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Inside The Ecommerce Collective | Tales of Digital Growth During a Global Pandemic | Infinity Nation

Infinity Nation’s Ecommerce Collective events are over for Q2. Bringing together senior business leaders and marketers from ecommerce brands across the UK we discussed the wins and challenges that have come with the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more to see if you identify and can learn from these top wins and challenges from the last 3 events.

5th May 2020
Stacey Wilson Client Services Director 05th May 2020

Our Ecommerce Collective events have always drawn in a great group of senior business leaders and marketers – during the current pandemic we are all facing unknown territory and more than ever, discussion with our peers and sharing our challenges to identify ways to navigate the current climate is at the top of the list.

Just because we can't meet up in our usual locations hasn't stopped us from bringing together some of the UK's most prolific ecommerce brands for discussion and debate. 

Our Spring events have seen some remarkable comments - our Ecommerce Collective groups are all still standing with some even bringing tales of unprecedented growth despite challenging times.

Over the last 2 weeks we have conducted 3 successful events from our London, Wiltshire and Exeter groups, each event collating new and actionable tips and insights to the forum – the summary of which is here for your reading pleasure!

 

Surprising growth success stories being shared as wins 

Our sessions always open with the brands sharing their wins from the last quarter, and the fact that there were so many to share is quite amazing in itself, in the face of a global pandemic, some ecommerce businesses were thriving and finding new ways to communicate with their customer base, and open up new sales channels. We can’t list them all, but the themes of success are below:

Taking back control: 

  • Agility and freedom from brands who have chosen self-service CMSs. Able to adapt and change fluidly without need to involve development agency
  • Small changes on websites to adapt and promote / create categories that may not have existed but now satisfy consumer demand
  • Bringing back furloughed team members and being adaptable – allowing store experts to support the customer services operation / marketing efforts in creating content to bolster the online brand presence.

 

Acquisition channels

  • Finding new channels to reach customers – Facebook Q&A sessions had been tested by some attendees
    • We also discussed that it was key to now incentivise data capture / engaging on messenger as part of the comms to keep the conversation going
  • Influencer relationships and leveraging kindness that is being seen right now in general. People may be willing to support right now while they are richer in time
  • Optimise your Amazon listings – take time now to get the hygiene right and benefit later

 

Customer communications

  • Brands who had adopted ‘surprise and delight’ strategies were reporting increased positive communication from customers. e.g. handwritten notes, end of lines being gifted as a thank you for supporting right now
  • Reviewing payment platforms to provide the customer with more choice and flexibility on how they fund their purchase. Some of the group had seen mobile conversion rates double following implementation of platorms such as Klarna, Splitit.
  • Backing your brand / products by extending return guarantees to increase consumer confidence in their purchase. For high value items some brands had even launched at home 30 day trials.

 

Challenges brought with Covid-19

As we would expect right now, not everyone was an outright winner, with those brands with stores being hit the hardest and reporting high furlough rates. Key challenges brought to the collective were:

  • Access to stock due to furloughing store / warehouse staff
  • Exit planning – how to phase marketing back in over next 30-60 days
    • We discussed constant, empathetic and relevant comms to map with increased consumer confidence.
    • If you aren’t talking to your customers, someone else is, but have something relevant to say!
  • Recommend a friend strategies and ensuring these are scalable – Right now trust signals are key and customer referrals transfer the most trust amongst your prospect / customer base
  • Creating an offline experience, online. Tips were shared around simple areas like photography – 360degree photos and short videos to showcase the product, certainly for high-value items that people would typically touch and feel, in store.
  • Time poor – content creation issue. The collective shared tips on digging into the blog archives and finding what is relevant, re-optimising to bring up to date and pushing it back out in the absence of full marketing teams
  • Scaling products and competing on Amazon – knowing your competition and when to use a specific tool to help with mass-optimisation of your products and manage your bidding strategy.

 

In summary – our top tips:

These sessions are always so valuable – for us as an agency it means we are privileged to be at the cutting edge of ecommerce challenges and can support brands in finding the right solution for their business. Top tips from Q2 events are:

  1. Keep customers informed on delivery times by using homepage messages
  2. Promote and chase reviews right now to reassure and send rust signals to prospective customers
  3. Those launching new websites right now – leverage the increased time of friends and family, and customers too to test, test, test.
    • Put as many orders through from as many devices, channels, methods as possible as this is the engine and what really matters on launch day
  4. Keep in contact with your wholesalers to stay close to what is happening for them, especially if you have an international footprint
  5. Use this time to show customers the inside of your business. Right now they need to connect with you on a personal level and trust your communications. Softer styles are key

 

Challenge us to support your business

At Infinity Nation we specialise in digging deep and understanding the root of your challenges. If your business would benefit from a complimentary 30 minute no-strings evaluation with one of our senior strategists, then book now – we’d be happy to see if we can help!