Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

8 Things to Consider When You Go Offline to Online

As COVID-19 reshapes our society, people are increasingly turning to online shopping for their needs and wants. Recent data shows that the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from brick and mortar to e-commerce by roughly five years.

Although the effects of the pandemic are now gradually subsiding, this shift isn’t letting up. Many retailers expect to see a continued increase in online demand throughout 2021 and beyond.

A McKinsey survey found that companies are now three times more likely to conduct 80 percent of their customer interactions digitally than before the pandemic. In addition, current figures predict that global e-retail revenues will rise to US$6.54 trillion in 2022, up US$3.07 trillion from 2019.

This trend makes right now the perfect time to grow your online presence and get ahead of the curve. However, moving from offline to online can be challenging, especially for digital non-natives. Here are 8 critical things to consider before you get started.


  • 1. How You Will Manage Your Data

Data is a valuable resource and a cornerstone of digital transformation. It can provide you with actionable insights into customers and their behaviors, enabling you to make intelligent business decisions that drive your brand forward.

When you move from offline to online, the amount of data your brand collects will grow significantly. How you manage this data is crucial. First, determine which data is authentic, useful, and accurate. Next, invest in a data science platform or customer data platform (CDP) to collect and unify all of your data in real time.


  • 2. What You Know About Your Customers

Going online presents an opportunity to revisit and expand on what you already know about your customers. Unifying your data in a CDP enables you to develop a 360-degree view of the customer and better understand their behaviors, preferences, patterns and trends, creating more accurate customer profiles.

To stay ahead of the competition, use AI technology to enhance your data analytics capabilities. Machine learning tools can dig deeper into these insights to create effective customer segments that you can target with relevant ads and offers. You can also use machine learning to predict future customer behavior, in order to focus on high-value customers.


  • 3. The Advantages of an Omnichannel Approach

Going digital means your channels of customer engagement will multiply. Apart from your e-commerce site, these will include social media, mobile, email, apps, and more. Rather than treat each channel independently, customers today expect companies to offer a consistent experience across all the channels. Therefore, adopting an omnichannel approach is essential to winning today’s consumers.

Omnichannel marketing is all about being customer-centric. It involves understanding all of the channels your customers use to interact with your brand, as well as when and how they use each channel. As a prospect or existing customer hops between your online and offline channels, each interaction is taken into account, and requires consistent and personalized content to ensure a seamless experience.

The omnichannel approach that leverages customer journey mapping tools can increase purchase frequency by as much as 250 percent and retention rates by 90 percent.


  • 4. How You Will Integrate New Technology

Transitioning to online commerce can be complex as new technologies are thrown into the mix. A key challenge will be integrating these new technologies with your existing systems, such as your CRM, inventory management, payments, and customer service. Getting it right is crucial for creating business efficiency and delivering an excellent customer experience. 

It is essential you choose suitable systems and solutions for your business and objectives. Think about what you need, from a content management system (CMS) to marketing automation tools. You also want to ensure a smooth implementation process. This means providing adequate staff training, and calling in a specialist if needed.


  • 5. The Best Way to Build Your E-Commerce Store

Setting up an online store requires careful planning. There are two main options to consider: a third-party commerce platform or marketplace such as Amazon or Alibaba, or building your own site from scratch. Each has its pros and cons.

Third-party e-commerce platforms already have a big customer base, so they can give your brand more exposure. They are also easy to manage as things like logistics and marketing are often taken care of. By comparison, setting up your own can be more work, but the rewards are greater control, a stronger brand image, and a competitive edge. Website builder platforms, such as Shopify and Squarespace, can be a good compromise.


  • 6. Your Approach to Supply Chains and Logistics

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the supply and logistical inefficiencies of many online retailers. They simply were not set up to deal with the sudden growing orders coupled with the closure of overseas suppliers. Nor were they able to cope with the delivery delays caused by increased demand.

To make your business more resilient, think carefully about your supply processes. Will you use international suppliers or keep things local? Will you ship nationally or overseas? What will your returns policy be? In addition, consider investing in smart inventory management tools so you can make more accurate demand predictions.  


  • 7. How Your Customers Will Make Payments

When you sell online, you will no longer be able to accept over-the-counter payments. Instead, you need to set yourself up to accept payments online through multiple payment methods such as credit and debit cards, Apple Pay and PayPal. The more options you offer customers, the better.

For this, you need a payments gateway and merchant account. A payment gateway facilitates online transactions and allows you to process them securely. A merchant account holds and verifies payments before depositing them into your business account.

To make things easier, some website platforms have inbuilt payment systems that do not require you to set up a merchant account.


  • 8. The Importance of Online Security

Cybersecurity is one of the most important things to consider in e-commerce. It protects private and sensitive customer data, keeps your money safe from financial fraud and scams, and ensures secure payments.

Without recognizable online security systems and trust badges on your site, customers may be wary of buying from you and look to buy elsewhere. In fact, one study found that 60 percent of customers did not buy because there were no trust badges on a site.


Moving from a brick-and-mortar store to an online business model isn’t easy, but it is key to staying ahead and staying in the game. Carefully planning is crucial. By considering the important elements above, thinking about your overall business strategy, and being pragmatic and measured in your approach, you can make a smooth transition. Finally, don’t forget to spread the word that you are now online.


* Want to find out more about how our intelligent marketing software can help you stay ahead in e-commerce? Contact our team today for an exclusive consultation.


Let us know the marketing challenges that you’re facing, and how you want to improve your marketing strategy.


6 Steps to Boost Conversion Rates With Multivariate Testing

Testing is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy. It can help you figure out what customers want by telling you what is working and what is not. With this information you can then optimize your digital efforts and, in turn, increase leads and conversions.  There are many different types of testing you can engage in, from basic experiments where you try something new for a couple of months to A/B testing. However, for more advanced marketers, multivariate testing (MVT) is the next step.  According to recent research, more than half of successful marketers today engage in multivariate testing. However, there is still some confusion over what multivariate testing is, what it involves, and how it differs from more commonly-used A/B testing. Put simply, multivariate testing involves testing multiple combinations of elements on a  website or in a digital campaign simultaneously. For example, creating and testing multiple variations of a live webpage, each with subtle changes to the headline, CTAs, navigation, and images. By comparison, A/B testing, also known as split-testing, only tests two options. For example, you might test two emails with different subject lines or test two website landing pages, each with a radically different approach in

A Simple Guide to Unsupervised Learning

AI models can make decisions and predictions quicker than any human operator. In order to do so, they have to first learn from data – they can do this through either supervised or unsupervised learning.   What Is Unsupervised Learning? Unsupervised learning is a machine learning technique in which the AI needs to find patterns and correlations from a set of inputs without being given outputs to the learning algorithm. For example, when trying to define a target market for a new product type. Unsupervised learning is used when the outputs are unknown or unavailable, either because of scarcity of data, or because training data is too expensive to collect. Think of AI like a child. Supervised learning would involve teaching the child something we as humans already know, like colors, numbers or vocabulary. Whereas unsupervised learning leaves the child free to solve problems and find inferences by himself, for example by letting him pursue imaginative play or creative activities like writing and drawing. Compared to supervised learning, unsupervised learning:  · deals with unlabeled data · enables users perform more complex processing tasks · is more unpredictable · can be used to discover the underlying structure of the data ·

Creativity Is Humanity’s Only Advantage Against AI, but Can Bots Be Creative in Their Own Right?

Author | Min Sun, Chief AI Scientist, Appier Even as technology advances at a rapid pace and the possibilities for AI increase, it’s important to remember that the most effective applications of AI will still require a human touch. As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to advance and its capabilities expand, we might wonder what the role of humans is going to be as things become increasingly automated. This is particularly true when it comes to creativity, given that the ability to ideate and produce new things is one of the characteristics that distinguish humans from other animals.   Defining ‘Creativity’ We already have many examples that AI can be trained to exhibit creative behaviours. For instance, AI can be used to transfer a particular artistic style to original photographs. Mobile applications like Prisma, which allow artistic style transfer, have become extremely popular. AI can also be used to generate new images or paintings. It was recently reported that a new painting created by an AI program has been sold at auction for astonishing US$432,500! It’s important to distinguish ‘creative behaviours’ from ‘creativity’ with regard to what AI technology is actually doing. How humans decide what is and isn’t creative