eTail Connect West 2022: Finding growth in existing customers and emerging technologies

By Ian Nadeau on September 20, 2022

The world of ecommerce is in a state of flux as brands big and small look to tackle the disruptions being caused by the death of third-party cookies, loss of Identifier for Advertisers (IDFAs), and more. Overcoming these challenges requires collaboration and eTail Connect is the place where it happens. Session AI attended eTail Connect West 2022 to hear how industry leaders are combating today’s obstacles to deliver experiences that convert — even when working with less user data than ever before. 

Brands in the eTail community include standouts like Crocs, Disney, Facebook, Kohl’s, Verizon, and more. Even a slight dip in performance means millions in losses for brands like these. Because of this, some of the top ecommerce minds came together in San Diego to provide their solutions. 

Below are our key takeaways from the event.

Loyalty over acquisition

Did you know that customer acquisition can be 7x the cost of customer retention? Even if brands are able to acquire new customers, the probability of selling to them is low (between 5% – 20%), whereas the likelihood of selling to existing customers ranges from 60% – 70%. These stats point to the prioritization of loyalty over acquisition as the smart strategy. However, only 18% of businesses focus on retention

Further benefits of leveraging brand loyalty include (Semrush): 

  • Existing customers are 50% more likely to try a new product
  • 31% of existing customers spend more than the average on every order placed
  • 58% of those in a brand loyalty program make a purchase from that company monthly
  • 83% of consumers say that joining a loyalty program ensures they’ll continue to shop with that brand

Improve customer fulfillment

Smoother delivery equals happier customers — especially after consumers experienced elongated wait times during the pandemic when inventory was low and demand was high. Now that we’re back on track, ecommerce needs to pick up the delivery pace if they want to avoid the following (Rakuten): 

  • 38% cart abandonment for shipments that will take longer than a week 
  • 16% cart abandonment for deliveries estimated between 6 – 7 days
  • 15% cart abandonment for deliveries estimated between 4 – 5 days 

Whether offering fast, free delivery or enabling consumers to buy online and pick up in store, the brands that make it easy to obtain products are the ones winning business. 

Innovative consumer engagement

Rethink how customers consume your products by leveraging digital innovations (e.g., video and augmented and virtual reality). Video commerce, such as the short recordings on Nordstrom product pages, allows shoppers to not only see the item from every angle, but also get social proof from actual people regarding its quality and use. Meanwhile, AR and VR take the digital experience a step further by allowing users to virtually visualize how the product will look; be that a sofa in their living room, a new pair of shoes, or a big art piece to take up that empty wall space.   

Innovating consumer engagement can lead to: 

Session AI hosted our own roundtable discussion on Day 2 of eTail Connect West around creating ecommerce experiences for anonymous consumers. With 90% of visitors now being anonymous, and retargeting getting weaker because of a privacy-first ecosystem, we wanted to get an idea of how brands are evolving their marketing strategies. Leaders from 18 different organizations — including those in furniture, footwear, instruments, fashion, and gifting — joined us to talk about how they’re rethinking their efforts now that user data is harder to come by. Their marketing strategies now include smarter promotions, understanding micro-behaviors, and leveraging social media. 

While ecommerce brands are actively searching for ways to overcome today’s challenges, many have yet to discover an emerging solution: in-session marketing. In-session marketing is the application of real-time marketing that focuses on all active users on your digital properties with the intention of understanding micro-behaviors in order to drive conversions. The solution doesn’t run on third-party cookies, IDFAs, unique IDs, or any other personal identifiable information (PII).

Learn more about in-session marketing and why it’s an ideal solution for ecommerce.

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