Let's be honest, a winning ecommerce strategy requires more than great ideas; it requires great tools. If you've been keeping up with our blog-series Must-knows for the 2021 holidays: real-time insights for ecommerce leaders, you'll already be familiar with shopper and retailer trends of the season. The objective of this blog, the third and final one of the series, is to highlight the technology available to address the challenges and objectives observed in the ecommerce space and spark ideas for you to stay ahead as you plan your 2022 strategy. 



Challenges:

 

Supply Chain disruptions & inventory fluctuations

As discussed in blog #2 of this series, one of the most prevalent challenges facing retailers globally is supply chain disruptions, which in turn, lead to inventory fluctuations. Whilst disturbances to the supply chain are often out of our control,  there are a number of tools that can be used to improve the online experience, ensure you cater to the needs of your most loyal customers and also maximize profit: 

 

1. “Low in stock” badging to increase sell-through

 

By showcasing that an item is limited in inventory via ‘low stock badging, you’ll create a sense of urgency and encourage shoppers to purchase before it’s too late. This not only prevents your most loyal customers from being disappointed but also optimizes sell-through and ensures you make the most out of your existing catalog. ( See how River Island is using this tool). 

 

2. “Back in stock” replenishing messaging

 

Similarly, as inventory levels may fluctuate during this season, ‘back in stock’ notifications via email are a great way of fulfilling customer wishes and encouraging loyalty. Visitors can subscribe to notifications of items they are interested in, and through seamless integration between Coveo Quibt and your email service provider, they will be automatically nudged when the item is available to shop. ( See how CeX is using this tool).  

 

3. Replenishment messaging

Finally, to make the most of your existing catalogue, increase loyalty and encourage repeat purchase,  implementing replenishment predictions and prompts is ideal. With Coveo Qubit, you’ll be able to accurately calculate replenishment windows per shopper and send automated prompts at the right time to encourage shoppers to buy again. This tool is especially useful in the beauty industry, however it can be used for any sector, and thanks to our open-integration framework, replenishment can be executed onsite or via email.  



Creating engaging online experiences

 

Another challenge prevalent in the current online retail landscape is maintaining customer engagement and delivering highly relevant experiences online. New brands and online stores emerge every single day, giving shoppers unlimited choices when it comes to obtaining the products they want. These are a couple of tools that can differentiate the experience once visitors land on your website:

 

1. 1:1 product recommendations 

 

Our personalized product recommendations are powered by deep learning and when combined with Coveo Qubit’s real-time data pipeline (every single interaction is used as a datapoint which immediately influences the content shown), they provide an experience unlike any other. Leveraging real-time visitor context and a deeper understanding of the entire product catalog means that visitors will feel ‘seen’ and ‘heard’, through content which uniquely targets their interests and inspires them to stay on the website. ( See how MandM is using this tool). 



2. 1:1 search

 

You know that great feeling when Google auto-fills whatever you were about to type in the search bar? 1:1 search does exactly that, but within your online store, making visitors feel that you know *exactly* what they are looking for.  Without any manual tweaking, this experience provides accurate and relevant results for shoppers, by leveraging a retailer’s catalog metadata and click-stream data. Customers purchase online because of its convenience, and providing a superior search experience (from results all the way through to dynamic filters) shows acknowledgment for their time, as well as builds customer loyalty - people will remember that on your website they can easily find what they are looking for.




Objectives:

 

Understand customers better

As seen in the first two blogs of this series, brands have very clear goals for the coming year, goals which are critical to maintaining ecommerce leadership. Amongst these, is the increasing need to better understand customers in order to design a superior, personalized online experience. 

 

Great personalization starts with great data. Coveo Qubit enables you to create unique customer experiences using historical data (import via CSV, programmatic or API) and real-time behavioural data gained from every interaction on your website, as well as from explicitly asking visitors for information (Visitor Pulse). Our systems will understand every customer in a way not humanly possible with custom machine learning models.  

 

The Visitor Pulse solution is like an online concierge that explicitly asks visitors about their preferences or purpose for coming to site, so you can then provide the most relevant experiences for your customers. This functionality makes it possible for you to harness the power of explicit data (knowing exactly what your customers want) with real-time automated audience creation/segmentation and dynamic product badging campaigns. 

 

Develop the omnichannel strategy

 

Coveo Qubit allows you to further integrate physical stores with the online journey by making it easy to push virtual or in-store appointments on the website. Both of these can then be followed up or targeted with personalized experiences. 

 

Another way of creating a seamless customer journey is by integrating with physical stores to showcase inventory levels and enable shoppers to easily locate where they can obtain their preferred products from a product listing page (PLP). 

 

Grow the ecommerce team

 

As seen in the previous blog of this series, many retailers are investing on growing the ecommerce team. While increased human resources are critical to expanding your ecommerce efforts, this can only be achieved if each team member is empowered to work efficiently and autonomously. 

 

The Coveo Qubit interface is designed for non-technical business users to create the most impactful and revenue-driving experiences with a few clicks (and no coding involved). It is possible to easily set up new campaigns, experiences, experiments and audiences. This means that, not only can your team test and optimize the ecommerce experience more effectively, but also, there will be less pressure and demand for your tech department, creating efficiencies elsewhere in the company.



Design a top 1% ecommerce strategy for 2022

 

Evidently, implementing smart technology into your customer experience is critical, both to address upcoming challenges and also to achieve company objectives for 2022. The features and tools presented in this blog are the result of 1000’s of interviews with marketers, ecommerce managers and company leaders, who’ve helped us identify which areas in the online journey have the most significant impact on the bottom line. 


At Coveo Qubit, our mission is to make ecommerce better. If you’re interested in learning more about how Qubit can help you deliver online experiences your customers expect, reach out to us at info@qubit.com.

Author

Alicia Sanchez

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