The Ecommerce Team from Nestlé Waters sat down with us for an Ecommerce Round Table. They led an open discussion about the state of ecommerce, and where current trends may take us in the future. Here are some of the questions/responses from the group.

 Q: What technologies are people using in the personalization space?

Personalization is a broad segment, and its growing use as a buzz word means that more and more companies are marketing themselves as personalization solutions.

In conjunction with mediaspa, Nestlé Waters uses a combination of Monetate and custom development to drive personalization on their acquisitions websites.

Other players in this market include Optimizely and Nosto.

The Email Service Providers (ESPs) also play a role in personalization, and in this context it’s sometimes referred to as Marketing Automation. Players here include dotmailer, Bronto, and Listrak, and you also have the big boys, like SalesForce and Adobe.

Q: How does working for an established eCommerce player compare to being a start-up?

Anyone can disrupt anyone right now. Everything is accessible. There are extremely low barriers to entry. It is easier to go to market now than ever before. Manufacturing is a significant obstacle – but it is doable. There are also resources out there – entities that are eager to invest in startups.

A specific challenge mature brands encounter is they use different agencies and services, so it is difficult and VERY laborious to roll out unified and consistent campaigns and to consolidate data for effective analysis.

One powerful tool available to ALL companies is Inbound Marketing, and the utilization of social media platforms and content offerings to find your audience, build interest, drive traffic, and broadcast a consistent brand message.

Q: How concerned should ecommerce businesses be about experimenting with new technologies?

Get to know your end user before implementing any new technologies. Develop buyer personas. Engage in dialogue with your end users. What are the pain points for the end user? See what your end users are ready for – what they are ready/willing to learn/adapt/adopt?

Conduct usability studies. Invite end users to come in and use your website. Just watch them interact with your site to determine sticking points, most common actions, frustrations, etc. Survey your customers. Note that shorter surveys have higher conversion rates. Also, pay special attention to those cases when the feedback submissions are longer and more passionate. These are the ones that tend to be more critical of your service or site, but they may speak for a larger group – the silent discontent!

Q: How do you keep people engaged and interested in purchasing on your website?

Tell YOUR story. Explain WHY the visitor should buy from YOU – not in a “sales-ey” way, but through imagery, testimonials, surveys and survey results. What differentiates you and your service from your competitors? What do you offer that they don’t?

Don’t make assumptions! Create buyer personas and TEST, TEST, TEST! Many ecommerce professionals discover that they know less about their end users than initially thought. Expect to be surprised by survey and test results.

1.  Invest time in a thoughtful segmentation process.
2.  Conduct proper A/B Testing.
3.  Focus on “Small Data.”
4.  Due to the highly dynamic nature of ecommerce, implement modifications from test results QUICKLY, since change will, again, soon be upon you.
5.  Contextualize/tailor the buyer’s journey by using a dynamic landing page that mirrors the theme of the linked paid media.

Q: What are the implications of launching a Spanish-language version of your site?

There are MANY issues involved here:

1. How will you generate Spanish-language content?
2. Are you prepared to market (email, etc) in Spanish?
3. MotionPoint is one effective service for converting all existing page content to Spanish.
4. There can be SEO complications with tagging once you move to a secondary language.
5. Do you have a marketing approach/strategy to effectively reach the target audience?
6. Perhaps test the waters with a static landing page for a secondary language, see what kind of traffic you get, and then determine if adding Spanish-language content assets are worth it.

Check out some of the work we’ve done with Nestlé Waters.

Andrew Potkewitz

Director, Client Success - mediaspa