eStar solutions consultant Emma Rapadas details why even a star needs a strategy to win.
Your eCommerce site is great: best platform in the market - check. Best-practice implementation: check. Good-quality, relevant, SEO-friendly, up-to-date content: check.
Your SEO strategies are working: top three in organic search – check. Top results for strategic paid search campaigns: check.
Your email campaigns doing well: targeted and personalised content – check. Machine learning – and even better, artificial intelligence – check.
You have your social media A-game on: engaged Facebook and Instagram followers – check. Community growth: check. Social media campaigns driving traffic to eCommerce site: check.
Your target customers are primed and ready to begin or to continue on their journey with you. They have discovered your brand. They are informed. They are engaged. They are flocking to your Digital Flagship, your eCommerce site.
But too often, these types of scenarios playing out: Sarah is browsing through her favourite online fashion magazine and she sees an ad featuring a brand’s new season collection. This collection is her style, so she visits the website…and drops off. James is looking for his wife’s birthday present.
He has done his online research and is waiting for a good deal before making the purchase. Today, he sees an online ad for great deals at a jewellery shop. Perfect timing for the perfect gift! He clicks on the ad through to the website – and ends up with no purchase.
What happened? On paper – and metrics back it up! – every component of the solution is doing well. The support players are doing their jobs directing and passing the ball to the Star player, the scorer in the team. The Star is the best player that the team can get. But the Star – in this case, the eCommerce site – is dropping the ball. Why?
Looking more closely at the scenarios: Sarah dropped off on her discovery journey when she was redirected to the brand’s main UK website, which featured the new collection for the opposite season.
There are no local websites for ANZ. When James clicked through to the jeweller’s website, there was no sign of the deal described in the ad, and the promo code did not work. It was an outdated ad for a deal that expired.
So what on paper looks like a good – even great – team is not actually a team at all. These are the critical improvements that will propel these players into becoming the A-team they are destined to be:
Strategy and synergy. Yes, there is strategy for each component of the solution; they are all doing well – individually. However, taking a step back, how do these individual strategies support the overall business objectives? How should these individual solutions work together to achieve your goals? Brand awareness, customer engagement, sales drivers – all of these lead back to growth objectives: market growth, revenue growth. Online, it is the eCommerce site that drives this growth; it is imperative that the eCommerce site is ready to field the opportunities, and this should be an essential element to your plans.
Orchestration. You have drawn the plans; now you execute. You will be running multiple, simultaneous events or campaigns to support your strategies, and each component of the solution will have a role to play. Orchestration of the execution of these plans will not only result to productivity gains through automation, but will, more importantly, ensure that the different components are in-sync: multi-channel campaigns run when they ought to; relevant content and imagery are published alongside the campaign; products or services highlighted in the campaigns are available. Orchestration would also provide a higher-level overview of how successful campaigns are but taking into account how each component contributed to the end result.
Focus on the customer journey. Content is king. Best practice is best practice. But if your customers do not get the answers they need in the moment, then your efforts are for naught. The customer journey is something that is always discussed, but most often neglected. It is not something that is set in stone – defined once, applicable forever. Ever-shifting market forces and constantly-changing customer expectations warrant a review of customers’ behaviours, and how you address them, at least once a year.