4 E-Commerce Tactics to Create Agile Messaging
E-commerce is having a moment. According to Adobe’s recently released Digital Economy Index, online grocery shopping grew by 110 percent in daily online sales in April, while apparel increased by 34 percent, and online electronics sales increased by 58 percent. While e-commerce may be seeing Black Friday traffic levels during this time, there's no playbook for how e-commerce retailers and brands can maintain consistent messaging, especially when the context for a brand’s messaging is continuously evolving due to new demands.
However, that doesn’t mean brands can’t react and adapt their strategies to create agile messaging that further bolsters their merchandising strategy. Here are four tactics e-commerce brands can implement to achieve agility in the face of change:
1. Provide helpful resources and suggestions.
As messaging and merchandising strategies change, clear communication with shoppers is key. Ensure site merchandising is aligned with any new companywide messaging so that shoppers can easily understand the change. For example, if a particular product line is currently out of stock or if a brand changes its fulfillment or checkout processes, ensure this content is front and center for e-commerce shoppers.
As merchandising and messaging strategies continue to evolve, take a fresh look at existing products and explore how to merchandise them in new, relevant ways that add value to the shopper. This is a perfect opportunity to create clear messaging that lets your shopper know what’s changed and what’s new, giving them helpful tips and cues about new products or brand initiatives they should be on the lookout for.
2. Curate timely landing pages.
Curate pages that support marketing campaigns, and display everything shoppers are looking for in one place. This can drive cross-sells and increase average order value. Don’t make the shopper sift through products that aren’t relevant to them right now. For example, given the travel restrictions in place at this time, a travel and leisure brand should opt to highlight products that can be used for “staycations” rather than a trip across the world. Give shoppers the front-row seat to new promotions and updates within the site, leading them directly to what’s new or to a best-selling item that's performing well among a brand’s customer base during this time.
3. Create new collections.
For retailers that carry a variety of product categories, now is the time to group and blend them in new ways. Focus on the products that customers really want, rather than the traditional category structures. Think creatively when grouping products from different categories. A recent example of this can be found in the newly created collection between West Elm and REI. Recognizing that consumers are spending more time outdoors, the two brands teamed up to launch a new online collection that appeals to multiple consumers’ needs and provides an innovative collection dedicated to the “glamping” lifestyle.
4. Display messaging prominently.
Use content to demonstrate product value and support customers in their decision making. Draw attention to helpful resources, get creative with landing pages, and ensure communication is consistent and accessible at every touchpoint. Keep in mind that rule-based merchandising is invaluable when it comes to reacting quickly and making sweeping changes in just a few clicks.
Messaging Agility in the Face of Change
As shoppers’ habits continue to shift toward e-commerce in record numbers, it’s important for brands to quickly respond to their needs in the face of rapid change. As the first half of 2020 has demonstrated, world events can take an already changing industry — such as online retail — and accelerate both consumer adoption and the need for brands to be prepared to pivot. E-commerce brands that are able to maintain agility in their messaging and clearly communicate changes to their site or processes will win in this accelerated environment.
JoAnn Martin is vice president of marketing at Searchspring, the search and merchandising platform that e-commerce teams rely on to skyrocket conversion rates and revenue without sacrificing the shopping experience.
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