Bye bye e-commerce, hello omnichannel
Why: exit e-commerce? Isn't that booming business? Isn’t that where the customers are? Isn't it explicitly recommended to further develop the digital marketplace? And what about personalized advertising, isn't the digital channel best suited for that?
The best answers are the most nuanced. They focus on the core, the concern of the question, in this case: the customer. How can we best approach the audiences we want to reach? What interests them, how and when do they want to be addressed? How well do we know their personal story and how intelligently do we deal with it? Customer-centred approach, indeed. Of course you already do. Very well, but are you doing it good enough?
Years of experience as a digital marketing expert taught me that - when it comes to e-commerce - we too often base our assumptions on simplistic assumptions.
1. Customers prefer online
The 'offline' or 'online' customer does not exist. Someone doesn't buy either online or in-store. A customer chooses his channel according to the moment. How quickly does he or she need something? How much time can or does he want to invest in the purchase? Does he or she find a moment in between or not quite? Is it a purely functional purchase? Maybe it’s raining cats and dogs outside... Very different considerations can influence the choice for on- or offline.
2. Most transactions take place online
The number of online transactions is effectively increasing, but by no means are all purchases made digitally - on the contrary, 80% of all purchases still take place in-store. Customers are exploring and enquiring online. Once their choice has been made, they very often just make the final purchase in the shop.
3. Digital marketing suffocates offline sales
Online advertising does have an impact on offline buying behaviour: digital marketing ensures more transactions in the shop. Store visits decrease, but store sales increase. Search behaviour provides data that facilitate targeted and relevant advertising. In this way, the consumer is helped closer and closer to his goal: to find exactly that product that fits his personality and needs. And then often just go and buy it in the store.
Three insights that challenge consumers to look over the wall and even take it down. Because how relevant is the distinction online/offline in this context? Time to give reality its place.
1. Take the e- out of e-commerce
Digital is no longer the 'new' normal, it's normal. E-commerce is commerce and commerce also implies e-commerce. The time to name and position the e-approach as separate is over.
2. Remove the bulkheads between offline sales and online marketing
The return of digital marketing is not only in online sales. There is a visible offline effect of online advertising that shows that margins increase significantly: the ROAS from digital marketing to online sales, for example, can be 3:1. Add to this the offline results with a return of 4:1 and the omni-ROAS comes out at 7:1. This impact is now finally measurable. It is therefore only logical to include the total results consistently and transparently in the reports.
3. Omnichannel is the new normal
A customer doesn't think in channels, he is looking for an answer to a question or need. Online or offline, laptop or mobile, folder, flyer, delivered or in-store: he or she uses the possibilities that are relevant, nice and easy for him or her. That is normal. Today, the provider has all the options to meet this need. The first and most important choice is, past the pigeonholing, the omni-channel one. That's the new normal.
A load of tools is available to make the online offline interaction measurable and visible. We'll come back to that in our next blog posts. With this FairEtail wanted to focus its New Year's wish for you: a successful, transparent and challenging 2019.
We are already eager to support your omni-channel story!