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Look to the Future: Part 1


Although many speculate, no one can accurately predict exactly what will be the next big consumer trend and what the future holds.
Combine this with a tempestuous technological environment being further rocked by the uncertainty of Anglo-European relations, the need for future-proofing your business has never been so important.

According to recent research, mobile accounted for 41% of retail revenues in the UK last Christmas. Unsurprisingly, with smartphone shopping on the rise, it looks set to be a key area of focus for marketers in the year ahead.
While being mobile-friendly is not the only priority for online retailers, it is however, a key one which would shape the future growth curve. According to Econsultancy's latest Digital Trends in Retail Report, retailers are striving to improve customer experience across the board. Where mobile optimisation is a top-three digital tactical priority for 23% of retailers.

To make your online business future proof, you need to have a robust mobile strategy that includes, design, usability, personalisation and leveraging native platform specific technologies. For a lot of SME’s it is challenging to embark on this journey as quite often they might not have the skills or resources available to lead this process. This often results in investment that lacks strategic direction and above all continuity. I can't emphasise enough on having a strategic roadmap, and a robust monitoring process.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to help you get going.

1. Collect user behaviour data from your website and other online marketing activity. This might include analytics data, heat map data, click maps and scroll map.
Gather data from every resource possible to understand what your target customers are looking for and what challenges you need to overcome to improve on your conversion. While Google's analytics system is free, the other tools are not, but investing in a good tool that can collect real-time customer data is going to have to return significant value. If you are not sure about how to put the data together, take some expert help to set it up. It will be just an one off cost that again will give you a fantastic return on your investment.

2. Combine the data to create an overall view of customer behaviour
Once the tools are in place, the next stage is to put the data together to create a 360 degree view. Depending upon your business this

might be overwhelming, but my suggestion would be to adapt an “evolve and learn” approach rather than try to do too much without a very clear understanding of the data and the potential pitfalls. Just agree on some high and low-level KPIs, monitor those and ensure it evolves with your needs.

3. Analyse the data to identify road blocks or challenges that are impacting your goals
You should get some expert help if you do not have this skill set in-house. This step could be a real eye opener where you are looking at customer behaviour and identify barriers and road blocks. Once you clearly established the challenge, the next task would be to come up with some potential solutions that you can test to identify which one works for you. At the initial stage, this could bring really quick benefits and could have a big impact.

4. Deal with the top 3 issues and derive a plan to overcome them
In the initial phase, the number of actionable items coming out of the data analysis could be an overwhelmingly long one. Depending upon the severity and available resource, a more productive approach would be to deal with the top 3 items every month. This will keep the focus and it will be easier to measure the impact.

5. Implement the solution, measure the change
Before you implement or test the solution it is critically important to have a process in place to measure the impact of the change. Do not try to implement more than one change at a time if possible, this will help you to understand the impact of the immediate change.

6. Learn from it, if you have achieved your goal then pick up the next set of challenges

It is all going be a massive learning curve. Every stage of the process will uncover new information for you, so learn as much as you can and apply the new knowledge in the next iteration.

7. Make content marketing a regular process
Create helpful and relevant content for your audience. Use all the available channels to distribute the content. It is most likely that it will take some time before the results are evident but the key is to be consistent. Ensure you are always visible to your target market.

If you need an end-to-end step-by-step guide, please go to our contact us page and contact us, we will send you a copy of the guide. If you just want some help and guidance over the phone or if you just want to pop in have a face to face chat then we will be delighted to talk to you.

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