How to develop customer loyalty

Driving a culture for leading growth within ecommerce

Big Red Group’s Chief Growth Officer, Matthew Cavalier joined an expert panel on Corinium’s ANZ eCommerce Show to discuss how to drive a culture for leading growth within ecommerce.

Facilitated by Head of eBusiness Oceania at Nestle, Christopher Hatfield, Cavalier along with Kelly Jamieson (The Edible Blooms Group) and Adam Saunders (ChannelAdvisor) shared key tools and insights invaluable for small businesses seeking to develop customer loyalty and grow their ecommerce platforms.

The spirited conversation revealed some shared challenges such as accessing talent, and ideas on how to leverage marketplaces to scale an ecommerce business.

As Kelly Jamieson asserted “the right systems are critical to scale a business, along with the right people. If you have the right people things happen. It’s also crucial to invest in the customer journey – you have to enable the customer to make an easy transaction on your website.”

Metrics are important at The Edible Blooms Group, with Jamieson’s team taking everything into account – NPS scoring, bench marks, proactive listening to customers, and following up personally with calls if NPS levels drop. “It’s really important to invest in customer feedback and actioning response” says Jamieson, “learn from customers constantly, and tiny improvements can make a big difference.”

Adam Saunders agrees that it has to be customer led, “it’s important to look for where your customers are – where are they doing research, where is the inspiration coming from? How can I dominate my market?”

Matthew Cavalier sees a market full of growth opportunities, “you can sell more to existing customers, look for new market segments to open up, new products for new segments, or new products for existing markets. With more people coming to online marketplaces than ever before, how do you bring those new customers in – they may have different needs. If they are new to ecommerce, how do you make their purchase journey as simple as possible? Your business might need to adapt because your audience is changing.”

All agree that getting the customer experience (CX) piece right is vital. Understanding the path to purchase, how to optimise, and making the process as simple as possible is essential. A seamless customer experience is more important than ever.

Tracking and measuring the customer experience, and listening to feedback is fundamental, then making small tweaks to systems and processes to increase conversion. Small tweaks can have significant long-term impacts in building brands and trust.

And what role does channel and an online marketplace play in driving growth?

Cavalier says “we are a distribution channel for experience providers. Their forte is delivering the experience. If you look at the complexity of marketing and acquisition, there are multi platforms, cross devices, cross channels – what we bring is our expertise. We take their product to market and navigate it for them, so they can focus on their core business, ensuring when the customers turn up, they have the best experience possible.”

Jamieson concurs, “it comes down to having a trusted brand and a convenient marketplace. A marketplace is a good market entry strategy if trying to build a brand.” And for The Edible Blooms Group, it’s about building a year-round proposition for customers, growing the brand strategically and expanding the product offering so they can help customers for different gifting occasions.

Saunders sees a sizeable opportunity outside of Australia for brands, suggesting there are benefits in exploring international markets. “We are seeing a big change with major brands coming in, moving closer to consumers, using marketplaces to do that, and retailers creating their own brands, giving themselves more autonomy.”

Cavalier agrees, it’s about finding a way to engage customers for repeat purchases. For Big Red Group, launching sustainability offerings in line with the company’s ESG agenda across the brands (RedBalloon, Adrenaline) has been well received.

“It’s an exciting space to be in, determining how we can grow responsible ranges over time and support local businesses. We see different customers coming into the brands, very conscious of how they are engaging with those products. You have to really understand what they are looking for.”

Saunders says “sustainability is important to many people, so efforts for personalisation leads to positive reviews. Shift away from it all being about the sell, you want to create advocates of your brand. Don’t just understand the customer today, but understand the customer tomorrow.”

Cavalier’s team works collaboratively with Big Red Group’s supply network to ensure just that. They share the positive and negative customer feedback with suppliers so they can adjust their offerings. “That’s one of the benefits of being part of a marketplace, we can add value back, helping suppliers manage their quality control, raise awareness, give them an opportunity to fix it. Better reviews, better content, then they will sell more.”

Cavalier says “don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t be afraid to fail, and learn from it.” It’s all part of the journey to building customer loyalty.

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