How can Brands Influence Consumer Buying Decisions by Optimising Online Store Management

By Damisa Tseng-Prompoj

A Guide for Brands to Win the Mega Sale Season

With online shopping becoming the primary medium of purchase for consumers worldwide, the e-commerce market has observed enormous growth since the pandemic. A Google and Temasek study predicted Southeast Asian e-commerce volumes to reach US$100b by 2025. Additionally, 2021 State of E-commerce App Marketing Report has highlighted an exponential growth in Southeast Asia e-commerce spend this year with an average of 240% increase in spending.

As the industry grows and competition intensifies for brands, marketplaces, and e-commerce enablers, now more than ever during this peak sales season, it becomes imperative to understand what really enhances customers' online journey. What makes consumers buy what they buy, when they buy, and where they buy from? And how can brands leverage these key factors to drive online purchase decisions, especially during the Mega Sale Season.

 Reviews matter

 According to a survey report, 97.7% of consumers refer to relevant testimonials and third-party validations before making an online purchase. These testimonials can be in the form of buyer feedback as well as seller ratings on the respective marketplace. During peak sales seasons, feedback covers more comprehensive ground – not only from the product perspective but the overall consumer experience.

Brands grow fastest by attracting more buyers. One of the essentials to attracting more consumers would be to manage reviews and drive engagement by responsiveness. Respond to previous customer’s ratings, be it negative or positive and respond to customer questions. Challenging for one person to manage multiple reviews and questions coming in but by enlisting the assistance of e-commerce experts who are well versed and equipped with a team and technology to ensure no review or enquiry is left unturned can help provide greater input to improving end-to-end omnichannel activation for your brand.

Simplicity and Ease of Discovery

A study by Google highlighted that users will judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second. Additionally, within the Asian market context, “visually complex” websites are rated as more appealing in comparison to their simpler counterparts.

Cognitive fluency or processing fluency; the ease at which information is understood and processed, plays a crucial role in keeping customers engaged on the website, ultimately influencing their purchase decisions. With multiple brands taking advantage of the Mega Sales Days, it is important to stand out but also not bombard consumers with mind boggling offers. The easier it is to understand an offer, the more likely people are to buy it.

According to another study by Google, one in four app users discovers an app through search. It is imperative for brands to maximise discovery and traffic on brand.com, partner marketplaces as well as on Google. However, a winning strategy is not about pumping in large budgets in all channels but deploying a systematic combination of the best channels based on product categories and consumer data that is unique to the brand.

Customer Experience: Service, Delivery, and Return

During the Mega Sale period where consumers have a plethora of options to choose from, brands tend to compete on faster delivery and ease of return. Customer experience holds a higher role as a dealbreaker in influencing consumer buying decisions.

Shoppers who are motivated by convenience often look for time-saving factors in their purchases. The need for brands to invest in end-to-end customer service is a no-brainer. A seamless customer experience conveys empathy, builds rapport, and enables brands to have a productive interaction with the customer. For brands, it is important to anticipate customer preference changes so they can deploy the right technology and automation tools that are best positioned to deliver long-term value for the brand and the ever-evolving customer.

Bottomline. To lead successful end to end store management in times of intense competition especially during the Mega Sale period does not require brands to employ multiple agencies just to gain an upper hand. With the help of one effective partner to cleverly identify and optimise opportunities behind the varying consumer decision patterns, your brand can surely hit a home run in the e-commerce game.

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