Kitty Talks returned on Thursday 11th November to discuss the considerations eCommerce brands need to take to ensure smooth running in the lead-up to peak periods.
Hosted by Rob Knight, Managing Director at Kitty, and joined by Angus Blest, Head of Commercial Partnerships EU at Adyen, and Deepak Anand, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at BigCommerce the panel provided actionable insights that you can apply to your brand.
A video of the session is available to watch here, and the key points are summarised below:
Deployment and importance of choosing the right eCommerce partners
Rob Knight: (Question) Naturally in business and life, we always aim to work with the best people and tools available to us. But perhaps you could elaborate on the importance for brands to choose the right eCommerce partners, and the benefits the right mix of partners can bring?
Angus: When there’s a huge growth in any industry sector, you’ll find there is a load of players who want to be in that sector because they can see there is a huge opportunity to make money. With so many options, it is critical to find the right selection of partners and platform solutions that align well with you as a brand and your ambitions.
At Adyen, we have selected a few major platforms that we believe align well with the Adyen proposition both from a technical solution but also from a culture and value perspective.
Currently, we’re working with BigCommerce and Kitty, which is is a perfect balance, Big Commerce has the global offering that delivers an industry-leading platform for mid-market to enterprise-sized merchants. And Kitty has the expertise to help their customers get the best out of BigCommerce and the Adyen Platform. We have a pre-built functionally rich connector to BigCommerce that helps customers go live quickly and with Kitty as a partner, we can ensure the project goes smoothly.
As an online retailer, you need to choose the right partners, not just for where you are today but for where you want to be.
Deepak: Your platform weakness needs to be the strength of your partner.
As a platform provider, you can add so much more to the customer, understand the customer journey and provide your client with the outcome. There are over 500 million payment solutions on the market, so you need to understand that the proximity and the people associated with it, is what makes you successful, it’s not the technology.
Selecting the partner is the critical part. Take your time and invest time into their leadership and understanding the system.
RK: (Question) At Kitty, we have found that merchants often experience challenges when they attempt to scale, be it limits on their current eCommerce platform’s capability, support for foreign languages or even international transactions. Deepak, How is BigCommerce set up to overcome challenges like these?
Deepak: The last 18 months have changed the entire landscape. We are working with a lot of brands who are entering into the new market and the data we’ve seen is that around 18 million new users are coming onto our BigCommerce website for the first time in the last 18 months.
So how can the brands reach that audience and provide the tools?
Brands can be successful by being tactical and providing tools like multi-currency, multi-enable, and multi-store fronts. When you look at internationalization, there is a core market and there are emerging markets.
Brands should start thinking about how the new markets will become core and how they can build a brand in the new markets and use technologies to come together and provide that solution.
Angus: Scale can sit across domestic, international, and multi-channel growth.
Scale as far as volume of transactions is second nature to us at Ayden; we are a platform that processed in excess of 200 billion in the first half of this year. We also look after in-store transactions, and so built a platform that is consistent across stores.
If you’re looking to scale internationally, there is the challenge around currencies. When you want to expand internationally you need to think about the trends and the way people like to pay in different countries. Across the Ayden platform, we’ve got support for all the payment methods that are prevalent in all the countries around the world.
We see our platform as an enabler of scalability as we can support any volume you send us, any channel, any internationalization needs as well as the payment methods and currencies.
Navigating Pain Points & Peak Season
RK: (Question) With Covid & Brexit creating disruption across logistics and fulfillment, brands need to ensure their eComm strategies heading into peak periods consider all possible pain points. Effective partners can deliver a lot of the leg work for you – Angus, from your perspective, what should brands be looking out for?
Angus: COVID drove many transactions online but we’re also seeing people still wanting to interact with brands physically in the store as well. With the inability to visit stores for a long period of time, people are excited about the prospect of visiting stores. Some of the data shows that a shopper who spends both online and in-store will spend, on average, twice that of a single-channel shopper.
Having the ability to interact with the brand as we come out of COVID will bring you a much closer relationship with your customers and increase their spending.
There are pain points that come as a result of increased online transactions such as fraud. We did a survey and it reflected that around 40% of retailers claiming their fraud had increased, however, if you asked them if their volume of transactions had increased, the answer was ‘yes’ so inevitably your fraud risk will increase.
With online transactions increasing to make up 37.1% of all transactions completed (pre-COVID was circa 15% of all transactions were online), don’t be scared by the risk of fraud. Instead, see an opportunity where there are challenges. There are elements of fraud that are positive for your business as it highlights you’re not turning away good customers just due to risk.
Deepak: Currently, the customer experience has to be seamless, you need to ensure your deliveries happen when you say they will and ensure you have the right products for your promotions.
In terms of payments, it’s one of the most important things, and making sure you optimize this is key. If you’re not working with the right solution, it will impact the conversion rate of your transactions. So, make sure to think about your existing customers before you start considering new ones.
We have just released an eCommerce Holiday Guide 2021, where we have listed out the best tips and tricks for getting ready for the holiday season post-COVID, like an inventory checklist.
Angus: Ayden has compiled a report on the expectation gap, which is focused primarily on what the consumer is expecting and what the retailer is delivering. The data from the report showed that the customer’s expectations on the consumer journey are greater than some of the retailer’s ambitions to deliver on those customer journeys at the moment.
The answer for this is choosing the right partners that have the capability to be where you want to be in two to three years’ time, and/ or where your consumers want you to be to deliver those customer journeys.
In summary, brands need to choose their eCommerce partners wisely whilst maintaining a relationship moving forward to stay ahead of the game.
We cannot predict the future, so choosing partners that can support your brand in whichever direction it may take is important.
With eCommerce especially, trust is essential. Choose partners that are established, respected, and able to continue supporting you as your brand grows as well as choosing the suppliers according to where you want to be, not where you are now.
Thanks for reading the Kitty Talks round-up! If you’re interested in chatting to Kitty about how we can help you improve your digital experience, get in touch now.