Hi Pefora Fam!
Hope you are having a warm and fuzzy Sunday. It's been a while since I wrote a Sunday newsletter but this one is quite close to my heart. With the start of a new financial year, I thought it would be great to write about an integral part of our business - The Perfora Website. This basically implies writing about our own website and how we derive business from it. It may get a little technical so please bear with me.
The retail industry has always been fascinated by “disruptor” brands. Historically, brands relied on physical stores to get their products in front of their consumers. Now, thanks mainly to the digital era, smart phones, and popularity of ecommerce, brands see the immense value of selling their products directly to their customers via their own website. But there are still a few things that need to be done right to ensure that the consumers purchase directly from your website versus an online marketplace like Amazon or Flipkart which offer more trust, faster delivery and even better pricing in a few cases to the customers.
For us at Perfora, our website has always been the most important channel as this not only helps understand our current consumers better (through a lot of data availability) but also helps in building the brand. One of the biggest benefits of direct-to-consumer is completely owning your brand experience. You control the brand narrative, the look and feel of your product and packaging, the parameters of your return policy, and the tone of voice of your customer service reps. You don’t have to worry about losing customers if third-party stores misrepresent your brand or treat your customers poorly because you control the entire buying experience.
In my limited experience and knowledge here are a few things that truly differentiates a brand’s D2C website and helps offer a superior experience to the consumer :
A Personalised/Superior Experience : It is very important to give every consumer a personalised experience which essentially means that you offer them something that the other channels/brands may not be able to offer. For instance, for us personalisation on our electronic products is one such moat. Personalised experience could also be something like hand-written cards (that Bliss Club does quite well) or a free gift to drive trials.
Consistent Customer Experience : Consumers expect a very personalised experience whether it’s scrolling your website, speaking with a customer service representative, opening their package, or returning/exchanging their product. D2C is all about the consumer – in every stage of their buying journey. A great customer experience helps build the requisite trust in the brand that no matter what, they are always there for us. A great way to measure consumer satisfaction is to measure consumer lifetime value (CLTV). This value acts as a crucial indicator to measure the success of a customer experience strategy.
Identify and Act upon the Absolute Essential Customer Needs : The challenging part of D2C is grabbing the customer’s attention in an oversaturated market. Here is where customer data comes in. This data can help identify customer needs and drive deep insights. Based on these insights, design a UI/UX for the consumer that helps in navigating through the website and answering all the questions that they have. For instance, a lot of customers said that they did not understand how to use our products so we integrated that in the second scroll of our website. Each scroll should ideally answer a question for the consumer. Also design for a mobile first experience, because more than 90% of the consumers today shop online.
A snapshot of Google Analytics that gives a lot of customer insights about consumer demographics, locations etc.
Let the Customer Own their Choices : It is important to ensure that the consumer has varied choices while purchasing from a brand website. By varied choices, I mean, options like to customise the product combos, offering them options to choose from a range of free gifts or even something like a build your own box option. One great example of this is also loyalty programs that help offer consumers an incentive to purchase from the brand website or a cross sell with some other brand that not only helps drive trials but also gives the consumer an innate satisfaction that they are receiving something extra in every penny spent. We offer a customised problem solution approach to our consumers for different needs like Teeth Whitening, sensitivity relief, gum protection with varied levels of combos to suit both the consumer needs and their pockets. We also do time to time collaborations with other brands to give the customers a variety of brand trials at the cost of one.
Focus on Conversion Rate Optimisation : I cannot emphasise on this enough. While we as marketers tend to concentrate a lot on our marketing strategies across Facebook or Google we forget that our website is the real deal. Tools like Microsoft Clarity and Hotjar help in understanding consumer journeys and drop offs and are strong tools to help fix the wrongs on the website. Something as small as website speed plays a big role in not only conversions but also search engine optimization. These tools record consumer journeys and watching them can give a lot of insight into what you are missing out on and where the consumer is dropping. For instance, we keep trying different themes on our website to keep the playfulness alive like when we featured on Shark Tank our website reeked of it through every nook and corner of the channel. Even 20% effort towards CRO can help improve conversions by at least 50%.
A snapshot of Microsoft Clarity which gives us various insights about the website
While these are a few essentials that I feel are important while building D2C, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot that goes into shaping and scaling this channel and I would be happy to dive deeper into it. Please hit me up if you have any specific questions or would want me to do a part 2 of this or set up a call for a candid conversation around it. I’ll be more than happy to get into it and share the limited gyaan I have.
Until next time,
P.S. - Please feel free to reach out to me in case you have had a poor brand experience with Perfora. I will look into it personally and help resolve it at the earliest.