One of the key retail themes born out of the experiences of the previous 16 months is the concept of “digital transformation” and what it means from a advertising and marketing perspective — which raises a query: as e-commerce development continues, how do you construct buyer loyalty?
At the Fairchild Media Group Tech Forum, Sherene Hilal, senior vp of product advertising and marketing and enterprise operations at Bluecore, addressed this matter throughout her presentation, “Marketing in 2025: Preparing for Big Changes Ahead.”
Hilal mentioned when manufacturers and retailers focus on a “digital-first approach” to e-commerce development, it’s vital to know that buyers are “now buying new products from new brands faster than they ever have before. And the speed and volume of shoppers discovering and purchasing online are forcing all of us to reformulate what growth could mean for our brands.”
Within this context, Hilal mentioned digital transformation “is the approach your brand will take to grow in digital, by pulling on really the only three levers that matter.” Those levers embody figuring out customers, and enhancing conversion charges “by connecting your shoppers, faster and in more places to the right product and offer that makes it really easy for them to buy.” The third lever is “repeat purchases through customer loyalty programs that deliver on the value of your product.”
Hilal was fast to notice that there are tactical traps to profitable digital transformation and advertising and marketing, which incorporates pondering there’s a single platform or expertise that may clear up a advertising and marketing technique drawback. Another entice is manufacturers pondering they should have all the client information in a single place. Moreover, even when the info is in a single place, retailers and types can’t activate it. In that case, they fall into one other entice, which is to extend spending on buyer information acquisition. A greater strategy is retention utilizing expertise, buyer information and predictive information.
Hilal steered making small changes “that could radically transform how your business approaches digital.” The first is to vary the mind-set of the retail or model staff round end result versus channel. She mentioned corporations are inclined to orient their advertising and marketing groups round channels or programs with buyer loyalty because the “Holy Grail” — however “it’s rarely defined by a particular team or owned in a particular part of the brand.”
This usually “results in an exhaustive list of activities and processes that may or may not drive e-commerce growth,” Hilal mentioned. When loyalty is measured by an end result, she mentioned you possibly can take a “test and learn” strategy and use expertise reminiscent of machine studying to optimize advertising and marketing campaigns.
Hilal then offered a case examine of an attire model that took on an organizational mind-shift from a channel strategy to an outcome-based one. In it, the model outlined buyer loyalty as “repeat buyers with higher average order volume.” Next, the info activation was put within the arms of the groups on the model driving communication “for full lifecycle personalization.” At the identical time, the advertising and marketing execution, analytics and expertise had been put beneath one chief “for data-driven, consistent experiences.”
“By defining their e-commerce and marketing teams under a chief customer officer, and getting specific about the definition of customer loyalty, they could fine-tune how their programs are driving product discovery and how that product discovery was shortening the distance between finding a new product and actually converting and buying it online,” Hilal mentioned, noting that the one-to-one customized suggestions had been driving further purchases.
The model was capable of be extra worthwhile by figuring out customers (and never shopping for an inventory), utilizing first-party information on owned channels, and testing first-party information in paid media. A key half was placing the client information “in the driver’s seat” whereas utilizing predictive analytics to drive conversions. The backside line, Hilal mentioned, was “moving from an acquisition mind-set to a retention mind-set.”