10 Advantages of Building a Strong E-Commerce Presence

Shopping trends have drastically changed since the digital transformation occurred. By 2021, e-commerce sales are predicted to reach a whopping $4.88 billion. It is a booming business. That is why a strong online presence is essential for every aspiring business owner. Also, nearly 90 percent of shoppers start to search for a product online. Even when they end up buying a product from a physical store, they turn to digital channels first to compare prices and brands, read customer reviews and more. Whether you are just starting off or looking to expand your business, you should turn to e-commerce for more revenue. Here are ten good reasons why. Lower costs E-commerce decreases investment since there are fewer costs involved in launching an online store. First, with no in-person staff, you are sure to save money. Also, there is no rent. Digital advertising is less expensive than traditional advertising. Organic search, Google Ads and Social Media are cost-effective ways to drive more traffic and increase sales. Marketing your products can be easy and cheap if you opt for email marketing too. MailChimp makes it easier to promote your pages and reach out to new customers at affordable prices. Create your store in just a few clicks You don’t have to build your e-store from scratch. E-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace allow you to have your online store running in no time. They offer pre-made templates and take care of hosting, platform maintenance and much more. If you are eager...

Welcome to The Zero Moment of Truth

Search Engines are the “go-to” destination for almost every question we have these days. They have become our source of general knowledge, entertainment, purchase information and celebrity gossip. The Zero Moment of Truth, a term coined by Google in 2011, refers to the research which is conducted online about a product, organisation or service before taking any action. It’s this zero moment that drives the discovery of our businesses; it’s the single moment that we need to learn to leverage to build personal and business reputation. Leveraging this moment has a lot to do with understanding search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing and online advertising channels to meet potential customers when they discover the need you can fulfil. It comes without saying that managing a robust online reputation means that you need to be able to meet your customers at that zero moment. SEO then becomes one of your primary digital marketing activities. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the fundamental art of setting up your online presence so that Google showcases you as a highly relevant result when a customer conducts an online search around your chosen topics of interest. When Google views your content as relevant, it ranks you correctly in search results, driving more organic, relevant traffic to your website and online channels. How Search Engines Work Search engines have two primary functions: Search engines use automated software, known as robots (or spiders), to follow links on websites, collecting information and storing it in an extensive database When...

Mike Saunders Recognised on Top Digital Marketing Experts List

With many digital marketing agencies and experts on the scene, receiving international recognition deserves to be celebrated. Inbassador, an Austrian-based brand ambassador solution provider, recently recognized DigitLab’s CEO, Mike Saunders, on a list of Top Global Digital Marketing Experts & Influencers in 2019 You Should be Following. They handpicked thirty digital thought leaders from around the world, with Mike being one of two South Africans being highlighted. Talking with Inbassador’s Head of Content, Melissa Chetty, Mike shared his thoughts and predictions for the future of digital marketing. “Businesses are realising that one digital solution doesn’t fit perfectly and will embrace the API business model,” said Mike, looking at trends to continue into 2020. “Influence is incredibly important, and brands should be looking to nurture long term brand trust instead of buying short term social media influence.” Being recognised as a role model for young digital marketers, Mike also had these words as advice for those aspiring to get into the field: “Let your first step be to critically assess the problem your clients face. Solve their problem first, then implement the digital solution. Too many businesses fail because they implement technology first without considering the solution to their problem correctly. DigitLab is incredibly proud of its CEO for being publicly recognised for his contribution to digital marketing. Be sure to check out the rest of the list of experts and influencers here: https://inbassador.io/digital-marketing-experts/

Improving the relationship between data analysts and marketers

Data analysts and marketers historically have not needed to work closely together… today, that has changed. Data analysts have become some of the most valuable people in your marketing team as they can help brands understand consumer motives faster, build intuitive interfaces and trigger customer actions, all by using data effectively. In our last Digital Swarm event we discussed the need for marketers and agencies to build relationships with the data analysts in our business. Most marketing teams don’t yet have full-time analysts employed, so they are reliant on their business analysts to fill the gap in their team. Initially we see marketers focusing on mission critical exercises to build marketing competencies that drive innovation and consumer centricity. A few of these mission critical aspects are discussed here, but are summarised as: Collecting consumer information Consumer information is vast and comes in various forms. Market research companies present deep insight into consumers through reports, catalogues and online systems. This information is a combination of data driven insight and qualitative assessment. While it may be difficult to drive this into our data infrastructure, marketers will benefit from being able to make this information available to their wider stakeholder network. Aggregating siloed data Every marketer is measuring every aspect of the marketing plan, but very rarely are they able to break these reporting techniques out of their respective silos and see the data together. New start-up technologies are starting to answer these questions and we are seeing some products become available that...

How to Innovate Faster in Marketing

It was Steve Jobs who coined the phrase, “Computers are like a bicycle for our minds”; suggesting that much like a bicycle, computers would help people move quicker to the destination once you apply effort. Jobs saw the computer as an enhancer to human capacity instead of a replacement. I have a similar belief that digital technology helps us enhance human potential in business instead of replacing it. In marketing, especially, we see that strong digital foundations and understanding helps marketers improve quicker, innovate smarter and understand customers deeper. When we look at digital, we segment it into pieces from primary technologies, social, mobile, data and The Internet of Things. In this article, I want to explore a simple question: how will data infrastructures help marketers become more innovative and agile? Almost every single marketer would agree that being able to innovate faster is an incredible competitive advantage in business. The trick is learning how to do this, and how to gear our marketing team correctly to achieve it. When it comes to data, we can learn from the IT industry and see how innovative businesses use IT infrastructures as a means to innovate. According to McKinsey, a two-speed system architecture is valuable in becoming more innovative and agile. This implies a fast-speed, customer-centric front end (speed of innovation) running alongside a slow-speed, transaction-focused legacy back end (speed of operation). For software-release cycles and deployment mechanisms, the customer-facing part should be modular, to enable quick deployment of new software by...

Be Brave: Differentiate with Digital

Digital presents a powerful opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves against competitors. We’ve all heard the stories of great digital projects and wonder how we could create the same traction for our own brands. In our quest to thrust our brands into the digital era, we have found it to be more difficult than we initially anticipated. The trouble is, brands who are unsure of the value of digital choose a copycat approach to digital marketing. They hear of something that worked for someone else and copy it. Choosing to copy others rather than create new opportunities results in a saturated market of ‘the same old’ digital tactics. We see it all over the place, in social media, as brands and agencies adopt the same ideas over and over again. Even in the mobile apps market, brands are too quick to jump in fast and end up with smaller and smaller returns from their online efforts. We need to make the copycat approach public enemy number one! The copycat approach comes when: Brands aren’t sure of who they are Brands are chasing speed to market over innovation Brands are afraid of failure It’s become my experience that brands who succeed in digital know who they are, they make sure their digital ideas match their overall strategy and they are brave. They’re even a little crazy, in a good way! So, it seems fairly practical that we could apply a simple process to getting out of a copycat approach and I’d...

Effective Influencer Marketing

Essentially, through any influencer marketing project, your brand is hoping to piggyback on a relationship that another has already built up with your ideal target market. And much like how someone wouldn’t introduce you to their friends in a good light unless they already had some sort of good relationship with you – it makes sense that you first have to build up the connection with an influencer on a brand to person level before you can hope to be introduced authentically to their audience. So basically it’s not going to be enough to simply identify who you’d like to work with and then throw product and money at them. If you really want their opinion of your brand to be honestly positive, and not just a sponsored advert, then you need to approach this interaction for what it is – building a relationship as strong as the one between the influencer and their audience. Step 1: Identify To identify the influencers whom you wish to build a relationship with, you first need to identify your ideal target audience: Who do you want to be speaking to? How old are they? What are their interests? What are their online behaviours like – which social platforms are they on? Which part of the consumer journey would you like them to influence? Once you find your target audience, then it’s actually pretty simple to find your influencers – they will be the ones that your target market are already avidly listening to,...

User journeys are broken

Fifty digital enthusiasts tucked themselves into a trendy venue in Durban to discuss ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘User Experience’ at our latest edition of Digital Swarm. During the evening we discussed the importance of the digital journey. We found that the journey isn’t about point A and point B – the bit between points A and B was where we needed to focus. Now, this isn’t rocket science but it starts to get a lot more complicated when we acknowledge that if point B is our chosen end point for a customer, then there are many different Point A’s to consider. We also need to acknowledge that most businesses have multiple point B’s that will help them successfully reach their goals. For example: Jon might travel blissfully from point A to B exactly the way you planned – he made the purchase and even shared that he bought your product with his community. However, Thandi clicks on Jon’s link and arrives at your site halfway between point A and B. She doesn’t have all the information she needs, she is excited about the product, but doesn’t know how to get the information she needs to execute her purchase. As marketers we very often spend hours and hours planning for Jon’s journey and get excited when the stats show us we are getting many people joining Jon’s walk with your brand. However, we don’t often consider Thandi, she becomes lost in the stats, telling us what went wrong, she joins our bounce...

Using digital to delight your customers

Customer centricity in business the art of making the customer the centre of decisions and processes in your business. Steering away from a product focus which aims to produce and sell products, a customer centric business looks at the needs of customers and solves them. The product literally sells itself because it solves customers problems or speaks to their needs as a consumer. Obviously its key to understand consumers in order to meet their needs and over the last year we are noticing some very clear trends among customers which are opening the door to better digital customer experiences. Humanising the company or brand People are getting tired of corporate greed and the quest for profits. Not that they are against people making profits, they just want to understand why. It’s the why and how that’s making the difference today. People want to see the personality of the brand, speak with people in the company and see important values like honesty, transparency and vision lead to trust. Social media remains a major force in communicating to customers on a daily basis and has changed the business landscape for almost every single consumer industry. Sainsbury recently saw the power of a social media conversation sparked by a 3 and a half year old. The young girl wrote into Sainsbury to suggest that their Tiger Bread looked more like a Giraffe. After social media channels found the letter the public response was overwhelming and the company decided to listen to its customers...

Three Strategies for Digital Marketing

Over the past few years, I’ve been working at refining a number of digital marketing strategies. We’ve found three fundamental strategies that can be used in isolation or integrated. I speak about these strategies in some detail in the video below and will also share an excerpt below the video of the original article on my digital marketing blog. Inbound Marketing This is a tried and tested strategy that has been adopted across many industries and businesses. Hubspot marketing have probably done the best work at making this a popular marketing strategy. In essence, inbound marketing techniques aim to drive interested people to your website through interesting and informative content. Read more… Social by Design A big part of digital campaigns is designing social concepts that build communities of interest around the work you’re doing. Understanding Social by Design is key to designing social media strategies. A strategy becomes social when it leverages the social aspect of life rather than merely using a social network. There are three primary social elements that we should be thinking about when we develop a social media management strategy. Read more… Mobile First  We’ve noticed that digital strategy needs to be re-thought in many ways. The challenge is not to include mobile in your existing strategy but rather to “mobilise” your strategy. To lead with mobile, to make sure your platforms, ideas, creative, and social are all mobile. Read more…

How Tesco used QR Codes to increase online shopping

I love it when clever people come up with simple ideas that change the way the world works. This example we will look at today is a subway advertisement that turned a South Korean subway into a supermarket. The execution is so simple. Life size banners that display supermarket brands with QR codes on each item. Scan the item and get them delivered to your door by the end of the day. The idea was sparked by the need to create more sales without opening more stores. After extensive research into the market Tesco was able to see the opportunity to utilise smart phone technology to increase its online sales potential. The consumer will take to this idea because the technology is so simple (inSouth Korea at least) for them to use. The concept works becuase it relies on redundant QR code technology to execute it.It also works because it make an intangible internet experience tangible through the physical advert. This example from Tesco paints a clear picture of the shifts that retailers are going to face in the future: The retail industry can expect powerful competition from online sales channels. Especially if these channels are connecting with consumers in such tangible ways, like in subways while I wait for my train. Brands are still important to consumers. Make sure you make those brands visible to the consumer. Note that there are still a number of juices to choose from displayed on the “shelf”. Convenience is king! Make sure this...

Article Topics

Check Mike’s Availability for Your Event

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • When is your event?
    DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • Any additional information?

Where People and Technology Meet