eMarketplaces & Brands: Impact on consumer product choices
by MarkLives (@marklives) What roles do brands play in today’s world of ecommerce? How does this impact on how consumers choose products? We emailed a panel of key industry executives for their take on South Africa’s ecommerce market. Next up is Melissa Workman of Teljoy.
Melissa Workman is digital marketing coordinator at Teljoy. She has three years’ experience in digital marketing and has worked for various agencies on top brands such as Nando’s, Vespa, Nashua, Blue Ribbon and 1st for Women. Her interests lie in the digital space, digital innovation and building successful brands.
How is ecommerce impacting on how consumers choose products?
The increasing internet penetration in South Africa means that, every day, more people are logging on to do their shopping. Brands here need to make it quick and easy for consumers to find products because, just like in your traditional brick-and-mortar stores, consumers like to browse online stores and compare products before making their purchase. And, when you consider the statistic that ecommerce has grown by 25% locally but only 1.5% of consumers end up making a purchase, you’ll often find that it’s because people are more comfortable going into the store to make the purchase, rather than doing it online. They’re using the online platforms to do their homework.
But, if brands do want consumers to migrate to online, then they need to ensure that the user experience is seamless and positive.
Other factors to consider include:
- Your site needs to be easy to navigate and check out
- Free delivery is always a big financial factor to consider but can make using your platform more enticing
- Specials specific to online. Many brick-and-mortar stores that also have online offerings run specials specific to their digital platform. This is a great way to convert your traditional shoppers to online
- Product comparison tools — consumers want to be able to browse and compare products before buying. This is especially the case for higher-value items such as TVs or appliances. It’s our job as retailers to make this process easy and seamless.
What should brand managers know about online retail through online marketplaces (such as Amazon.com and similar local operations)?
It’s extremely important for the product demand to be predicted correctly prior to listing your product/s onto an online marketplace (especially if you run a special). The more popular your brand or well-known a specific marketplace is, the higher the volume of customers will be searching the site which means that your product has a higher chance of being sold. The last thing you want is to make a consumer wait, due to low stock availability. Not only does this reflect badly on your brand but the online marketplace, too, and could ultimately result in a lost sale. This is one of the many reasons consumers still go into a physical store to make a purchase.
On the flipside, if your brand is not as well-known as some of the popular South African brands, the uptake of your products may increase at a slower rate. It’s then essential for brand managers to work closely with the marketplace to find innovative ways to increase awareness and sales for your product/s.
Mutually beneficial partnerships are key to success. How do you make your brand stand out on the other platform? Some ideas here could be to run an online competition through their platform, offering incredible specials on your products and even collaborating through blog posts on their website and social media platforms.
How may a brand optimise its presence in these online retail spaces to make it easy for consumers to find and access their products?
It’s important to ensure that your products are listed correctly on the ecommerce site, whether this is by department, by brand or on specific deals/specials pages. Another important consideration is that often customers, who aren’t too sure what they are looking for, make use of the search bar functionality and it is therefore equally as important that your product/s appear under the correct results pages.
Finally, what are your predictions for online retail’s current and future share or retail spend in South Africa, how will mobile change online buying habits, and how will it impact consumers’ offline buying behaviour?
Although we may think that online buying through mobile far outweighs buying from desktop, this is often not the case. As seen with Teljoy customers, we only see a slightly higher number of purchases via mobile vs desktop. Older consumers are slower adapters to making online purchases through mobile; however. we should see this change in the near future. Convenience will be highlighted as a significant benefit as more and more consumers move away from desktop to mobile purchases and it’s this convenience that will reduce offline purchases.
- eMarketplaces & Brands: The ecommerce price point — Karl Hammerschmidt
- eMarketplaces & Brands: Huge enabler for smaller retailers — Ryan Bacher
- eMarketplaces & Brands: Optimising online for ecommerce success — Gareth Pearson
- eMarketplaces & Brands: Mobile conversion rates will pick up soon — Neil Smith
Launched in 2016, “The Big Q” is a regular column on MarkLives in which we ask key advertising and marketing industry execs for their thoughts on relevant issues facing the industry. If you’d like to be part of our pool of panellists, please contact editor Herman Manson via email (2mark at marklives dot com) or Twitter (@marklives). Suggestions for questions are also welcomed.
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