In 2021, it’s estimated there will be more than 2.14 billion online buyers worldwide - up from 1.66 billion in 2016. While people still crave the tactile nature of in-store purchases, the convenience offered by online shopping is undeniable. After all, it’s easier to search for goods/services, you can compare prices and reviews, plus websites aren’t dictated by opening hours.
However, it’s not about creating a website, putting your products and services online and simply hoping for the best. You need to have a robust commerce strategy to truly boost your sales. Here are some companies who we think got their e-commerce strategies right.
Ready to be inspired?
- ASOS lets their customers promote the brand
- HubSpot ensures their customers are always receiving value
- DollarShaveClub’s creative video marketing efforts
- MongoDB’s chatbot quickly answers customer queries
- Glossier leaves a lasting impression in their customers’ minds
- Microsoft’s website is easy to navigate
1. ASOS lets their customers promote the brand
Online fashion retailer ASOS’ target audience is defined as ‘the twenty-something fashion-conscious individual’. They often visually consume content, as is usually the case in fashion, so ASOS maximises their Instagram reach. Additionally, these consumers like to see how people have styled items in real-life (as opposed to models).
So, it’s a no-brainer - one e-commerce strategy that ASOS executes is to let their customers promote the brand. Under the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, customers post pictures of themselves with ASOS products.
Not only does this meet customer needs but it also helps customers feel more connected to the brand and gives ASOS the chance to promote their products through their customers, widening their reach. The brand also periodically shares customer photos on their Instagram account - a great way to incentivise the action.
2. HubSpot ensures their customers are always receiving value
Email marketing is a great way to engage with your customers and ensure your brand is kept at the forefront of their minds. HubSpot are particularly excellent at doing this.
If you sign up to their newsletter, you’ll receive emails as regularly as you’d like on a variety of topics - from product launches to industry resources and one-to-one sales emails. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve even introduced ‘Adapt 2020: An Education Series’, weekly emails that cover content to help you navigate the global health and economic crisis.
Email newsletters ensure you’re always providing your customers value. The more value you can offer your customers, the more likely they are to trust you, see you as a market and thought leader, and ultimately purchase from you in future.
You just need to make sure it’s content they’ll be interested in.
3. Dollar Shave Club’s creative video marketing efforts
California-based subscription service Dollar Shave Club specialises in delivering razors and other men’s personal grooming products. The founders, Mark Levine and Michael Dublin, created the brand as they were frustrated with the cost of razor blades. So, Dollar Shave Club was born.
As the concept was so new at the time and out-of-the-box, they produced several promotional videos to ensure their audiences would understand it. One video, featuring one of the founders, went viral, receiving almost five million views within the first 90 days of launching.
Why was Dollar Shave Club’s video marketing efforts so successful? Because they understood their customers, from their frustrations to how they speak and want to be spoken to. If you watch the video above, you’ll see how Dollar Shave Club encompasses all that, effectively telling a story in a relatable way that resonates with their audience.
Video marketing is even more effective nowadays because consumers have less time than they ever used to. They want to consume content in a variety of formats, from blogs and eBooks to videos. So, consider how you can incorporate video marketing into your e-commerce strategy.
Here are some ideas of videos you can create:
- Explaining your company’s story (like Dollar Shave Club)
- Meet the team
4. MongoDB’s chatbot quickly answers customer queries
Consumers (B2B and B2C) aren’t as patient as they used to be. When they have questions or they’re experiencing a problem, they want answers and resolutions quickly. Instantly, if possible. Cloud-hosted database program MongoDB knows this - that’s why they have an intelligent chatbot on their website to give customers that instantaneous response they’re after.
And if the bot isn’t able to resolve their query or issue, no worries. It can pass the consumer onto a customer service or sales representative (AKA a real human).
As well as potentially providing consumers with an instant answer/solution, it’s also a great way to qualify leads without taking up your team’s time and send these leads to the right salesperson.
5. Glossier leaves a lasting impression in their customers’ minds
Today’s market, for both B2B and B2C brands, is extremely saturated. There’s a lot of competition, all claiming to be the best or the most cost-effective and using the brightest colours, the most ‘state-of-the-art’ technology to get themselves noticed.
Plus, the average attention span of humans is eight seconds, down from 12 in 2000.
Skincare and beauty brand Glossier know this and yet, they’ve succeeded in making their brand noticeable and memorable. Rather than focusing on their products, they’ve focused on their brand colour - a specific shade of pale pink - and even created a custom hashtag for it on Instagram (#GlossierPink).
This made customers notice and remember the brand. Now, that pink is synonymous with the brand. Customers are using the hashtag whenever they see the colour in everyday life, even if the post isn’t related to Glossier.
Glossier isn’t the only brand that consumers can associate with a colour. Asda, for example, is well-known for that shade of green and Sainsbury’s for orange. Now, this is just one example of how you can leave a lasting impression in your customers’ minds. Here are a few others:
- Tone of voice - some brands are well-known for the distinctive tone of voice used across their website, social media and emails (for example, Netflix and Slack)
- Your customer service - e.g. quickly and efficiently resolving customer issues, going out of your way to help and being proactive
- The customer experience you can provide - as well as excellent customer service, you can also offer personalisation across your channels (such as product recommendations, personalised greetings for returning customers to your website)
- Your imagery - striking images used across your various channels and advertising mediums can ensure your brand is remembered
6. Microsoft’s website is easy to navigate
If you’re going to excel in e-commerce, let’s strip it down to the basics first. Your website needs to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, otherwise your customers will struggle to find what they want and leave frustrated…right into the arms of your competition.
Microsoft’s website is a prime example of a website designed right. The layout is simple, with content organised under self-explanatory, clear headings such as products and resources.
And if I navigate to Microsoft 365 (a product), for example, my experience remains consistent. It doesn’t feel like I’ve left the Microsoft website and onto another brand - the tone of voice and imagery remain the same. And navigation is still easy!
If you do e-commerce, your website becomes your digital storefront. Just like a physical store and your sales assistants represent your brand, so does your website. So, how user friendly it is indicates how user friendly your products and services might be - which is why your website design matters.
We’ve covered some tips on improving your e-commerce website design here.
And tie it all together with a Connected Commerce strategy
For the ultimate e-commerce strategy, you need to bring everything mentioned in this blog together and provide your customers with a Connected Commerce experience. That means your brand must feel consistent, no matter which channel your customers come from (whether it’s from your email newsletter, an Instagram post or your video marketing campaign).
And above all, it means tying your online and in-store experiences together (if you have both). Want to discover how you can provide this kind of experience? Check out our guide which includes six recipes for Connected Commerce.
Ready to improve your website conversion rates, boost average basket value and enhance customer satisfaction?