Recently, Brightpearl teamed up with BigCommerce and EYStudios to host the Revision meetup in Atlanta, GA. This was a fantastic event with panel speakers including Kenny Johnson, Sr. Director of Product Management at Brightpearl, Tracey Wallace, Sr. Content Manager at BigCommerce, Eric Yonge, CEO/Creative Director at EYStudios, and Scott Szeglowski, Digital Marketing at Delaware North. Attendees walked away with actionable advice on various topics covering omnichannel, replatforming, merchandising, and increasing revenue.
Whether or not you were able to make it to Revision, this blog shares key takeaways to help your retail business thrive.
Currently, replatforming is a big but necessary measure for a lot of merchants. As technology continues to evolve, retailers must ensure that their ecommerce platform can keep up with the industry’s latest trends.
Replatforming allows merchants the ability to enhance their business while still being able to focus on their retail strategy. As suggested from the panel of industry experts, let technology companies handle the tech while you put more time back into growing your business.
Remember, finding the platform is crucial. Retailers should be cautious not to change their business plan to fit the platform but make sure that it fits what their business needs. Create a list of must haves and share this with those technology companies up for consideration, also known as an RFP, and see if they are able to meet your needs before committing.
B2C vs B2B Merchandising
With B2B ecommerce being the hot topic this year, merchants considering this market should remember these two key points:
1. How shoppers are shopping: B2C customers typically excel your merchandising strategy based on client demand. However, B2B customers are looking for a solution. This means that B2B merchants need to focus on branding themselves as a solution provider.
2. Back office solutions: B2B businesses greatly differ in terms of how they interact with their customers. For example, B2B customers will typically submit purchase orders for goods, so there may be more pricing complexity involved, and tracking of order history is necessary. This is where an ERP or back office solution for these businesses is crucial for success.
Seamlessly implementing purchase opportunities where your customers already are is a game changer for ecommerce. That’s why it’s key for retailers to have an omnichannel strategy in place to meet customer needs no matter where they are. Whether you have a brick and mortar or an ecommerce site, implementing additional things like Facebook Ads or Instagram Marketplace is important. One tip to ensure the success of your omnichannel strategy is to have a back office solution in place. Back office solutions will help your team with inventory management, accounting, data analytics, and much more, allowing you to make sure that your customers can get what they want, when and where they want.
User Generated Content
Your brand is about what users say it is and less about what you say it is. This is why retailers, especially those in the B2C market, should be utilizing their customers to provide user generated content. This may include things like online reviews, customer testimonial and tutorial videos, or the use of influencers. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have an A-list celebrity on the front lines of your brand. Working with micro influencers can help with spreading word of mouth, especially through their blogs and Instagram. Having user generated content validates your brand through a softer sell and helps build a brand community.
For many merchants, an ERP or back office system is necessary to run their business. However, there are still many merchants in the initial stages of getting this setup. For those new to ERP, the panel of industry experts recommend these three tips for finding the best platform:
1. Talk to other merchants to get their feedback on platforms available. As mentioned previously, word of mouth can be the best way to produce content but it can also be the best way to find out what works and what is a reliable solution.
2. See how the application interacts with your ecommerce platform including scalability and workflows, how it handles spikes in orders, and key data points.
3. Document your success criteria, similar to your RFP, and track progress towards your end goal throughout implementation. Make sure that the solution is actually moving your company to success and not creating more pain points.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, whilst 40% abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds. To ensure that your site is fully optimized, the panel of experts noted to first focus on good design for your customers and then good code for search engines. User experience is key but there are additional things that retailers can do to ensure that their site is optimized. For example, ensure you have jpeg images on your site and optimize these images before going online.
As we rapidly approach the holiday season, merchants are advising to get your promotions, discounts, and holiday campaigns prepared to increase your average order value. According to a BigCommerce study, free shipping with a certain purchase minimum was the top successful way to increase retailers’ average order value. This was followed by buy one, get one free discounts and email marketing campaigns. Outside of the holidays, industry experts recommend that you ensure your team has upsell and cross sell strategies in place.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Data is important for retailers to understand what is and isn’t working to adapt with their customers; but it’s just as important to get the accurate data before making key decisions. Platforms like Brightpearl can assist retailers with a better understanding on not only revenue from a product but also the cost analysis, resulting in a true representation of value.
In the end, the most crucial takeaway for retail success is to always keep your customers first. There are many solutions available to help retailers achieve this, whether it be from a front office or back office view.
To hear more from the panel, check out the video: