All trends are pointing to an acceleration of e-commerce in 2022, making right now a critical time to prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead. With the industry continuing to evolve following the massive impact that the pandemic has had on online shopping, it’s more important than ever for retailers and FMCG businesses to equip themselves with the tools and information they’ll need to succeed in the digital space going forward.
In recent weeks, a series of free webinars – co-sponsored by 18th Digitech, Adobe and Starshipit, with submissions from each participating partner – have been covering topical issues in e-commerce for industry players, hosting discussions with recognised experts in the field. With more insightful episodes scheduled in the coming days, there’s still time to register to participate in the remaining sessions – while all previous episodes have already been made available to be viewed on demand for those who’ve signed up.
“The series is targeted to business owners, managers and marketing professionals in the e-commerce space who already have an online store or are planning to grow, says 18th Digitech’s Director Tanuj Rastogi, one of the co-hosts of the series. “Almost every episode has a panel of three experts focusing on how to provide positive, personalised services to customers and how those customers interact with brands after their shopping experience. We cover everything from shipping automation to attracting reviews and brand communications through emails and SMS.”
The series grew out of 18th Digitech’s existing partnerships with the webinar’s co-sponsors. According to Rastogi, the majority of successful projects implemented by the firm are built on Adobe Commerce, thanks to the platform’s broad functionality to support business growth – especially for businesses with complex operations such as those with multiple store locations. The firm also works closely with Starshipit in terms of shipping automation and creating a frictionless checkout experience.
Each episode in the series touches on a distinct topic in the field. Episode One featured Adobe Commercial’s head of digital transformation for APAC Nicholas Kontopoulos, who explained what market leaders do differently to mainstream brands to stand out and provide better customer experiences in personalisation and search. The discussion introduced six different customer personas and the importance of ensuring a website can cater to all of them and offer a frictionless shopping and checkout experience, irrespective of preference.
Episode Two built on the previous discussion by examining what constitutes a best-in-class e-commerce shopping experience, going over the importance of presentation and looking at the four pillars of modern consumption – searchability, proper organisation, personalisation and good customer experience fueled by insight. The conversation featured Searchspring’s head of APAC Kate Massey, who works helping retailers to improve website conversions and shopping experiences, growing average order value. It was also hosted by Thomas Franey of MotorCycle Holdings, who discussed his firm’s broad-scale digital transformation to an omnichannel strategy across the entire group.
For the third episode, Rastogi is joined by Starshipit’s head of growth and expert in shipping automation Jennifer Diaz in an interview with Dean Salakas of The Party People, a distinguished figure in Australian e-commerce who took a small family-run business to become top operator in the industry – that includes an overview of how the company maintained its good standing throughout the pandemic period. This is followed in the fourth episode by a discussion of the actual cost of fraud in e-commerce, including the difficulties of determining which transactions are genuine and high-performance digital systems that help prevent unnecessarily declined orders.
New registrants will have the opportunity to attend the final two forthcoming episodes live, casting on November 9 and November 16 respectively. The first of these will discuss the emerging importance of SMS marketing and the role it plays as a medium of communication that has an open rate of more than 95 per cent, with most views occurring within the first five minutes after sending. The talk focuses on obtaining customer permissions to communicate via this medium in accordance with the Spam Act. It will feature commentary by Klaviyo’s strategic account executive for SMS Navin Jain and Starshipit’s partnerships executive Sofia Newcombe.
The final episode with Rad Mitic of Yotpo and Bruce Read of Linen House talks about the importance of user-generated content such as reviews and social media posts in improving a firm’s marketing. The talk hones in on the benefits of UGC and how merchants can use those benefits to improve their business – including improved organic search ranking, generating customer loyalty and creating trust.
For those who’ve not been able to participate in every webinar episode, there is more to come – the three partners are currently working on a follow-up e-book that is envisaged to serve as an e-commerce success guide for 2022 and beyond, scheduled to be published in the New Year. Until that time, all webinar episodes will remain available to all registrants for later listening.
Interested participants can register for the webinar series via this link and add the series to their calendar.