Ecological e-commerce

11/28/2019 9:03 AM

Fashion for Eco and Bio, healthy lifestyle and growing social awareness about taking care of the natural environment - these are the trends that are gaining popularity in recent years. They are also reflected in consumer behavior. The e-commerce market follows the customers' demand and is increasingly proposing nature-friendly solutions. And the form of e-commerce is conducive to ecological solutions.

 

Statistics show that the main group, interested in ecology, are "young adults", most often parents, for whom the motivation to care for the environment is the future of their children. Women and people with good material status prefer organic products. This group also includes people with higher education. The group of 45+ and even 65+ consumers who consider ecological aspects while shopping is also growing significantly. According to statistics from the public opinion survey "Attitudes of Europeans towards building the single market for green products", 77% of Europeans are ready to pay more for a product, if they are ensured about the ecological nature of the product and service. In countries with high economic development, more and more frequent are practices based on corporate social responsibility (CSR) - these are actions aimed at convincing clients to pro-ecological attitudes and limiting the demand for products that have a negative impact on the environment.

 

Ecology and economics - can it be combined?

 

Consumers are increasingly perceiving the negative impact of some shopping choices on the environment. The biggest players, in the world of commerce, have already noticed this relationship and are trying to convince customers, e.g. by offering environmentally friendly packaging. More and more companies are decreasing the use of plastic in their service. Global brands joined this movement, such as Ikea, who declared to eliminate all one-use plastic from there sales. Another example is Adidas, who is planning to produce all their shoe line from recycled plastic. This is not only a wise marketing move but also a financial calculation. In the long run, nature-friendly solutions bring real savings and also build a positive image of the company. In surveys carried out on behalf of the European Commission in 2012, 80% of respondents indicated that they prefer services and products of companies that care about ecology.

 

You do not have to be a market giant to join the pro-ecological activities. Alternatives to plastics are widely available and do not require much investment. It is worth, for example, replacing bubble wrap with recycled grey paper, or styrofoam with a biodegradable dropper. Instead of the usual foil tape for securing parcels, you can choose the paper one. Product packaging and parcels should be made of recyclable or biodegradable raw materials. Cardboard boxes, cardboard, wood wool - there are many options. However, remember that such a change does not have to be a complete revolution in your business - start at least by optimizing the use of materials.

However, it does not stop on the packaging. Some companies are beginning to introduce "ecological policy" to present themselves to their customers as an ecologically aware brands. Declarations on minimizing exhaust emissions in the logistics process, recycling, minimizing the number of sales documents printed, or using 'green' energy sources - those are popular steps. It is a commendable attitude to offer in the store the products, which were produced in an ethical way, and are sourced from reliable producers. Many brands informs about reducing water use in their production. Some companies also engage in charity support for ecology. An example is the Swedish Fjällräven, which a few years ago actively engaged in the protection of polar foxes. An example from Polish market is action led by bottled water producer Żywiec Zdrój, who in the campaign “On nature side”, together with National Forests planted 6 million trees.  

 

However, it is worth being honest in such activities. There were also companies that used the pro-ecological attitudes of consumers only for their own profit - raising prices but only pretend to care for the environment. This type of manipulation, known as "greenwashing", mislead the recipient, offering only the illusion of an "eco-friendly" solution. Such behavior is not worth duplicating.

Whether it's a temporary trend or a sincere concern for the planet - being eco pays off. In addition to the obvious reason for caring for the future of the environment, this is also a positive message for customers. A brand that is socially aware and respects nature has positive associations. It is worth considering implementing these suggestions in the life of your e-business.

Posted in Best Practices Ecommerce By: Brygida Kesler

The etymology of the word "robot" is derived from the literary drama of the Czech writer Karel Čapk "Universal Robots Rossu” from 1920. Amazingly, after just a hundred years, what was once a literary fiction is now our everyday reality. 

Automation is already existing in every field of life and it’s no different on the e-commerce market.

What is a Chatbot and How Does It Work?

Chatbot is a computer program created to conduct a dialogue with an online client. In principle, such a virtual assistant is to replace a living person in the customer service process. The chatbot does not need sleep or takes days off, can talk to the client at any time of the day or night and will respond immediately. Plus - it can talk to multiple clients at the same time. This is a very important factor when selling online if the customer's decision to buy is based on communication with the seller. 

Statistics show that customers of online stores decide to shop in the evenings and on weekends, outside of standard store working hours. Your store can be equipped with detailed product descriptions and a question and answer page. 

However, in real life, it sometimes happens that visitors either do not reach the content they need or have additional questions essential for the purchase decision. 

Customers value assistance in choosing products, especially in stores with a wide range of products.

If you don't live in the cave, the concept of chatbot is definitely not strange to you - this is how Siri, Google's assistant or Alexa work. Conversation bot technologies are constantly developed with the help of "machine learning" and artificial intelligence. Thanks to this, bots can not only rely on the database loaded into them but also gradually learn from conversations that have already been made. 

In addition, spontaneous response generation functions (NLG) are being developed more and more. 

The function and manner of answering by the bot can be varied in terms of the specific expectations of the industry:

  • Information bot - answering customer questions;

  • Sales bot - aimed at bringing the customer to the end of the purchase;

  • Advisory bot - helping the customer choose the right product from the offer;

  • Remarketing bot - notifying about promotions, new products, etc.;

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These are just a few examples of using the virtual assistant function. Chatbot can be programmed to perform all of the above functions at once. It can also lead a more "natural" chat, make jokes or change the topic of conversation. It can also be programmed for up-sell and cross-sell activities so that it suggests additional purchases to the customer that match the query. 

Other popular features include:

  •  booking a flight or hotel

  •  ordering food by conversing with the bot on your own.




Chatbot Advantages & Effectiveness

It is worth realizing how a wide group of recipients can be accessed by using a bot. 

Between 50 and 90% of users of the Messenger application interact with chatbots.

Let us consider that only in Poland there are as many as 11 million users of this application. In addition, bots have a significantly higher ad click rate. Traditional newsletter emails account for around 20%, while the bot has around 80% effectiveness.

Such chat can be a great store optimization tool. Thanks to the data collected by him, you can analyze frequently occurring problems in queries and introduce improvements. Thanks to personalization, the bot can also save abandoned baskets, e.g. by offering customers personalized promotions or responding to leaving the sessions.

Interestingly, a chatbot can be given a "personality". This factor includes his response style, the unique language he uses, and the way he conducts the conversation. To create bots identity, you need an additional database that identifies the different generic responses that appear in most conversations. The assistant's original personality can make him more attractive to the recipient. An interesting example is Funbot from 4funTV station, which response to swearing. It was highlighted in the report "Polish Chatbots", where it was emphasized that this bot can detect the emotional attitude of the interlocutor, and analyze the history of conversation.

However, remember that chatbot is still a robot, not a living man. How well he is doing, depends mainly on the ability of the person programming him. 

However, even the best-prepared one will not reply correctly, if it cannot find the answer or does not understand the question. It is, therefore, necessary to supplement his activities with a real consultant who can take action when needed. If any task exceeds the capabilities of the bot - he will be able to send the client to a competent employee. 

Grafika: chatbot-jak opisałbyś chatbota swojej babci? użytkownik-moja babcia nie żyje. chatbot - OK, dzięki za feedback...

The process of incorporating a chatbot into an e-store should be well analyzed and adapted to the specifics of the industry.

The benefits of such innovation are:

  • time savings 

  • easier contact

  • less stress in hotlines

  • convenience for customers. 

Artificial intelligence is still far from completely displacing the human factor, but it is an innovative and effective tool in communication with the client that can bring real profits for the business.

Posted in Online Marketing Best Practices Ecommerce By: Brygida Kesler

As every year, the most important event in the world of commerce is approaching - Black Friday. In 2019 the date of the event is on November 29th. Although the fashion for this American shopping holiday has come to Poland just recently, it is becoming more and more popular every year. Is it worth engaging your online store in this event? How to prepare for it? We answer in the article below!

Statistic data

Statistics conducted in 2018 show that around 60% of Poles have already met with the term Black Friday. This is a significant increase compared to survey from year before, where only slightly more than 40% of respondents gave a positive response. According to statistical data, on last year Balck Friday an average Poles spent around 340 PLN on shopping. The total shopping expenses of Polish people from that day exceeded 2.3 billion PLN nationwide. The most popular industries during this event are footwear, clothing, multimedia, electronics and household appliances.

However, because it is still a fairly new phenomenon on the Polish market, many online stores decide to extend the event for the whole weekend, or even the whole week. Similar activities are also observed on foreign markets, where Black Friday is often changed to Black Week. In addition, there are similar events in the same period - Cyber Monday (Monday following Black Friday, this year on December 2nd) and Free Delivery Day (December 10th). From the above facts it is easy to deduct that the end of November and the beginning of December are a good time for increasing the sale and promoting your online store. However, to really gain - you need to be well prepared. How?


1. Prepare your online store

One of the most important steps is testing the entire purchasing process. This servs catching any problems before the traffic on Website increases. It is good practice to prepare a separate landing page for promotional purposes only. You can associate this page with the main page, e.g. through a dedicated banner. It is worth adding labels informing about the discount to the products covered by the promotion. You can also include a special pop-up on the homepage.


2. Prepare the warehouse

A product that has been ordered by a customer but is missing in your store's assortment is a real loss. Consumers do not like to wait for products and their confidence in the brand is falling. Unfortunately, you cannot predict exactly how much of your goods will be sold during the offer. It is best to prepare yourself by stocking up the warehouse. If, for example, due to the small space, you are unable to store a large amount of goods, it is worth considering the help of an external logistics partner.

3. Prepare your marketing campaign

The advertising campaign is one of the most important elements in case of Black Friday. It should include activities on social media and email newsletters to customers. Good practice is to familiarize yourself with the content prepared by your competitors and sales leaders from the previous year. It is important to prepare some original, interesting graphics and email templates. You can also use solutions such as gifs, movies and memes. It may not be easy to stand out from many offers, so you should think about it, plan it and prepare yourself in advance. You can also start your social media campaign earlier, e.g. the countdown to the start of the promotion. You also can't forget about the hashtags that will help promotion hunters to find you.


4. Prepare a good offer

It is worth focusing the promotion around one or few products for which you can realistically minimize the margin, or even sell them completely "at cost". It is worth linking the products covered by the promotion to other products with a higher margin, through Cross-sell or Related Products. For example, you can offer a big price cut for an electric drill driver, but offer an additional purchase of a set of drill bits, tool bag and other accesories with a higher margin. It is worth enabling the Wishlist option, so that customers can save and analyze their purchase plans, or even suggest them to someone else as an idea for a Christmas gift. Also consider forms of promotion like "Second product 50% cheaper" or "2 + 1 free". If you run a loyalty program - add for e.g. extra bonus points.

5. Be honest

Consumers are not stupid, and they will not be easily fooled by an unreliable offer. We are talking about pseudo-promotions, build on raising the prices just before the sale, to drop them back in sale day, or giving an incorrect, inflated price "before the discount". However, this is not a good approach - the perceptive customer will realise before making a purchase. This reduces the credibility of the store in his eyes. If the discount does not disappear after the end of promotion days and "hangs" in the store for next weeks - customers will also notice this and will feel cheated. Trust in your brand will fall, and consument, even if bought once, will not be a loyal, returning client and will not recommend this store further. As a result, you'll lose more than you've gained from several visitors who have been deceived.


6. Ensure a good after-sales relationship

These types of discounts are accompanied by spontaneous purchases. Products that were not plan to buy often land in the customer's basket, because he decided to do so under the pressure of a limited time offer. However, there are methods to help your client during "buyer's remorse". A good idea is an „thank you” email. You can also share the reviews of other satisfied users. Encourage the customer to leave opinions about the product and service himself. Make sure you have a trouble-free return and warranty system. It is also worth offering a package tracking option. The positive experience of after-sales service will increase the chances of getting loyal customers who will come back for more.

Posted in Best Practices Ecommerce By: Brygida Kesler

 

"Research online, purchase offline" is a phenomenon often faced by online stores. Customers search for a product on the Internet, read about it, compare prices, get acquainted with opinions, but ultimately purchase this product in a stationery store.

According to The Gemius Report for e-Commerce Poland for 2019, the strongest ROPO effect concerns food products, home equipment, clothing, footwear, as well as cosmetics and perfumes.

If the seller has both an online and a traditional offline store, then he or she already knows the benefits of ROPO.

Though, what if your store only works on the internet? How do you retain customers and use the ROPO effect to your own advantage?

 

The Internet is a source of information. Here are a few tips on encouraging consumers to choose online shopping:

 

When customers need detailed information about a product, they usually turn to the Internet search engine first. Let's make sure that your store appears in the search results. 

 

Whether if at all your store appears in the search results and how high its visibility is, that depends on the search engine algorithm. There are about 200 factors that affect the operation of the algorithm. They can be divided into two main groups:

 

- the popularity of the site on the Internet

- the page content and functionality

 

When looking for a way to improve your search engine results, consider Google AdWords advertising and positioning.

 

Take care of opinions

 

A good idea is to allow customers to leave reviews on the product page. This means not only product reviews, but also about the quality of your service. Recommendations will not only help you build your image, increase credibility, but also have a big impact on your store's position in search results. 

As a result, you build trust with a potential customer. There are also portals which are collecting consumer opinions. It is worth ensuring to be present in those, where your target audience will be looking for information on products and services.

 

Be comparable

 

Potential customers often visit online stores to see the price range of a given product. So it's worth being competitive and having some insight on the market. Consider the form of promotion through online price comparison websites. It allows you to reach a wider range of customers and ultimately, make your brand more popular.

 

Be unique

 

Make sure your product is presented in the most original form possible. Avoid copying descriptions from the manufacturer's website. Unique content that stands out from the competition can convince the customer to choose your store. Also, do not forget about good quality product photos.

 

Take advantage of being online

 

Focus on what are the advantages of an online store over a traditional offline one. 

Lower prices, the comfort of shopping in pajamas on the sofa, a large selection of products and variants, access to the store around the clock and during non-working days, and fast delivery anywhere. If the customer has visited your store - encourage them to remain on your site. Remember to make your store responsive and intuitive, so that the customer feels comfortable while navigating through it.

 

It is always a nice touch to provide the customer with the option of returning or exchanging the purchased product. Also, place clear product warranty information. Make sure you can provide possibly the cheapest and fastest delivery. Moreover, you can offer a discount for newly registered customers, a lower price when multi-buying or a loyalty program.

 

Reverse ROPO

 

There is also a phenomenon quite opposite to the one described above. Reverse ROPO is a situation when a customer obtains information about a product in a traditional store, to later make an online purchase. 

This is a great opportunity for online marketers. In this case, the most important factor is a competitive price. The Gemius Report for e-Commerce Poland for 2019 indicates the occurrence of inverted ROPO for clothing, footwear, and home equipment.

 

Posted in Online Marketing Best Practices By: Brygida Kesler

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