For e-commerce companies as well as retail brands in general, it is no longer the store – online or offline – that is at the center of the shopping experience. It is the consumer, every customer as an individual. E-commerce brands have the potential and the technology to customize and personalize everything for this individual customer – from store experience to promotions, from advertising to recommendation engines. But to do that, they need to be cognizant and responsive to when and where consumers are making purchase decisions and who these consumers are. This is even more crucial because their purchase journey itself is no longer linear. In fact, 55% of product searches now start on Amazon, not Google. And 42% of active Amazon users still shop at Walmart. Amidst this complexity, consumers are making their purchase decisions continuously throughout their always-on shopping journeys. Understanding this journey and consumer behaviour at every point of it is crucial for e-commerce companies. Only then can they achieve the sweet spot of deep consumer insight and tailor their strategies for high-volume customer acquisition and retention.
The challenge here is that despite this urgent need for such deep consumer insight, most e-commerce brands still heavily rely on consumers’ online behaviour or offline primary research that accounts for a minuscule sample size. It just tells them half the story. Not only are each consumer’s needs and shopping journeys different, but your and my search histories and online clicks also are not all there is to our personalities and lifestyle needs or shopping needs. When e-commerce companies base their full spectrum marketing and business strategy on consumers’ online behaviour and researching small sample sizes, these strategies are not backed by sufficient data sources. This results in poor conversion rates.
What are e-commerce brands missing?
Simply put, they are missing the deep impact that the physical world has on purchase decisions. They can take it into account by quickly incorporating insights from the physical world in their segmentation and targeting strategy. This is possible with mobile-based audience segments that bring both online and offline personas, lifestyle needs, behaviours, brand affinities and more into the fold of pivotal data points. When this happens, e-commerce brands will be able to tailor marketing & communication, measure user engagement and marketing campaigns, and enhance their web store experience.
All that mobile audiences can enable e-commerce brands to do
- Deeply understand consumer personas based on their physical world behaviour and the places they inhabit in combination with the wealth of online behaviour data that e-commerce brands already own
- Predict consumers’ shopping needs by combining online behaviour data with offline retail stores and other location visits and brand affinities
- Tailor UX and promotions with the single-minded intent of competing with offline stores that get high footfalls for specific categories
- Get an insight into what locations prompt shoppers to make purchases. An interesting insight we received from a pilot project for an e-commerce company was that 6 pm on a weekday, when many middle- to high-income groups were stuck in their cabs in heavy traffic, they were most likely to close the purchases they had been planning in their shopping cart. A large number of grocery shopping instances occurred on Friday evenings. Serving reminders in high traffic locations at 6 pm helped our client increase the number of closures by a staggering 43%.
- Tailor advertising and marketing strategy drilled down to individual consumers and their preferences and affinities
- Advertise the right products at the right time. With mobile audiences, e-commerce brands now have a way to advertise recliners to consumers after a long day at work and grocery when it has been a month since their last grocery shop visit
And the above use cases just scratch the surface of all that’s possible for e-commerce companies that leverage mobile audiences. In a world where everything is personalized – from our Facebook news feeds to our cab rides – mobile audiences hold the key for e-commerce brands to truly revolutionize themselves with deep consumer insight, contextual, personalized, effective, and relevant strategies.