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The Hidden Risks of Planning for the Short Term

Preparing your brand for long-term growth is essential. Learn why a quick decision to invest in a point solution might feel like a win, but planning for the future with a broader platform is a more worthwhile investment.

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Chapter 6
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Travis Hess
CEO at BVA

In this lesson, learn why a quick decision to invest in a point solution might feel like a win, but planning for the future with a broader platform solution is a significantly more worthwhile investment.

The essential shift from short-term to long-term planning

There’s often one common pitfall for eCommerce brands in early stages of growth: a focus on short-term success without the future in mind.

An early focus on acquisition is essential for merchants as they build out their lists and scale their growth, but an acquisition-centric approach is only half the battle — and more often than not, it’s the result of planning for the short-term, rather than planning for longevity and lifetime value. The short-term focus also leaves brands at risk of additional issues, including added resource costs for disparate solutions and a longer time to value for each solution.

The best way for eCommerce brands to drive lasting value — and higher ROI — is a shifting to a long-term mindset when it comes to planning building your tech stack and preparing for lasting growth.

A platform scales with your brand

As your brand grows, your tech stack needs to be able to scale with you, and that often means more solutions to handle new channels, segments, and more. With a steadily increasing customer base and acquisition firing on all cylinders, it’s likely your brand is going to require new solutions to automate what could have once been done manually on a smaller scale. These solutions might include:

  • An email service provider (ESP)
  • Loyalty program solution
  • Reviews, ratings, and user-generated content
  • Chatbot software
  • SMS marketing solution
  • Customer service and helpdesk software
  • Paid advertising and social media management
  • Demand generation solutions

In the search for solutions that can meet these additional needs, many eCommerce brands turn to point solutions to check the appropriate boxes. On average, eCommerce websites have 13 tool integrations enabled, with some sites leveraging over 80 technologies. That’s at least 13 separate data streams, vendor relationships to manage, development and system admin dependencies to take into account —  all resulting in no single view of the customer journey, and no ability for merchants to act on the journey holistically.

Because they are disparate in nature, point solutions are significantly more inefficient, costing time, money, and knowledge resources that are difficult to spare. According to a recent Hubspot survey,

  • 82% of marketers are losing hours a week due to managing different technologies
  • 75% of marketers spend up to an hour a day analyzing data and connecting reports from different marketing tools
  • A majority of respondents report 1-5 of the tools they use have redundant capabilities
  • Nearly 60% of marketing teams spend up to 10% of their budget to integrate, maintain, and manage their various tools

While a point solution may provide an immediate solution, they often don’t take into account your brand’s growth — and they take focus away from your bottom line.

Investing in an eCommerce marketing platform is the most effective strategy for eCommerce brands looking to scale with a long-term mindset. A platform can provide all the marketing solutions your brand needs currently, as well as the solutions you’ll likely need in the future, all from one single source, with integrated data and synergies between them.

An integrated platform comes with plenty of long-term advantages, including the following.

More efficient operations

Rather than having to take time to learn numerous software back-end admins and their updates, an integrated platform requires an understanding of only one system. With this single source of truth, your team can work more efficiently and easily move from one solution to another without any extra, tedious steps or sign-ons.

Combined agreements across products, compliance, and consolidated APIs for easy implementation are just a few of the operational benefits that come with a platform, saving your brand valuable time so you can scale to support your customers.

Maximize ROI 

With stronger platform insights powering your marketing campaigns and communications, your brand maximizes return at every touchpoint. Those returns only increase with every additional solution a brand adds, because additional data provides an even more holistic view of the customer, contributing to an overall better experience across every channel.

With this integrated data under a single roof, customers experience consistency across channels, increasing their satisfaction and engagement, and driving your brand’s growth. In fact, brands that use three or more Yotpo products grow their eCommerce store by 37% year over year.

Increased cost-effectiveness 

A massive long-term benefit comes from increased efficiency for teams beyond marketing. Your brand’s development team doesn’t have to manage multiple integrations between point solutions, because one platform only requires one set up and launch, resulting in less costly and frustrating back-end dependencies. Your Business Intelligence teams can optimize their data analysis with one platform, making it easier to leverage actionable strategies without additional resources. Your System Administrators only have to manage the understanding of one platform, eliminating complications. And, lastly, your Finance team benefits from consolidated billing.

Conclusion

  • The cheap solution costs more in the long-run: Making the quick decision to invest in a point solution might feel like a win, but planning for the future with a broader platform solution is a significantly more worthwhile investment.
  • Point solutions can lead to data silos: Make sure data gathered between solutions can be integrated, otherwise your customer journey will feel fractured, resulting in customer frustration, a negative brand reputation, and churn.
  • Take platform advantages into consideration: Operations are more efficient, merchants can make more agile decisions, and overall, it’s a more cost-effective solution.
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