Every moment personal, every experience shoppable: It’s the holy grail merchants across the world have been striving for since digital gave us the chance to custom-fit consumer experiences. From startups to multinational firms, today’s retailers understand that becoming an option for consumers against ultra-competition demands every interaction to be tailored, irresistible, and, yes, shoppable.
Experience-driven commerce is intensely relevant in Asia Pacific, a region where online revenues are expected to reach US$2.34 trillion in 2019. The engine behind this growth is APAC’s sheer size and consumer mindset. As the most populated region in the world, APAC also has the highest online purchasing rate. That’s good news for retailers—and a topic that took center stage at last month’s MagentoLive Australia 2019. (Magento is an Adobe company.)
Straight from the showroom floor, here’s what we learned.
Bridging The Mobile Gap
2018’s Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history. Merchants around the world made US$7.9 billion in revenue, with a record US$2 billion from smartphone traffic alone. This is a relevant trend for APAC retailers, who work in a region with some of the highest smartphone penetration globally and the world’s largest retail e-commerce market. Countries like India and Southeast Asia have leapfrogged desktop and adopted mobile technology first, underlining how important the mobile experience is for today’s retailers.
It’s also an opportunity that requires an extreme focus to get shoppers to convert–and retailers aren’t there just yet. Last year’s Cyber Monday found more than half (51.4%) of all traffic came from mobile users, yet they only accounted for 34% of total Web revenue.
Zee Aganovicis, founder and CEO of e-commerce optimisation cloud provider HiConversion, joined an expert panel at MagentoLive to share results from the Magento Optimization Initiative: an ongoing project that analyses conversion tests across participating merchants and agencies around the globe to help them make informed choices for their future efforts.
As the panel discussed mobile optimisation and closing the m-commerce gap, Aganovicis explained how trust in online purchasing and inefficient design of the payment interface could be some of the reasons behind a lack of mobile conversion. However, every business and its customers are different, so the only way retailers can truly bridge the mobile gap is to test and learn.
“Sixty-nine percent of time spent on a site is from mobile device,” Aganovicis said. “The conversion just lacks ... It’s a problem for every merchant.”
There’s A New Metric In Town
Retailers can judge the success of their online commerce through a range of metrics. Conversion rate (CR) and average order value (AOV) are two common examples. Another retailers were advised to pay attention to: revenue per visitor (RPV), which measures the money made every time a customer enters an e-commerce website.
“The perception in the marketplace is CR and AOV go in sync with one another, but we typically see a lot of divergence. Sometimes CR goes significantly up and AOV goes down, and vice versa,” Aganovicis said. “RPV is the core metric that correlates with the amount of revenue that you make. Our philosophy is it doesn’t matter which way you make it—your goal is to grow your revenues.”
This doesn’t mean CR and AOV aren’t worth analyzing, Aganovicis added.
“[AOV and CR] data helps you understand the nature of your customer, the needs of your customer,” he said. “You can then tweak your product offering, marketing, or other techniques so you can adapt yourself to what your customers prefer.”
Overhauling Every Aspect Of The Online Buyer’s Journey
Another big topic discussed at the event was how the shopper journey is under intense scrutiny. The good news: From product page to order review, retailers now have the tools and capabilities to test what works with fascinating results.
Findings from the Magento Optimization Initiative revealed a few different ways in which the shopping journey can be streamlined. For example, Aganovicis pointed out that adding trust badges or widgets–such as swapping an image of a shopping cart to a secure lock–led to a 17.3% increase in RPV on mobile phones. In addition, making the discount or coupon code fields less prominent and distracting resulted in an 8.04% average increase in RPV for mobile and a 99.8% success rate for almost every retailer.
Experts including Aganovicis and Jon Higby, PayPal’s solutions engineering for strategic partnerships, predicted that retailers will be dramatically simplifying their mobile checkouts to optimize for conversions in the coming months. The success of their efforts will vary for each merchant, of course, but the capability is there to test, learn, and improve the buyer’s experience at the crucial moments before the sale is made.
Sealing The Deal With Shipping
Product shipping may once have been seen as a logistical basic, but retailers are now experimenting with ways in which shipping can improve the customer experience. Abby Richardson, e-commerce manager at Coopers Brewery, explained how Australia’s oldest family-owned brewer has implemented new shipping experiences to drive bottom-line growth.
Along with supplying licensed venues and resellers with their liquid gold, Coopers sells a line of brew-at-home products and has been able to keep a flourishing online community base happy with a 10% membership discount and $15 flat-rate shipping nationwide.
Richardson said the brewer has also stayed flexible enough to capitalise on market changes. When one market reseller took DIY Beer products off its shelf and replaced them with a store brand, the new products not only negatively impacted revenue but were found to be faulty goods themselves–creating a backlash from consumers against the Coopers brand.
Coopers responded by providing free shipping on any orders that included the shelf product, attracting “store purchasers” to its online site and associating the online community as a beer-lovers quality and control source.
Coopers is a prime example of a retail that is experimenting more with its shipping offering to build a community, enhance brand reputation, expand consumer understanding, and ultimately drive revenue.
Read “Digital Leadership in Retail” to discover the priorities and trends facing APAC retailers in 2019.