In the first of its kind, Practicology held an Ecommerce Masterclass as part of the Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) Business Series for industry professionals, fashion followers and Ecommerce entrepreneurs. Keeping the VAMFF audience engaged with his inspired thinking, Practicology’s Founder and Executive Chairman Martin Newman discussed the importance of internationalisation, customer retention and the future of the Digital Marketing department.
Expanding into international markets
With international brands taking a portion of the market share in Australia, it’s important for local businesses to be looking into new market opportunities. With real market examples, Martin presented some successful and not-so-successful strategies that are in play right now. Claiming that a lot of businesses are opting to ‘do nothing’, or are ‘switching on the currency button’. This has contributed to a ‘lost in translation’ effect and has created a poor customer experience. Retailers need to understand the local market’s idiosyncrasies (not just typing ‘China’ into Google), and businesses need to genuinely understand the market they’re entering to achieve success.
We’re all about acquisition but what about retention?
As identified in a recent Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention leads to a 25-95% increase in profit. To keep competitive within the market, Martin emphasised that a business’s retention strategy needs to be a top priority alongside acquisition. These strategies need to be kept up–to–date to reflect changes in consumer behaviour and technology - with loyalty, personalisation, customer service and convenience as key performance drivers.
Digital Marketing is Dead
Well, dying. According to Martin, the traditional role of the Ecommerce/Digital Marketing Department needs a shake-up. With an intent to disrupt the traditional ideas of the Ecommerce team, Martin believes it’s time to bring the digital team out from their corner office to join the rest of the team – creating a ‘retail’ department rather than a ‘digital retail’ department.
Amazon’s coming to town. Are you ready?
A very clear message to all who attended was that Amazon is coming, and Australian retailers need to be prepared for it. Suggesting Amazon could reduce market share of complacent retailers, Martin proposed businesses should prioritise a defence strategy to minimise the effect to their bottom line in addition to a growth strategy, where retailers trade through the ecommerce giant, capitalising on their logistics network and audience reach.
With a list of to-dos that will take them into the next quarter, Martin’s thought-leading ideas were met with much enthusiasm from the crowd. If this year’s strong numbers, positive feedback and continuing discussions on social media are anything to go by, we can’t wait until next year’s Virgin Australia Fashion Festival.