In the Ecom Experts, we focus on e-commerce thought leadership and insight by conducting short interviews with industry leaders and influencers who, through their unique experience and category leadership, have gained special perspectives on the growth and direction of online shopping. Meet Amanda, Head of e-Commerce at KIND Snacks and all-round e-commerce wizard.
1) What two or three things are the most critical to a brand’s success online?
Clarity and relevance of product offering, a coherent pricing strategy and sufficient product reviews are the three most critical factors in a brand’s online success.
2) In your opinion, what is the single most important thing that brick and mortar retailers can do to drive online purchasing?
Retailers need to understand that the path to purchase isn’t linear and hasn’t been for a long time. It’s not so much about driving online purchasing, as it is emphasizing omni-channel retailing, specifically integrating in-store, online and mobile experiences. Retailers must be where the consumer needs them to be. The issue is that no one has really done “Brick & Click” very well. It’s not an easy thing to integrate. There are differences in shopping behavior, shelf space, product packaging space, pricing transparency, etc. Most brick and mortar retailers are trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. The first step to drive purchasing in general is acknowledgement that shopping behavior has changed permanently.
3) What should retailers/manufacturers know about how consumers shop online?
We are in the age of consumers having all of the power – their access to information and product assortment is almost unlimited. Retailers need to make shopping as easy and convenient as possible, regardless of whether consumers are shopping in-store, online or on mobile. Manufacturers need to listen to consumers and create product propositions that fulfill consumer’s needs and wants. Authenticity and transparency are integral to success online, as consumers have an uncanny ability to see through weak propositions.
4) When you run online marketing campaigns with a retailer, how do you determine if it was successful, and what kind of things might you learn to apply to your next campaign?
With most e-Retailers, you can back into an ROI (with some assumptions), even if they won’t provide it to you directly. Measuring ROI is extraordinarily important, even though more traditional forms of media aren’t held to that same standard. I truly believe that if you can measure it, you must. That being said, the goal of every campaign may not be ROI. It’s most important to define what success looks like and align with all stakeholders prior to the campaign running. If the goal of the campaign is brand awareness, then the critical metrics should be impressions and incremental product detail page views.
5) If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the ecommerce landscape, what would it be?
Price degradation is easily the biggest problem for brands engaging in the e-Commerce landscape. Unless a brand can implement and enforce a MAP policy (which is difficult, at best), price degradation is almost guaranteed over time. For a premium brand, like KIND, this poses potential issues in the long term. Having a thorough, strategic pricing strategy, taking into account all channels, is infinitely important.