This week’s eCommerce Growth Show centered around two interesting perspectives: the eCommerce Merchant perspective and the Service Provider/Agency perspective. Our esteemed guest, Edward Scott-Finnigan, is a Specialist Consultant or, as he likes to call himself, “a Solution Consultant” at the Swanky Agency.

Here is what eCommerce merchants need to take into consideration:

  • Go beyond a simple discount
  • Define the future strategy & understand the CLV
  • Act on your Customer Lifetime Value
  • New eCommerce stores should take CLV seriously from the beginning
  • Engage with your audience & communicate your “why”
  • A successful eCommerce journey requires apps/partners/specialists who deliver & understand the mission

Who is Edward Scott-Finnigan?

Edward has delivered successful eCommerce growth for multiple brands operating across the EU and APAC including Europe’s largest online music retailer Musikhaus Thomann and The Gro Company.
Now he is working at Swanky Agency, an agency that has been on the market for 11 years and has been working with Shopify Plus stores for 8.

Key takeaways from this episode

Go beyond a simple discount

One of the things that are going to push the Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Retention strategies forward are subscriptions (in China subscription models are really common).

The rise of the commodities, whether it’s food or anything that is consumable, offers an amazing opportunity for subscriptions. Brands should understand the bigger picture and they should understand that they have to commercialize their product offering much more than a single purchase or monthly purchase.

Define the future strategy & understand the CLV

Edward emphasizes that it’s really important to define a future plan and that any business should include Customer Lifetime Value in their future strategy. 

Many traditional B2B and brand manufacturers had to pivot in this period and did it quickly. The learning is that it’s extremely easy now to transfer from a traditional offline business to an online one, with platforms such as Shopify Plus, so building a website is not difficult anymore. Bringing your product online is not difficult anymore. The difference is made by the Customer Lifetime Value strategy if you want to keep the market pace.

Businesses have now the ability to forecast future markets, future growth, but if they’re not focusing on CLV they will not understand the audience story, the audience journey and they will not look at what it is going to provide not only a single-use case but a multiple-use case for that customer on the long term.

Act on your Customer Lifetime Value

Let’s say we are an eCommerce manager that figured out that the CLV dropped 20% off. 

What should we do? 

We should start identifying where that drop is. Could it be the website? Could it be the user experience? Could it be the price point? Could it be your marketing? Could it be your communication? There are hundreds of thousands of data checkpoints you can start looking at and bring out some kind of hypothesis to say why CLV is dropping out. 

After we figure out where the core of the problem is, we need to constantly check the Predictive CLV on different groups of customers and act on those groups.

Image: REVEAL dashboard

Fresh eCommerce stores should care since the beginning about CLV

New eCommerce companies that have just ramped up need to start identifying the customer groups to whom they are marketing to and where they exist, and then start building their brand and awareness

In time, they will be able to build up with data points in the history of the current customer database and analyse their Customer Lifetime Value

One of the most toxic behaviors of eCommerce companies is to pour resources into acquiring new customers without understanding that they already have a lot of data from the existing customers to play with. 

In such a competitive market, doing the normal is not enough.

So instead of pouring money into acquiring new customers that never come back, simply ask your existing customers how their experience is and what almost stopped them from converting. 

The principle of over under-promise and over-delivery is being undervalued and many companies think that this is an investment that’s not going to pay off.

But in order to over-deliver, you don’t have to make a huge financial investment. You can simply put on autopilot a campaign that sends a thank you message and that’s it. 

Engage with your audience & communicate your “why”

If you understand why you do things and you communicate to your audience why you’re doing them, that’s how you succeed and that’s what keeps people coming back.

You have many platforms where you can communicate your “why” and why you care, why you do what you do whether it’s chat, social, e-mail, customer services on the phone, whatever you put something on the website or whatever you put on a billboard outside of some train station.

Plus, find your positioning and your own voice, the authentic voice. If you tell your story then you can have loyal customers and you can make them your voice. 

We’re now seeing the current situation we’re in. Yes, it’s terrible but there are some nice unicorn moments coming out of it and I think what I’ve seen even locally is: local butchers fruit and vegetable stores or bakeries who would never have considered going online. They’ve been able not only to supply the product but they’ve all been able to communicate their “why”.

A successful eCommerce journey requires apps/partners/specialists who deliver & understand the mission

There’s a lot of brands looking to jump from the very clunky, old, slow and unfriendly customer merchant platforms to Shopify or other platforms. The secret of a long-term relationship between an agency/partner/specialist and the client is to help companies migrate or do the initial job, but also act as a voice for those companies and focus on growth services as well. 

The ideal skill set for any partner is being a customer champion, understanding the merchant journey, where they want to get to and being the advocate internally. 

Next week awaits with Soma Toth, the CEO of Recart, ready to talk about what’s Messenger Marketing and high-growth brands achieve 100x + ROI with it