Reimagining eCommerce Post Covid-19 | A Middle East Webinar Geared for Growth Strategies
Crises are often a catalyst for innovation, especially for those geared to embrace challenges.
In these times, consumer behavior across the world as well as in the UAE and Saudi Arabia has shifted rapidly to online buying, which gave way for an immediate focus on the digital commerce industry and upheld the importance of implementing technology-driven solutions to ensure sustainability, growth and stability.
Yes, e-commerce is now one of the hottest topics today, one that presents businesses with many questions.
Will the e-commerce boom remain?
How can businesses prepare for the future?
What are the top strategies to ensure growth and provide a relevant and valuable user experience?
What are the effective channels to improve performance?
Is it necessary to restructure existing e-commerce functionalities with new-age solutions for continuous growth and profitability?
To answer these questions and many more, UniCommerce is organizing the Middle East’s largest Webinar on “eCommerce Reimagined: Strategies and Growth Levers Post COVID-19” on Saturday June 27, 2020 starting 11 AM Gulf Standard Time
The webinar is open to all GCC Business and will bring together 10 industry experts from across the MENA region who will be sharing insights and top-level e-commerce strategies to help businesses gear up for conducting businesses amid and post the pandemic
Quarantine during the pandemic means different things to different people. For some, it is (remote) work as usual, for others, it is remote work + juggling family and e-schooling for children, and for many, it is simply time off, time that could be spent actively learning or exploring.
This is why we put together a series of resources to help you get started. However, no matter what you decide, remember to focus on what makes you feel good.
Universities worldwide like Harvard, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley or Standford University are offering free open courses or specific webinars during certain dates. IE University in Spain has also prepared a series of webinars, in English and others in Spanish, for the upcoming days as well. For a full list of universities providing online courses, click here. Companies like Google, Microsoft or Linux are also offering online courses on digital marketing, business or coding. For the full list of institutions, click here.
Coursera includes courses from those prestigious universities for free as well, some of which are certified upon completion and that you can take at your own pace. Domestika is a similar platform for courses on illustration, digital editing or crafts. Students can find open courses or purchase others for a reduced price. Other platforms that offer open online courses from different universities are edX, Udacity or Alison. For platforms including resources in Arabic, refer to Doroob, Rwaq, Tadarab, Coursaty and Edraak.
For those who wish to financially invest in more online lectures, Udemy has one of the largest selection of courses. Masterclass, is another platform to consider where students can access courses on photography, fashion and even sports, taught by icons such as Anna Wintour, Gordon Ramsay, Serena Williams and others.
For the avid readers, The Library of Alexandria, the oldest in history, offers all its acquisitions for free. It contains, among others, a large collection of Arabic digital books and photo albums. However, if you prefer to read about different themes, Bookbon is offering free access to thousands of e-books. For those Harry Potter fans, J.K.Rowling has improved the platform Wizarding World by adding Harry Potter at home, where different videos, puzzles and quizzes will be added to make our time at home better.
For the art aficionados, the MoMa, Musée d’Orsay and other 12 museums can now be visited virtually for free. To access the full list, click here. As in the case of these museums, NASA has also opened its entire library for you to explore for free as well and added a series of resources for kids, adults on topics as wide as History, Technology or Earth Science.
Signing off for now, we hope you enjoy our listing.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is taking the world by storm. Entire Countries are on Lockdown, others on the way and prospects of a global economic meltdown are looming. Amidst this social media played a major role. On the one hand, promoting awareness, prevention and social distancing, on the other, fostering fear, panic, bogus remedies, conspiracy theories
For the World Health Organization, the key to battle this virus starts with battling misinformation, or “infodemic”, coming from everyone’s smartphone.
This blog sheds light on measures taken by social media platforms to help set the record straight and try to minimize the impact of fake news and hoaxes trying to profit.
Facebook decided to implement a ban on ads for all companies trying to make a commercial gain out of the virus, whether related to cures or prevention products that are not linked to scientific facts. By implementing this new policy, Facebook is trying to restrain those ads that create a sense of urgency while working on removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories that might harm people who believe them.
The Deputy Executive Director for Partnerships of UNICEF, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, stated that misinformation during times of a health crisis can spread paranoia, fear and stigmatization. On top of that, it can result in people being left unprotected or more vulnerable to the virus as well. UNICEF, as well as Facebook, is actively taking steps to inform the public when inaccurate information, involving WHO or other government authorities, is published on social media platforms.
TikTok recently partnered with the WHO in an effort to spread veritable information, together with the best public health practices.
Respectively, Twitter also partnered with WHO and published a plan to protect the public from hoaxes on the platform as well. Their goal is to publish credible, authoritative content.
This “infodemic”, or over-abundance of information, makes it harder for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when needed. There are simple steps users can take themselves to combat mis- and disinformation. Consider the following questions before sharing dubious content:
Is this the original account, article or piece of content?
Who shared this or created it?
When was this created?
What account is sharing this? When was the account created? Do they share things from all over the world at all times during the day and night? Could this be a bot?
Influencer marketing has seen quite the rise in 2018, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In this study, Hubspot predicts that by 2020 influencer marketing is expected to become an $8 billion business on Instagram alone, and we can’t seem to agree more. Instagram’s unique way to showcase content and the constant increase in its active users made it the most sought-after platform for brand-influencer collaborations.
The question you might be asking yourself now is: should I invest in influencer marketing for my brand? Well, if you are looking to position your brand in the market, have a speciality product, are targeting a young audience, or looking to insight a product or service trial then yes you should consider influencer marketing and we have a few reasons why.
1- DRIVE WORD OF MOUTH
In a article on Word of Mouth Marketing in Bigcommerce, it was reported that “92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising,” and “88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.” There is something about hearing of a brand from someone other than the brand itself that makes it more credible and appealing to the audience. Here is where the power of influencer marketing lies; impacting people’s buying decision.
2- ADVERTISE AUTHENTICALLY AND ORGANICALLY
The changes in Facebook’s algorithm in favor of more meaningful person-to-person interaction are pushing brands to rely more and more on influencers to reach their audiences, especially in the Fashion and Beauty industries which accounted for more than 30% of sponsored posts on Instagram since 2015. Influencers have a unique tone of voice that their audience relate to and can transmit the message to their followers in a subtle way without directly showcasing it as an advertisement.
3- REACH A DEDICATED AUDIENCE
It is important to note that when your brand identity and guidelines fits a certain persona that an influencer embodies, then this influencer’s audience also relates to this same persona. Hence, collaborating with an influencer is a door opener for you to reach your targeted audience. No matter how niche the audience is, there are possibilities to reach it through an influencer, especially through micro-influencers who sometimes have more impact on certain target audiences.
4- INCREASE YOUR ROI
Although many still see it as challenge to measure the return on investment of influencer marketing, multiple studies have shown that it yields a great ROI. Other than the revenue, there are some underlying effects that are directly related to influencer marketing.
Increase brand awareness: thanks to influencer marketing, brands can tap into a market they didn’t have easy access to previously.
Increase earned media value: depending on the kind of campaign in place, brands can increase their page likes, impressions and drive engagement through clicks and user generated content.
5- IMPROVE YOUR SEO RANKING
Influencer marketing is not just about posting pictures and videos on social media platforms but can include other kinds of interactions and mentions. If the influencer you are in talks with is a blogger, leverage their talent and feature your brand in one of their blog posts. This will generate high quality backlinks to your website which will improve your search engine ranking.
In a few words…
Regardless of the region or industry you operate in, influencer marketing has many advantages that your brand can focus on. However, it is important to make the right due diligence when selecting an influencer to be associated with your brand in order to reap all of the benefits of the collaboration.
Since its debut in 1991, the e-commerce industry has been on the rise, and has been booming in recent years. Many factors are affecting people’s inclination towards this phenomenon; social media, smartphones, and convenience being on the top of this list. However, not all e-commerce businesses thrive. Here are the top tips to keep in mind when launching or re-launching your ecommerce business:
1- STRATEGY BEYOND CONSTRUCTION
A clear strategy that details your goals and how you plan on achieving them is crucial for the success of your business. Keep in mind that your business mix, specifically your online business mix, does not solely consist of your e-commerce platform. It includes your online presence, your user targeting strategy, your distribution process, and your unique selling proposition. What do you have that others don’t? These and other factors play a big role in setting the ground for your online business development.
2- PUT IN THE RIGHT CAPITAL
Setting up an online store can be done by anyone starting at few thousand dollars (even less) but it takes more than that to bring a business to life. Like all newly opened businesses and ventures, starting an online shop requires more than just setting your site live and sitting back. For instance, many traditional businesses have held back from investing on their online stores but are ready to put in tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars into decorations for a new physical store.
Build it and they will come is a dream and investment into building your ecommerce presence should go beyond just the platform and into many departments including logistics and marketing. Part of your marketing budget must look at the possible trackable loss of first-time buyer transactions. Understanding the TLV (Total Lifetime Value) of your customer is one of the critical assumptions and KPIs your organization must track. Is losing $10 per first-time transaction good for business? It actually might be, and that depends on your TLV.
Having enough capital to build your store, your brand and drive sales to prove your business model is fundamental to proving and then growing your success.
3- DESIGN AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE
Designing and developing a great website is definitely one of these factors, and no, we are not just talking about the look and feel of it but about the whole customer experience. While it may be relatively easy to design a visually appealing site it takes much more research and work to develop a platform that works with the latest features and functionality.
An exceptional user journey has a lot to do with the clarity of the content you have on your website, having an easy and clear checkout process as well as the way you are showcasing your products.
Responsive websites are also essential as they allow the customer to have the same experience across desktop, mobile and tablets. Although the visitor to sale conversion rate is lower for mobile phones than other devices, 2.03% for mobile compared with 4.68% for desktop (smartinsights), designing for the mobile phone is more critical in 2019 than ever. Not having your site built for mobile will penalize in Google’s search algorithm, hurt your SEO and lower your conversion rate making it more expensive to acquire a customer.
4- PARTNER UP WITH PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT
One of the main pillars behind the success of your e-commerce is knowing how to drive quality traffic that converts. The funnel below showcases the conversion rate at the different stages of the user journey.
Following points to consider:
Marketing automation is a must when it comes to higher conversion rates and increased customer TLV. In each stage of the funnel, customers can be retargeted through specific ads that drive them back to your website and email reminders can be sent out.
E-mail campaigns are the essence of retargeting campaigns. As the chart below shows you, conversion rate is highest for e-mail campaigns, as the receiver, a customer or a prospect, is already familiar with your brand and what if offers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important to lower your e-commerce’s overall acquisition cost. Hey, who doesn’t want free traffic? Appearing in strategic and prominent places on Google or other search engines can be a game changer when users are performing local searches.
Another way to increase your average checkout value and overall sales is to implement strategic upselling functionalities by showcasing featured product that are complementary or similar to what the customer is looking at. Or, by adding value incentives through bundles or strategic discounts: buy two get one free, free shipping on orders above a certain mark, etc.
Site performance and speed affect the conversion rate on your website. An appealing and responsive website is ought to deliver a higher conversion rate. Every second faster your website loads, conversion rates increases and hence so do your sales. Selecting the right hosting company, ecommerce software/platform and caching system is critical.
Are you ready to take your brand’s digital presence a step further? Contact us now.