Today, retailers across the world face the same challenge: how to achieve ongoing, profitable growth in a fast-evolving digital world?
Missed the event or need a refresher? Here are our 3 biggest takeaways from the day:
1. The eCommerce paradigm has officially shifted.
In 2020, the pandemic fast-tracked online shopping’s trajectory in a dramatic and history-making fashion. Years of gradual change were compressed into just a few short months, as the world shopped online like never before. Fast-forward to 2021, even with the vaccine rollout in full swing, there’s no going back. Convenience and speed are now essential customer needs, often even eclipsing cost.
At DDO, Shopify’s Julian Bartman touched on the company’s recent report, ‘The Future of eCommerce Report 2021’. The report was a goldmine of insights into the emerging eCommerce trends that are reshaping global retail as we know it.
The report showed that 84% of consumers shopped online during the pandemic.
To put it into perspective, that’s 10 years’ worth of eCommerce growth in just 90 days. Hand-in-hand with this explosive growth comes fierce competition, as the eCommerce landscape continues to grow.
So, what does this mean for your brand?
Shopify found that, through online sales, retailers with an omnichannel strategy recovered 94% of purchases lost in the first month of the pandemic. So if you haven’t developed an integrated omnichannel strategy already, you might want to start yesterday.
To level up in this new era, your business model must capitalise on both its online and offline strengths. This is the way to deliver a compelling customer experience, and increase efficiencies in inventory management, product selection, and logistics.
Brands need to focus on engaging the customers through better, more personalised content. Today, it takes comprehensive customer data and real-time analytics to build campaigns that will reach the right person, on the right channel, at exactly the right moment. Long story short; if it’s not backed by the right data, your campaign might as well be performing to an empty theatre.
2. China’s paving the way to the future of digital.
Chances are, your business isn’t selling into China. But according to Flying Tiger’s Ken Freer, maybe it should be. China’s unique retail history is giving rise to one of the most advanced digital marketplaces in the world – and there’s a lot the ‘Tik-Tok’-obsessed western world can learn from them.
With its sophisticated shoppers, massive transaction volumes, and the highly-complex integration of multimedia channels, China’s online environment offers a glimpse into what our digital future might look like. Here are a few key characteristics that caught our eye.
In China, online shopping is changing shape – fast.
With new entrants jockeying for attention, the online shopping experience is becoming so much more than just a transaction. It’s now a means of entertainment, discovery, and social engagement – with social groups, celebrities, influencers, and more.
Here’s a sneak peek into the Chinese Live-stream world…
Rather than sticking to a rigid and meticulously planned product launch, many of China’s online merchants are keeping it more fluid. They’re not afraid to test new products, fail, and try again – and they’re taking their customers along for the ride.
DDO showed the value of using multimedia and multiple channels to reach and engage consumers. What’s more, China is at the forefront of using data, analytics, and consumer insights to better understand the customer. They’re fast-moving toward truly consumer-driven product development cycles.
Seamless, integrated platforms make shopping fun, and buying easy. In China, news sites, games, videos, and eCommerce are all interconnected within major online hubs – with click-to-buy product placements and quick links to payment options.
So how are APAC brands harnessing eCommerce as a superpower?
Unlike the rest of the world, Chinese consumers rarely visit company or brand websites. Instead, they find what they need through online marketplaces like Taobao, entertainment apps like iQiyi, and WeChat; China’s most popular social media platform.
Taobao and WeChat are particular ones to watch. Two of the top five apps in China, they’ve evolved into all-in-one super apps. With super apps like these, users can send money to people, order food, call a taxi, set up a doctor’s appointment, pay bills, get movie tickets – even file for divorce. While here in New Zealand (like much of the rest of the world) we’re still forced to download different apps for different utilities.
3. Find your lane, and stick to it.
The phrase ‘point-of-difference’ is easy to say but often hard to deliver on.
What we learned during DDO, is that there’s nothing more powerful in today’s marketing landscape than original content that speaks true to your brand.
Essentially, it’s the cross-road between what you have an authority on and the stuff that is important to your target audience. At this intersection, lies your unique perspective; the ‘magic’ that will form the building blocks to your most effective work.
Too much about you…and blah… who really cares. Too distant from your authority sphere and nobody really wants to hear about it. It’s all about finding that sweet spot and being consistent.
The underlying theme throughout DDO was simple: When you discover what makes you stand out and the psychology of your audience, you can create content that resonates.
Grumpy pensioners who are fed-up with the brands they have dealt with all their life?
Tap into that.
Ambitious millennials looking to change up the status quo?
Figure out how you can help them along the way.
One company that has aced it in this department is Lewis Road Creamery.
The liquid gold produced in every Lewis Road Creamery product is the stuff marketers dream about. Disruptive quality-first products that get social media buzzing and check-outs ringing.
The ethos behind the company’s success has been as straightforward as the ingredients that make-up their products; A focus on simplicity, high quality and spotting a gap in the market that was not being addressed: providing products made the way they used to be before the compromise of modern production processes crept in.
As a result, their strategy has garnered ground-breaking brand hype, that much like the milk itself, has been largely organic.
In short. Stick in your lane, and good stuff happens.
This year, the Marketing Association brought us yet another fantastic Digital Day Out.
After the hurdles the past 18 months has brought, being in a room full of almost 500 aspirational and inspirational marketers was the breath of fresh air we all needed.
If you ask us, Digital Day Out 2022 can’t come soon enough.
We’ll save you all a seat.