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Kate Bould
Communications Manager @ Yotpo
August 20th, 2020

Leading Women in eCommerce Share Their Insight at Our AWIE Online US Event

We invited some of our Amazing Women in eCommerce Honorees to come together and share their insights, advice, and thoughts on what comes next in the eCommerce landscape. 

Table Of Contents

Ariel Bubb, Yotpo’s Marketing Events Manager, kicked off our Amazing Women in eCommerce Online US event by sharing the AWIE program story and details about Girls Inc., an organization empowering and supporting girls and young women. AWIE has supported Girls Inc. since the program’s inception, donating over $30,000 to the organization in the past two years. We’re also thrilled to share that our amazing event partners — BigCommerce, Corra, Klarna, and Capgemini — donated their sponsorship funds directly to the organization.

Throughout the event, we heard incredible insights from the following industry experts, entrepreneurs, and eCommerce leaders:

Below, we’ve summarized some of the major highlights from all of the sessions. You can also watch the full recording here.

Top takeaways from our Amazing Women

Be proactive
It’s no secret that, in 2020, the eCommerce landscape and shopper behaviors are constantly shifting. According to Meghan Stabler, brands should quickly adjust to whatever that shifting behavior may be. “If you’re not taking advantage of it, your competitor probably is.” According to BigCommerce data, brands that got crisis response right were able to capture up to 3x more of the market share, rebounding faster and stronger once things stabilized.

Meet your customers where they are
In a time when digital experiences are making up for lost in-person or in-store experiences, it’s crucial to reconsider how you’re engaging your customers and whether it’s actually relevant to them. Abney from Mizzen + Main shared about how they’re trying to find new ways to leverage their store staff with the big question: “how do we bring the fitting room into the living room for our shoppers?”

Personalize, personalize, personalize
Hyper-personalization is key, especially with limited in-person connection. Stabler recommends personalizing each customer touchpoint as much as possible, from acquisition and retention to shipping and customer returns.

Differentiate your brand with a superior customer experience
Assess the current state of your website, create diverse content (like reviews and visual UGC), optimize for conversions, unify your social media with your eCommerce experience, build out an SEO strategy, and personalize whenever you can. Make it easy for your customers to get to know your brand and make that purchase.

Kindness in customer support is crucial
If shoppers have a negative experience with the brand and they don’t put in an extra layer of effort and care to fix it, then consumers are increasingly walking away and never turning back. Shah, Travis, and Tung all spoke about how their support teams are going above and beyond to help customers — even conducting what are essentially hour-long therapy sessions. “The [customer service] scripts were written for a pre-pandemic world,” Shah said. “Brands need to start seriously thinking about how much off script they’re willing to go and how important that is.”

Rethink your retention strategy
The old playbook is gone, and according to Shah, the idea of retention has shifted from “we want you to keep purchasing” to “we want to make you really happy and we’ll be here for whatever you need, even if it’s just getting on a call.” The customer that stays with you the longest is also going to be your biggest advocate, and the power of word-of-mouth is incredibly important, especially right now. Abney also spoke about how they’re not just trying to retain customers, but they’re also considering how their product categories can better reflect the needs and lifestyles of their community.

Customers are looking for comfort
Yong Kim from Capgemini noted that as global culture has shifted, it’s brought our focus back to “the things that really matter, like family, close friends, and the comfort and safety of home.” For Shah and Abney, this means that people are looking to buy and create more comfort for themselves and those they love — and, as a result, they’re gifting more and more. At men’s dress shirts company Mizzen + Main, Abney’s team is finding ways to revamp their product and communications strategy, giving shoppers what they’re looking for right now: comfort and ease.

Focus on education
It’s crucial to reconsider how you can cater to your community, giving them the opportunity to give back, to learn about your mission, or to enrich themselves beyond just purchasing your product. At Loop & Tie, they’ve majorly cut back on “salesy” emails and what they are sending is purely educational. The result? Consistently higher inbound requests and a higher conversion rate in response to their emails.

Do it yourself
For budding entrepreneurs, Lillian Tung says the best way to start and get to know your own business is to seek out advice from those around you, then take that advice and do it yourself. Tung herself spent “many months clicking the buttons in social media campaign managers and in our email marketing.” She claims that with that hands-on experience, you’ll know which questions are the right ones to ask and you’ll have a baseline for every role in your company.

Invest in your brand
Melanie Travis from Andie started her business thinking “as long as you knew how to be savvy with the digital roadmap, you could frankly sell anything you wanted.” Travis quickly realized consumers are really savvy and you couldn’t pay them all the money in the world to buy something they’re not gonna wear. “I had to focus on the magic gut stuff,” Travis said. “It requires more than knowing how to use Facebook Business Manager to build a brand.”

Flexibility is necessary
Martina England from Corra asked for advice for entrepreneurs launching a brand right now, since, as she put it: “just because a pandemic hits doesn’t mean that people don’t have good ideas.” Tung and Travis responded with the same answer: flexibility is crucial. Be open to what’s happening in the landscape, constantly evaluate your business, and be willing to pivot quickly.

Prepare to be political
Shah spoke about the hyper-awareness of the consumer, and how “they’re starting to dig into companies, to dig into their messaging, to tear them down, and rightfully so.” She thinks this will only continue. “As marketers, we need to know what’s happening across the world at all times, the team has to be aware of it, executives have to be able to step away and say it’s okay that you’re not going to give me a six month plan because the world will look different when you’re doing it.”

For more amazing insights, watch the recording here. Thank you to all of our amazing speakers and sponsors for making this event happen!

To join us for our next event, you can sign up for our emails on our Amazing Women in eCommerce site. You can also follow along on our instagram at @womeninecomm. If you’d like to learn more about Girls Inc., click here or to make a donation, click here.

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