The swift progress of technology has revolutionised the way we approach shopping and buying items. With this shift, the e-commerce industry has experienced an extraordinary surge in popularity, becoming the go-to method for many consumers. Consequently, FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) companies have had to adapt their sales and marketing approaches.
As per a recent Nielsen report, it is projected that e-commerce will constitute 11 per cent of FMCG sales by 2030. Furthermore, findings from a PwC report indicated that nearly 75 per cent of customers had made online purchases of FMCG products, with millennial and Gen Z consumers leading this trend. This surge in online shopping places increased demand on FMCG companies to elevate their online marketing strategies, ensuring optimal performance, particularly during the high-traffic festive seasons.
Yet, the focus has shifted beyond simply boosting online sales to establishing online customer loyalty. Consumers now anticipate hassle-free, convenient shopping experiences. Providing this seamless online customer experience is paramount for driving successful sales and maintaining steady growth.
So, how can you guarantee that your online sales are finely tuned to meet these customer expectations? What steps can you take to expand your market presence, delight customers, and minimise abandoned carts?
Refining your e-commerce strategy for the festive frenzy
Enhance the online shopping journey
One critical element often absent in online sales is the personal touch. Studies reveal that 80 per cent of customers are now inclined to buy from brands that offer personalised experiences.
Much like the interaction in a physical store, where a salesperson understands a customer’s interests, online brands should strive to deliver similar tailored services. This can be achieved by harnessing data on visitor behaviour and employing marketing automation to provide each visitor with a unique experience aligned with their specific stage in the purchasing process.
Tailoring seasonal promotions, offers, and interactions based on factors such as the visitor’s location on your page, referral source, geographical location, visit frequency, and shopping cart value contributes to a more individualised and engaging online shopping experience.
Draw insights from previous campaigns
The shift towards online shopping has become an integral part of daily life, especially following the substantial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, the global eCommerce market reached a staggering $5.5 trillion. What’s even more remarkable is that projections estimate the market to reach an astounding $7.3 trillion by the close of 2025.
These figures underscore the resilience of companies in the face of numerous challenges. Therefore, leveraging the lessons learned from past years provides a solid foundation for crafting a successful eCommerce strategy for the peak season in 2023.
Reviewing past data on top-selling items, peak sales times, and high-performing campaigns is essential. This data can be instrumental in segmenting customers based on their behaviour, allowing for targeted and timely offers. Additionally, analysing key metrics such as the effectiveness of offers, the highest converting channels, and the primary source of conversions (mobile, tablet, or desktop) can guide the development of a winning strategy for the upcoming year.
Proactive online customer engagement
In the realm of online sales, adopting a proactive approach to customer service is just as crucial as it is in a physical store. This involves actively reaching out to visitors based on their behaviour and interactions on your website, providing them with pertinent information.
Leveraging AI can significantly enhance this proactive engagement. It enables the identification and prioritisation of potential shoppers, as well as the initiation of customised actions tailored to their specific needs.
Furthermore, incorporating voice and chat functionalities can replicate the personal touch of in-person sales. These tools are invaluable in delivering sales-oriented customer service online, creating a more engaging and interactive experience for customers.
Captivate audiences with interactive ads
During peak sales seasons, advertising in the retail sector becomes intensely competitive. To stand out in this crowded space and bypass banner blindness, consider promoting your campaigns through paid channels using rich interactive media ads. These dynamic ads enable brands to offer distinctive ad experiences that elevate conversion rates.
Distinguished from static display ads, interactive ads actively engage consumers, often incorporating various forms of media like video, images, audio, or animation.
Notably, interactive video ads have been shown to extend the amount of time consumers spend with your brand’s ads by an impressive 47 per cent compared to static, non-interactive ads. This heightened engagement can significantly impact conversion rates and brand recall.
Elevate engagement with gamified e-commerce promotions
In a world where consumer attention spans are shorter than those of goldfish, clocking in at just 8 seconds, brands face the challenge of swiftly capturing interest. This underscores the importance of crafting a peak season eCommerce strategy and campaigns that not only captivate but also lead to direct online sales.
Gamifying your online store and creating interactive, sales-centric campaigns centred on peak seasons can be the key to achieving the engagement you seek. This approach amplifies the interactivity of your campaigns, giving them an extra edge in accelerating the sales cycle.
Enhance e-commerce offers through A/B testing
Even armed with insights from last year, hitting the mark can still be a challenge. Market dynamics may shift, business objectives may evolve, and what once succeeded might not be the optimal solution this time around. This is where A/B testing proves invaluable, allowing you to gain deeper insights into what resonates with your audience and ultimately achieve superior outcomes. It’s an excellent method to refine the conversion rate of your interactions.
A/B testing is a dynamic process that helps in experimenting with different audiences and content that is focused on making changes that yield tangible results and enhance marketing ROI. By continuously refining your approach, you can stay attuned to your audience’s preferences and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
Empower customer support for sales success
As website traffic surges during peak sales seasons, support inquiries related to promotions, delivery times, and returns are expected to soar. Equipping your customer service team with the right tools is essential to ensure your site can handle the rush of the sales season.
Your support channels serve as crucial touchpoints throughout the customer’s purchasing journey. They present excellent opportunities to increase basket size, implement up-selling or cross-selling strategies, and mitigate shopping cart abandonment.
For instance, consider the potential of live chat. When automated and targeted effectively, it not only offers customers proactive real-time support but also has the potential to enhance conversation rates and optimise online sales.
Harness the power of meaningful data
In today’s digital landscape, data has become as valuable as gold, playing a pivotal role in the success of eCommerce businesses and their peak sales season campaigns. Its significance cannot be emphasised enough.
Whether it’s delving into last year’s achievements, implementing personalisation, conducting A/B testing, or fine-tuning campaigns—data serves as the linchpin. However, for data to yield real value, it must be evaluated throughout the entire lifecycle of your campaigns.
Fortunately, in contemporary times, most analytics tools provide the capability to view data in real-time.
Real-time analytics equips FMCG companies with actionable insights for precise, timely, and effective decision-making. Leveraging this real-time data empowers you to refine your eCommerce strategy and optimise your online sales efforts in alignment with current market dynamics and customer preferences. This agility ensures that your campaigns are agile and adaptive, driving better results and maximising ROI.
In the festive period, eCommerce reigns supreme! The FMCG sector, too, experiences a substantial surge in sales. While traditional retail stores maintain their relevance, eCommerce has emerged as a powerful ally for FMCG companies, ensuring seamless user experiences and fostering heightened trust. This not only draws in more customers but also holds the key to unlocking expansive sales opportunities and securing a larger market share in the long run.
(The author is the head of marketing at Bikano)