How ecommerce channels can help refine brand objectives
Ahmed also touched on how consumer behaviour on the Grab app can provide valuable insights into how brands and retailers should sharpen their business goals: be it awareness, branding, conversions, or customer loyalty.
“We need to understand what a brand’s objective is, before we can suggest any solution,” he said during the live summit. “A 30-minute delivery model might not be the right step for brands — for instance, some want to improve discoverability or increase product availability. So how can we use different types of ad placements or campaigns to achieve those goals?”
Jasper Knoben, CEO, Intrepid, Ascential Digital Commerce shared about how brands still tend to see ecommerce platforms as a conversion destination, rather than considering it integral to connecting with consumers.
“TikTok is all the rage now, and it sits between social commerce and a traditional ecommerce option as it offers shopping and checkout solutions,” he said. “Consumers will use a wide variety of channels at their disposal when it comes to shopping, product research, and brand discovery. Brands need to carefully curate and orchestrate their presence across these channels — they just need to be where consumers are looking for them.”
Xian Wang, Vice President, Retail Insights, Ascential Digital Commerce, agreed when he said, “Brands need to listen. Digital commerce provides plenty of listening opportunities for brands to figure out what consumers want. Whether it is interactions on social media, analysing data from a platform like Grab, or online ratings and reviews, there is a rich tapestry of online consumer feedback that brands can use to refine and innovate.”
Effectively managing ecommerce challenges faced by brands
Jill Meng, Customer Success Director, APAC, Ascential Digital Commerce shed some light on some of the difficulties faced by brands and retailers navigating an ecommerce landscape, and offered some actionable tips:
- Prioritise online channels that create value
Focus on the leading marketplaces in your region,” said Meng. “If you are eyeing regional domination, setting up shop in Shopee and Lazada is a must. However, you should not ignore up-and-coming online channels, as they offer excellent growth opportunities and can catapult your brand to success. “
“Traditional” or long-standing ecommerce platforms like Tokopedia or Lazada offer brands a steady stream of sales and revenue, and will continue to contribute to a large chunk of their profits. However, Meng advises that brands need to pay attention to newer online channels like Tiktok Shop or Pandamart.
“Think about how you can coordinate a well-rounded digital commerce plan that accounts for both existing and new online channels. Prioritise your assortment across each channel, and use the advantages offered by each to your benefit.”
- Adopt digital solutions offered by mature online marketplaces
Existing ecommerce retailers are constantly innovating new methods of attracting consumers. For instance, “shoppertainment”, an experience combining shopping and entertainment, is fast emerging as a way to entice customers to keep using the app for as long as possible.
During 12.12, Lazada enjoyed a 7X increase in sales from its “LazLive” event, and enjoyed similar success after its “SuperShow” livestream program earned 26 million views.
- Address “out-of-stock” status as swiftly as possible
Being out-of-stock online carries considerable risks. According to Edge by Ascential’s data, businesses stand to lose approximately 22% of weekly sales every day a product remains out of stock. Online search rankings may be affected, and retail platforms might remove the product entirely.
To prevent going out-of-stock, Meng recommends that brands review and update online inventories by regular forecasting. “Running a “worst offenders'' analysis will help brands identify SKUs that are repeatedly out of stock. ”
Meng also advised brands to set up alerts on availability tracking tools like Edge by Ascential’s Digital Shelf , or set up alternative fulfilment solutions, so they can respond to out-of-stock situations effectively.
- Make yourself visible online
The top online search results are responsible for generating almost two-thirds of shopper clicks, according to Edge by Ascential’s data. “Being visible online has a tangible impact on sales,” said Meng.
A higher search ranking can translate to a 15% increase in sales, while a decline can result in a 5% dip in sales. As much as 64% of customer clicks usually fall on the top three search results, so make sure your priority SKUs are most visible to consumers. This includes ensuring that your inventory on quick commerce marketplaces is up to date, as people might prioritise those sites, rather than brands’ ecommerce website or third-party marketplaces.
Characterised by granular personalisation levels and big data, Retail 5.0 will see retailers grapple with disruptive retail models like quick commerce, social commerce, and third-party marketplaces.