CXO Bytes

Rules of the game: How brands look on ecommerce platforms make or break sales

Once upon a time, not too long ago, ecommerce was an afterthought for brands. The online channel often served as clearance outlet. The real value and attention were dedicated to offline channels.

However, market forces came into play, like they always do, and changed everything. Also at play was the pandemic, rapid growth of technology, and the changing profile of customers. The focus shifted to an omni-channel approach. Online and offline merge seamlessly to provide a unified brand experience to customers.

A lot more changed over the past few years. The rise and rise of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands have brought about game-changing techniques. Brands of all sizes and lineage are now employing these same techniques to determine the success or failure of their own sales efforts.

One of these techniques is the strong emphasis on content. In the virtual world a consumer does not buy a physical product; she buys the digital content she consumes of an ecommerce platform, with a tacit understanding that the product will be delivered to her at a later date. What this means is that how brands look on ecommerce platforms can make or break sales.

After investing significant sums of money in top-of-the-funnel advertisements, brands cannot afford to lose customers at the crucial “Shop-Now” page or stage. Quality content that a brand presents to its customers on the ecommerce platform, convincing them about the virtues of product, plays a pivotal role in converting sales. It most often outweighing the impact of offers and pricing. Enriched content, text, images, infographics, videos are increasingly instilling confidence in consumers about brands, and driving conversions.

Personalized offers have also proven to be highly effective. By leveraging data and personalized messaging, brands convincing customers who may have abandoned their carts with targeted promotions.

For instance, a gentle reminder like, “Hey! You left that pair of shoes in the cart. Use Code GRABNOW and get a further 15% off,” can be the deciding factor in completing a purchase. Offering a modest discount is often more cost-effective than acquiring a new customer at a higher Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). But the discount if just the first step; how and when it is presented to the consumer is the key.

Remember, in an offline store the salesperson does the convincing, and only when the store is open. On the other hand, the online store is open 24X7. The sale can happen at three in the morning, from any geographical location. It’s only the brands content that does the ‘talking’ and the convincing.

Personalization is key to fostering frequent purchases. In the online world, where consumers are bombarded with countless options, personalization brings convenience and ease. By displaying products tailored to a customer’s preferences and past purchases, brands streamline the decision-making process.

Imagine logging into a website and being presented with a curated selection of shoes in your size. The consumers is most likely surprised, touched and could become a lifelong customer. The ease of finding the perfect pair significantly increases the likelihood of a purchase and encourages customers to increase buy the product and recommend it to others. We all know in the online world, consumers shop solo and yet are more social.

Another strategy brands adopt is channel-specific product mixes. When selling through web stores, marketplaces, and offline outlets, brands often choose to customize their product offerings to drive footfall and engagement on each platform. They may opt to sell fast-moving products on marketplaces, capitalizing on the higher footfall these platforms attract.

However, their exclusive or select range would only be available through the brand’s web store or offline channels. This approach allows brands to establish a direct connection with customers while leveraging the exposure and reach provided by marketplaces.

In the dynamic world of e-commerce, brands must understand and adhere to the rules of the game to succeed. Quality content, personalized offers, tailored product mixes, and a focus on personalization are all crucial elements that can make or break sales. By embracing these strategies, brands can effectively navigate the digital landscape and position themselves for growth and success.


(The author is Narinder Mahajan, CEO & Co-Founder, ODN, and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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