Last week, Reloaders Emily and Alex travelled to Sydney for Commerce+ where they heard from some of Australia’s leading brands who are redefining commerce in 2019. The event was the first of its kind in Australia and the second globally, following Commerce+ New York.
With 350 guests attending from across Australia, Commerce+ hosted a full day of speakers sharing their stories, challenges and strategies in the world of commerce. Here are our key takeaways from the day to help you set your business up for growth.
Creating customer-centric experiences
To create a customer-centric experience, you first need to know your customer. Who they are, what they believe in and how your brand fits into their life. By understanding this, you can then customise their onsite and brand experience depending on their behaviour. It’s all about making your customer feel known.
So what does a personalised customer experience look like onsite? Megan Olney from Who Gives a Crap suggests using Beacon by Help Scout to push personalised FAQs to your customers depending on where they are on your website. A small gesture to surprise or delight will help create a positive experience that makes your customer feel known and valued.
Once the customer has shopped with you, building and maintaining loyalty is key. Loyalty programs are a great way to achieve this, but again, it’s all about a customised approach. Travis Wright from Esther & Co says customers who were part of their loyalty program purchased almost twice as often as their non-loyalty program counterparts. While this works well for Esther & Co, Travis also encouraged retailers to make sure your program is customised to your client base. What works for them won’t necessarily work for others.
Four strategies to future-proof your brand
Next on the agenda was Mark Bergen from Shopify Plus, who gave his top four strategies to grow your brand.
- Make sure your customer experience is consistent from online to in-store and that you are delivering the experience your customers want.
- Let computers do what computers do best, so humans can do what they do best.
- Remove friction from your buying experience. Shopify uses a quick step process to make your buying experience as seamless as possible.
- Experiment with channels. Use technology to discover and test new challenges and pay attention so you can be where the consumer is and where they’re going to be.
How to build a brand
— Emily Forrest (@forrest_effect) April 3, 2019
Greta van Riel, founder of Hey Influencers, recommends following the PSSP approach to build your brand. Problem, Satistic, Solution, Product. Firstly, identify a problem that exists within the market. For example, ‘nutrient deficiencies in women are becoming increasingly common’.
Next, provide a statistic about that problem: ‘1 in 3 women are affected by fatigue each day due to a lack of correct vitamins and nutrition’.
Then provide a solution to that problem: ‘by having a rich source of vitamin X between 8 and 9am, women have experienced a 60% uplift in energy throughout the day’.
Finally, position your product: ‘The X Womens Multi contains new natural release technology that, when taken within your glycemic window, have a slow release, giving you the vitamins you need to increase your energy throughout the day.’
Naadam is a company that really built a brand out of a problem. They align with strong values, culture and respect for their supply chain, which allows them to connect with an audience not only through the problem, but also what their product stands for:
When it comes to expanding into new markets, the consensus was that the process is actually quite boring. Work out the logistics, including shipping and distribution, local currency and customer service, legal considerations (such as trademarking) and the impact on profit & loss. At the end of the day, having a good financial team will make this process a lot easier.
But how do you decide where to launch? Jess Hatzis, Founder of Frank Body, says they launched into a market based on their analytics data, which was showing a region with lots of traffic but no conversions. They thought that creating a new site taking all these data considerations into account would fix the problem, but it turned out someone had just swiped their analytics code. The lesson here is, before launching into a new market, make sure it’s completely viable for your business.
Some markets are harder to launch into than others. Japan, as an example, was a region touched on in a lot of detail during one of the sessions. “Big in Japan” discussed the cultural differences and localisations which should be taken into consideration before launching a brand into any new market. Japan is the best example of a market where adapting to local business fundamentals and cultural nuances is crucial for success.
Localisation of your brand or product is important to gain trust with the Japanese consumer. Even some bigger brands like Taco Bell get it wrong by trusting Google Translate to convert their site to Japanese. The hard part with Japan is that if you make a mistake like that early, there’s potential to sink your brand in that market before you even launch. Mark Wang from Shopify Japan says to make sure you have truly considered all of the local nuances before launching into the Japanese market. With such loyal consumers, a brand needs local support in order to succeed. Once you’ve built that loyalty, the Japanese consumer will continue shopping with you and likely be a huge brand advocate.
That's a wrap on Commerce+ Sydney!
— Shopify Plus (@ShopifyPlus) April 4, 2019
More on Commerce
To learn more about how to grow your brand, check out these resources recommended by Commerce+ speakers:
- ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz – Advice and practical tips for founding, running, selling, buying, managing and investing in companies.
- ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Eckhart Tolle – A useful guide for entrepreneurs on how to live a healthier and happier life by living in the present moment.
- ‘The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty’ by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman & Rick DeLisi – Tools and templates to improve service, reduce costs and create customer loyalty.
If you’re in Brisbane, make sure you join Reload at the next Shopify Meetup on Thursday 30th May, where you’ll hear from experts and merchants on how to build a successful ecommerce brand. More details to come soon!