As the world of eCommerce transitions to a new era, there are definitely some changes that DTC brands will have to implement. During DTC Breakthrough, we got to soak in the presence of these value bombs from four experts:
- Jeremy Singh, Senior Partner Manager at Klaviyo
- Blake Van Putten, Founder of CISE
- Xavier Lee, Managing Director at Jumpstart eCommerce
- Chachi Apolinario, Enterprise Sales at Shopify
Whether it’s a change in mindset or strategy, this new era calls for eCommerce businesses to step up and do things differently in order to succeed.
What is the new era of eCommerce?
The new eCommerce era has the following major characteristics:
It is a gateway to the cookieless future
“Technology has shifted over time, but privacy hasn’t,” Jeremy Singh emphasized how technology is moving away from third-party cookies.
Invented to track user data, cookies were taken advantage of by a lot of brands to form disturbingly accurate profiles of customers. This enabled brands to track consumers’ behaviors across numerous websites and then use this data to retarget them on other platforms.
The new era of eCommerce is a world without third-party cookies and a world with more concern for privacy. DTC brands can no longer rely on third-party data and will need to revisit their advertising and customer acquisiton strategies.
It focuses on customer-first marketing
As we say goodbye to third-party cookies, the eCommerce landscape will shift towards a customer-first marketing approach. “It’s no longer just about the width of your wallet and throwing a whole bunch of money into ads,” Jeremy explained.
Consumers are given back control of their information and data. How they share it with brands and advertisers will be up to them.
Put simply, consent will play a huge role in this new eCommerce era.
It calls for a change in how to collect and use data smartly
Since obtaining first-party data requires consent, brands will have to level up their creativity and come up with unique ways to gather data while building trust.
Once brands have data from online users, how can they use this limited information to create great marketing experiences?
3 success strategies for the new eCommerce landscape
There’s no doubt—there are a lot of things and strategies that will keep unfolding as we move deeper into the new eCommerce era. However, here are some strategies that will help you get a headstart.
“Less stalking, more talking”
Jeremy Singh likens the use of third-party cookies to stalking. While it’s understandable for DTC brands to worry about the cookieless future, he sees it as an opportunity to create more value.
That’s the great thing about DTC—you own your relationships with your customers.
Here’s a quick overview of the three components of customer-first marketing:
- People – If you have no customers, you won’t have people to collect data from. So your audience is your data source.
- Insights – This refers to the information that your customers have agreed to share.
- Action – How will you create experiences using the information you’ve gathered?
More tips from the DTC experts on how to execute customer-first marketing:
- Put their needs first. Give value before extracting value.
- Think of it as a romantic relationship. You don’t propose on the first date.
- Integrate your customers’ wants and desires in every single experience you create
Implement the 5 phases of customer-first marketing
As you dive deeper into customer-first marketing, you want to get to a point wherein you truly understand your customers. The 5 phases of customer-first marketing will help you get there:
Phase 1: Goal Setting
Are you aiming to increase traffic? Improve conversion rates? Increase retention rate? Identify what your specific goal is and set a clear path to get there. Avoid jumping from one goal to another as well as handling various goals all at the same time.
Phase 2: Inspiration and architecture
Again, understand that you need to put the customer first. This is truly the way to succeed in DTC. Get inspiration by figuring out how to learn directly from the people who buy your product. Few things to get you started: quizzes, surveys, and interviews. Unleash your creativity and think of the best ways to get the data you need—with consent.
Phase 3: Implementation and data mining
Set up the architecture and start gathering the data!
Some examples to get you going:
- An influencer lets her top-paying clients book a call with her so she can further understand their needs
- Reaching out to customers who only bought once by asking them why did they buy the product and nothing else?
Phase 4: Measurement, automation, and personalization
Data is key—measure the success of your strategies and explore how you can automate them in the future so you can market at scale. For example, Klaviyo and Shopify can help personalize experiences by utilizing segments (demographics, cart history, purchase history, etc.).
Phase 5: Repetition
Finally, keep on looking at the data and pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Refine what’s working and always find ways to improve it.
Maximize Shopify to gain advantage
Shopify has helped propel a lot of brands to success, and it will continue doing so in this new era. During the height of the pandemic, Blake had some struggles related to logistics, shipping, and inventory.
It was during this time that Shopify provided options and funding opportunities so Blake could continue running his business despite the setback. “You actually go to an account manager who helps you strategize,” Chachi from Shopify emphasized. So your DTC brand will not be left to fend for itself even during challenges like this.
“If you do want to play catch up, go to other platforms,” Xavier from Jumpstart eCommerce chimed in. “But if you want to focus on your marketing and beat your competitors, just stay on Shopify.”
It’s pretty clear that Shopify will play a key role in the new era of eCommerce, so both young and established brands might want to include a platform review in their plans.
It’s all about your customers
You know what they say: the customer is always right. And in the new eCommerce era, it really is going to be all about them, their needs, their insights, their behavior, and what DTC brands can learn from them.
Unlock the full sessions of DTC Breakthrough and start cementing your place in the new era.