Last updated on March 27, 2024

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Apeksha Rao
Content Marketing ANZ
March 26th, 2024

With consumer demand not predicted to increase until later in the year, if it does at all, 2024 is set to be a challenging year for Australian retailers. So how can eCommerce and D2C brands continue to grow in such a climate? We asked an eCommerce growth expert.

Mal Chia is an eCommerce growth strategist who has helped dozens of brands go from startups to enterprise. As Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Ecom Nation – 2023 NORA winner of  best retail marketing agency – Mal sees brands navigating some very real challenges every day and shares his insights in this blog.

People try to boil down eCommerce growth to a checklist. ‘Tick these 10 boxes, and you’ll see growth.’ But in reality, growth only happens when brands take focused action underpinned by tailored strategy.” — Mal Chia, Chief Strategy Officer at Ecom Nation.

Here’s Mal on the 5 areas that Australian eCommerce businesses need to focus on as 2024 continues to be a challenging year.

Niching down
2024 is not the year of taking a broad brush approach to acquisition – brands will really need to zero in on the ideal customer that they want to attract and go after them. This will require a real understanding of what these customers care about and then putting the right value proposition in front of them so that the brand’s message can resonate. Getting cut through will be really important in an increasingly noisy space because more brands than ever before are competing for the attention of the same customers – especially in tight markets such as Australia – making niching down really important.

Letting data drive the strategy
In simple terms this means understanding what the numbers mean in a brand’s eCommerce or marketing platform: whether it’s data sitting in Shopify or retention marketing platforms like Yotpo: decision makers should always be able to tell who their customers are, what their buying behaviour is, and whether they have just enough stock on hand. As a brand, you never want to be in a position where you’ve built a lot of momentum only to quickly sell out of product, or alternatively, end up with a surplus of stock that can’t be moved, holding up cash flow.

Looking at the data regularly can give you clues that can help avoid these situations and keep your business on the right track.

Embracing Artificial Intelligence
From idea generation to content creation and data analysis: AI can significantly speed up processes and increase output. Right now, there’s no excuse for brands not to be sending out creative SMS or emails campaigns at high impact moments. AI-led features are helping teams spend less time creating, analysing, and executing and more time finessing their CX and marketing strategies. 

With so many applications for Artificial Intelligence, brands should be asking themselves how they can use AI more. Because their competitors will be. 

Putting CX above all else
Brands need to think beyond what happens on their website, about what comes after someone clicks that buy button. Two parts of the transaction that shoppers remember the most, are what happens at the highest point and at the endpoint. The peak is when someone clicks that ‘buy’ button. From an emotional standpoint, that’s when the buyer is most emotionally invested in a brand. Brands need to use this opportunity to make this experience special for customers but also encourage customers to take certain actions – whether that’s creating an account or opting in for SMS. Equally, the very end of the transaction or when the product arrives is another opportunity for brands to deliver a great experience.

Brands need to be thinking about how to keep customers engaged in this peak interval. And that’s where tools like Yotpo can become really important in terms of insights that can then be layered with campaigns and other tactics to maximise engagement right across the customer lifecycle.

Leveraging strategic partnerships
With the rising cost of acquisition brands need to look at other channels to leverage in order to get their brand name out there. And a big one that a lot of brands are going to be adopting this year is ‘partnerships’. These can be collaboration with celebrities, ambassadors, influencers, but also collaborating with other brands as well.

Right now there is a big rise in retail media i.e. how retailers are using their space, their media space, such as their website, emails, ads, to cross promote other brands. So finding those strategic partnerships with brands that are really aligned with your own and figuring out ways when you can market together so that you can both grow will be increasingly important.

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If you want to learn more about the themes unpacked in this blog, we welcome you to talk to our Sydney-based team.