Where your strategy might need an overhaul

It is never a waste of time to analyze your current online marketing strategies to see where certain adjustments may be needed. Especially now as consumer behavior seems to pivot at the slightest provocation. Should your entire strategy be evaluated or are there just certain areas that may need an overhaul? In some recently released research done for Shopify by Forrester, and published at Cyber, there may be more than one area that should be of concern. The following is taken directly from that published report:

  • According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Shopify, 27% of businesses said improving customer experience was their first or second biggest priority for 2022. When asked what they find “valuable” or “very valuable” when shopping online, accurate pictures were the top answer, with 77% saying so. Finally, 70% identified seeing customer ratings and reviews as valuable.
  • Even for those with a brick-and-mortar operation, small business trends show that online sales remain the key for growth. In our data, 54% of businesses said their commerce team must focus on online revenue to achieve their 2022 priorities. Digging into that, 49% of businesses said they plan to increase investment in their company-owned online store.

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  • Businesses also noted the importance of online marketplaces, with 56% saying they plan to increase investment in ecommerce marketplaces. This is a smart strategy, as 55% of customers said they purchase from online marketplaces either weekly or monthly.
  • One of the worries about expanding to online marketplaces is increased competition. It’s a common concern—40% of businesses said they expect increased competition to hinder their commerce team from achieving its goals. First up is a strong quality or satisfaction guarantee, with 61% of customers identifying this as important.
  • Next is an excellent past service experience, with 60% saying this was a “significant” or “very significant” influence. That just goes to show that building customer loyalty begins before that first purchase is even made. Finally, 58% of customers voted for the ability to reach customer service in the channel of their choosing.

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  • Data showed that 40% of consumers said global supply chain delays will somewhat impact orders, and 28% said they will strongly impact orders. The top concerns are additional shipping delays and costs, followed by manufacturing delays. But rather than cutting costs to deal with these issues, a clear small business trend is emerging as founders invest in solving them. Forty-five percent plan to invest in manufacturing capacity, 44% plan to invest in improving collaboration with supply chain partners, and 44% plan to invest in increasing the speed of their supply chain.
  • Businesses identified three areas where they’d be investing in shipping for 2022: reducing shipping costs with free and flat-rate shipping, improving flexibility of shipping and return policies, and changing shipping strategies to reduce impact of global shipping delays. Free shipping is a proven method for increasing conversion and order values and some simple calculations can help you decide whether this is something worth offering your customers.
  • Customers also identified free shipping as an important factor in choosing where to shop. In our data, 76% said free shipping had a “very significant” or “significant” influence on their decision to buy a product online. A further 68% said the same about same-day or next-day shipping, and 56% said the same about being able to choose the time and date of their delivery. Shipping transparency, which means being able to show clearly anticipated delivery times, is important to both businesses and customers. Forty-nine percent of businesses plan to invest in shipping transparency and 46% of customers said they look for this when shopping.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer