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In November 2022, we gathered together for an event called ‘How to sell more without costing the earth’ – exploring how we can encourage strong eCommerce sales during an economic downturn without compromising budget or business ethics.
We opened with an introduction from Tess Coughlan-Allen, outlining the core themes for the event and welcoming each of our speakers to share their insights.
Head of Growth at Atomic Smash, one of just 3 UK agencies to be endorsed by WooCommerce and accredited as WooExperts.
The first talk from the main event came from Timothy Willis, one of the brains behind the eCommerce Brains of Bristol Meetup, the reason we were all together in the first place!
Head of eCommerce, South West, at PushON – a full-service digital agency, focusing on digital marketing and eCommerce.
TL;DR — Consumers are looking for something data-driven, ethical and personalised, but price is still important.
Winning customer spend is harder than ever, particularly with the cost of living and the energy crises. Research from September 2022 by Retail X & Adobe found that:
Engaging existing customers and building brand value is still a solid strategy for increasing revenue.
Provide a great digital experience for customers through personalisation, which makes them feel special and improves loyalty.
A first-party-led data strategy was encouraged. Collecting data in a way that is compliant and with full consent through your website helps your advertising work effectively.
The customer journey doesn’t end with a sale, there is an ongoing digital and consumer experience that needs to be nurtured.
Many brands will be slowing down as they see the amount people spending fall, but history tells us that the best thing you can do is continue investing in your eCommerce site and marketing.
Ryan Webb spoke next, taking to the stage to explain why conversion optimisation and sustainable business practice are often seen as contradictions — but sharing advice on how using powerful CRO methods are as relevant for sustainable organisations as any.
He included tips on how to influence website visitors to take the online actions you want.
Independent Conversion Optimisation Consultant, applying over 20 years of experience to identify opportunities for increasing website conversions, improving user journeys and driving more sustainable, profitable growth.
TL;DR — Conversion optimisation is about influencing positively. Creating space for authentic voices could have a great impact on your conversions.
Conversion optimisation is the practice of increasing the percentage of users who perform a desired action on a website. This could be buying something, adding a product to basket, signing up for a service, subscribing to a newsletter, and the list goes on.
In theory, conversion optimisation shouldn’t be manipulation, but influencing positively.
We can improve conversions with a strong foundation of trust, demonstrating authentic voices from your brand and from real customers through:
Clearly show delivery timeframes and costs on your eCommerce site, plus information about refunds and returns.
Lots of brands and businesses have signed up to pledges to be better and more sustainable, but selling more stuff isn’t sustainable in general.
Greenwashing and dark UX patterns are tactics some brands use to gain more customers, but tricks and inauthenticity will lose you more customers further down the line.
Some consumers might think about sustainability in specific terms, others will have an overall feeling about whether a retailer is good.
The perfect scenario – to personalise your sustainability messaging to reflect what each customer thinks is most meaningful – is unrealistic. Instead, flip it and focus on what your brand cares about and the messages you want to get across. This keeps things authentic.
You can break down authentic, purpose-driven messaging into bite size pieces and position these at relevant points in the purchase funnel.
Next up was Jaye Cowle, who walked us through the first steps on her journey towards conscious media buying.
If every click, impression, video view and interaction has a carbon impact, shouldn’t we be planning our media buying with the planet in mind?
Without claiming to have all the answers, Jaye shared the ambitions she has for her agency – so, together, we can learn from one another and collectively have a more positive impact.
Founder of Launch, an award-winning South West Performance Marketing Agency and Google Partner.
TL;DR — The world is missing a set of digital standards for sustainability. Together we need to show there’s an appetite for this.
Believe it or not, the cloud isn’t actually a cloud… Everything we do online has an impact on the environment. It’s important we realise this so we can start to make positive changes.
Data centres are problematic because of:
The world is missing a set of digital standards for sustainability, but what can we do about it?
We can start with our own websites. First by investigating the carbon of each website using free tools, then comparing these to a set of ‘standards’ we want to meet.
We can’t do it alone. By having these discussions together and bringing the conversation outside into our networks, for example when talking to tech giants like Google or with our clients, we can show and encourage the wider appetite for these changes.
Doing this in parallel with other like-minded organisations reduces the commercial risk for us all.
Next we welcomed our final speakers to the stage! Together, Hugo and Lorenzo covered why digital marketing will thrive in the recession (and how to seize the opportunity).
Hugo Wilson is Digital Marketing Executive at Noble and Lorenzo Campbell is Performance Marketing Manager at Noble, a digital performance marketing agency.
TL;DR — Recessions are scary, but it’s smart to continue investing in digital marketing and innovation during this time.
Here’s a step back in time to remember what 2009 looked like:
Today things look a bit different:
Advertising has changed significantly over the years:
eBay’s “Stronger as one” with McCann London encourages consumers to buy products from small businesses through co-created ads with their vendors. This campaign tells the stories of each business – a masterful way to change the tone but continue advertising.
One by one, our speakers dug into the data and looked bravely at the challenges in front of us, from economic downturn to climate emergency and everything in between.
Our shared goal was to help more businesses weather the storm, without costing the earth.
We closed the event with a notable mention of the pink suitcase theory. You want to discover which of your products drive sales, even if these products aren’t best sellers themselves.
Your pink suitcases represent the products that capture attention and create an entry point to your online store, driving other sales.
Reach out directly to any of the speakers to talk more about tried-and-tested eCommerce tactics, ethical marketing strategies, and how we can begin to tackle shared problems by working together.
Questions? Thoughts? Let’s talk more about selling more online without costing the earth.
Monday 5th December 2022
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