise to drive growth online fast. In times of change you need experts that know the online landscape and can support your teams development and growth, that's where our Customer Success team at e.fundamentals are uniquely placed to help you make the switch to focusing and growing your online performance.
Brands are challenged like never before to meet product demand and fulfil customer experience needs. As a business dedicated to supporting FMCG / CPG brands with actionable insights, we’ve highlighted three things that are fundamental to fulfilling contemporary shopper’s needs:
- Get a handle on the basics
- Be visible online and in stock
- Listen to the shopper’s voice
If you like to review your current eCommerce strategy with us or understand how to start developing one, then get in touch for a no obligation call with one of eCommerce experts today.