Note in passing the existence of companies that practice the “cloud mining” and sell computing capacity to their customers who receive in exchange the fractions of mined bitcoins, after deduction of management fees. Be careful though, some services are often very disappointing, when it’s not just pure scams. In general, even if practiced seriously, cloud mining is rarely profitable.
Practiced on French (or European) soil, cryptocurrency mining is only recommended for people who have, for domestic purposes, their own green electricity generator (solar, wind, geothermal, hydraulic) without having the possibility of reselling production surpluses on the public network.
Great top-down leadership doesn’t end at laying down the groundwork. A good business leader knows that a people-first mindset is key to a company’s growth. It is a fact that staff satisfaction tends to reflect on their productivity and loyalty. And who better to represent your company than a loyal and happy employee?
Business travel today is one aspect of work that is very much changed from how it was pre-2020. It is an area that business leaders must acknowledge has a direct impact on employee happiness. Travel risk and trip preparations call for more energy and closer attention to detail in order to achieve quality business trips.
But it is not just “how” business travel is done that has changed. Companies are also assessing the “why” and assessing the rationale behind each trip. Business travel is often pitted against video calls though the former is proven unrivaled in forging connections and winning deals. However, paying more attention to the purpose of travel is worth doing to achieve greater employee happiness, less risk and save costs.
Are employees happy to travel for business?
The novelty of jet setting for work can wane over time – no one likes long layovers, delays and crowded airports. But the bleisure trend shows no sign of slowing. On top of that, people want to deliver their best work and excel in their careers. And research shows that face-to-face meetings and business trips yield better business results. Whether employees like to travel for business comes down to a matter of preference and support.
This is where business travel management makes all the difference, not just to those traveling but also to employees in human resources, finance, managers, and other roles. Modern travel management empowers employees to choose how they travel within the parameters of the company travel policy. Travel management done right lets employees know they are well protected, trusted and valued. The culture of a company is determined by how people feel at work.
Here’s how modern, technology-driven business travel management keeps employees happy.
Peace of mind with risk & safety tools
Safety is not just about having a policy in place but communicating it well to ensure employees know how they are covered. Employees having peace of mind is invaluable, especially when in a new and unfamiliar environment. Feeling safe during business trips positively impacts confidence and unwittingly equips them to do better work.
Your company travel policy may cover how employees are taken care of if something goes wrong but using a modern travel management tool ensures you stay proactive in preventing untoward incidents.
Global disease outbreak?TruTrip’s integration with Riskline, for example, alerts you ahead of time so you can choose your next course of action – whether repatriation, treatment or other support.
Employees achieve more when admin tasks are fewer
Business travel requires careful planning, budgeting and reporting. When done manually, one business trip creates spillover tasks for human resources, finance, team managers, travel managers, administrative staff and the traveler itself. That’s a lot of time that can be saved through streamlining and automation.
Using a travel management platform frees up your employees’ time, letting them do more of the work they take pride in. No more booking and comparing flights and hotels on different platforms; researching travel requirements; reimbursements and reporting; lengthy back and forth travel approvals and requests, and arcane company travel policy.
Overall, it sets your company up to do more and better meet your goals.
Empowering employees to make travel choices
Company travel policies inform employees of budgets and other rules to comply with. But despite the best of intentions, business trip bookings and expenses may sometimes fall outside the confines of travel policy. Using a travel management platform takes away the challenge of implementation. Set up your company travel policy and bookings are automatically compliant.
Instead of restricting employees to booking with certain hotels and star ratings, smart policy implementation lets them choose travel based on their needs and preferences – whether that is direct or connecting flights, unique accommodation types and other trip extras. Select a travel management partner that gives you extensive travel choices. These minor customisations can go a long way to ensuring business traveler satisfaction.
Support and service at every stage of your business trip
A dedicated support team that’s one call, chat, or email away at all times can take the edge off traveling in a high-stress environment. Quality travel management gives you easy, self-service options to make planning business trips a breeze. And at any point, if you need help, having someone to talk to makes for a better overall experience.
But it is not just pre-trip that support is useful. Employees having access to the right support while on business trips are critical. Things can go wrong when traveling – missing travel documents, injuries, bad hotel experiences and more. Your travel management partner is your dedicated point of contact to help resolve issues for you.
TruTrip makes business travel enjoyable and safeWith our modern technology and tools, employees can better dedicate their time to organizational growth. There is no better time than now to get started on impactful business travel. To learn more about TruTrip, schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial.
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A traditional economy is a business whereby company’s employ people on a full-time basis to carry out task stated out by the company. The pros are there is a structured career path in the company and they are well paid in terms of salary and benefits such as leave, insurance and trainings. The cons are usually the company is not flexible in certain decisions such as – work hours are fixed at 9-6pm and they incur high operating cost such as manpower, office, and insurance.
Technology have brought about changes in life as well as the economy we know today. Gig economy start to trend recently especially with the booming of technology app companies such as Grab, Uber, Airbnb etc. These companies employ people on a part-time/contract/freelancing basis to complete a task stated out by the company. The pros typically are the flexibility of time, allowing the hired people to work within their own time management. The cons are they typically not cover under company insurance or have leave entitled to them as compare to a regular full-time staff.
Examples of a Gig economy
Impact of Covid-19 in Singapore
Since Covid-19 striked, a lot of business had to fold or change the way they work such as working-from-home, food delivery service for F&B. Traditional business that need to have office space or retail/F&B that rent space from commercial and non-commercial building in Singapore are hit the hardest during the lock-down and post lock-down period. Some businesses just simply couldn’t survive and hence retrenchment was on a rise during the period. So, we can see a shift in workforce that joined the Gig economy such as the grab food delivery service which allows people to earn money with flexible timing and arrangement. Even Taxi operators were hit during the period as travel restrictions were imposed and hence taxi driver’s lost a mainstream of income from visitors. Luckily, they were being deployed for short term role of chauffeuring covid-19 patients from point A to point B. Airlines were grounded during this period and SIA stewardesses were being deployed to hospitals as care ambassador during the crisis period to help out with lack of manpower in hospitals. Some who were out of job turned to entrepreneurship such as home-based business or hawkerpreneur to tide themselves over the period. Full-time workers who are still employed under companies have to adopt new ways and technology to do business such as hold virtual meetings over Zoom, doing tele-conferencing and working from home.
Examples of working from home tech jobs
With the covid-19 situation under control at this point of time, businesses are slowly recovering. The question now is, would the Gig economy workers go back to a traditional model or does the traditional model break into new territory of Gig? Imagine, employees choosing to work on a hybrid mode of work from home and hot-desking anywhere instead of going to office, does it help the company to save on rental/ ownership of a building? What will happen if companies do not need an office space anymore? What is the future of commercial buildings like? Do drivers/ delivery workers of grab go back to being white-collar workers and hence create a gap in supply demand in the grab app?
I look forward to the future of the working landscape as to how technology will shape up both the Gig and traditional economy.
Remote working has significantly impacted various aspects of workspace culture, environment, and interaction across industries. Remote working was only available to few people from the IT industry before, but pandemic led changes have brought digitalization and induced rapid global transformation to many other industries which were initially perceived as traditional and required physical presence.
Though the remote working practices were adopted as a necessary measure during the pandemic; they seem to be here to stay. WFH (Work from home) / remote working is the ‘new normal’. There are many companies that have decided to switch to work from home permanently and many other companies have adopted the Hybrid Work model. Employees are not ready to return to the offices and this has forced companies to adopt technologies to support remote work styles. Orthodox work culture will not survive in the era of digitalization.
Global Competition: New technological advancement and adoption has opened the door of global opportunities for job seekers as well as employers. If someone is staying in Delhi (India) and is not flexible to move to another city due to various reasons, they had to look for options only in Delhi. This has changed and the employee can now apply anywhere and can work remotely. Likewise, employers do not have to look for talents only from the location of their office. This is bringing global talents to one platform.
Missing Human interaction: While this is good for many, there are other dimensions to be investigated. Many employees still prefer to work in physical offices and miss bonding with their team, gossiping with others! or just meet a new person from another team during coffee/tea break.
According to an article published in Forbes on 13th Oct,2021, a study by Condeco shows that “nearly half of U.S. companies offered remote work options already in 2019. In 2021, this number increased to 58.6%”.
Remote working can benefit the companies and can increase profits in many ways:
Reduced infrastructure cost: Remote work eliminates overhead costs like lease expenses, office furnishings, utilities, insurance, supplies, upkeep, and repair. Workplace cost and benefits statistics by Global Workplace Analytics reveal that IBM saved $50 million in real estate costs by allowing remote work.
Increased productivity: An employee’s productivity depends on his/her lifestyle. Same 9 to 5 work schedule might not work for everyone. This flexibility will allow employees to work during their most productive hours and this will certainly increase their productivity.
Employee Retention: Flexible remote work will help in employee retention by keeping them happy and healthy. Remote workers have better work- life balance which results in happy employees. Happy employees mean reduced attrition.
From the employees’ perspective, remote work has also created a different expectation where many companies expect the employees to be available 24*7. This is the other side of the same coin. There is a tradeoff here.
We should not hesitate to adopt new technologies if it makes our life easier and better. At the same time human interaction and emotions should not be missing. This is a time where companies are doing their best to be in the list of most employee friendly companies, while others are still clinging to 6 days a week work culture. For these orthodox companies, the well-being of their employees working for them does not matter.
But, in the long run, only the ‘fittest’ companies will survive.
About 15 years ago, the early disciples of Direct-To-Consumer [DTC] brands, began spreading the word – DTC as a business model was about lower prices, higher margins, and one-to-one customer relationships. Fast forward to today, the DTC landscape is crowded with brands jostling for consumer mindspace. With customer acquisition costs rising and Apple’s iOS ATT update resulting in a reduced ability for facebook and email marketers to track, understand user behavior, target audiences and measure performance accurately – there hasn’t been a more important time than now to leverage and build a powerful marketing technology stack that puts customers at the front and center of a DTC brand’s strategy and mission in order to survive.
Successful DTC brands today focus on building a deep understanding of their customer, strengthen their offerings, educate, entertain, and remind their customers with a single goal to convert visitors to buyers and grow customer lifetime value.
Technology has been at the forefront of a DTC entrepreneurs arsenal influencing daily decisions from understanding a customer’s first order, to building a content strategy leveraging analytics and research, gaining a better understanding of on-site visitor behavior in the storefront, or targeting audiences that are most likely to convert.
Below are ten powerful ways DTC brands leverage technology to scale to 8 figures and beyond profitably.
Let’s dive in.
Building a content first strategy with powerful SEO for brand discoverability
Building a search engine optimized site that is discoverable with high quality content that educates your customers across the customer journey is a good starting point. Additionally, customer journey mapping, with creating a content strategy as a fundamental foundation to communicate with your customer personas and on-site conversion rate optimization yields a flywheel for continuous growth. As we know it a brand without content is faceless, it has no way to get repeat business, grow a customer base and compete against companies with similar products. A real brand has a strong email list of subscribers, authority in their niche and a community of raving fans who consume their content and buy their products again and again. The world’s best DTC brands leverage content to tell their stories to customers and address “why” they exist to serve the customer. Organic content costs less than paid for each marginal visitor – its upfront investment is offset by reduced customer acquisition cost (CAC), more loyalty and a much longer ROI window.
From product pages, blogs to social media the best DTC brands leverage content marketing to build engagement and trust with the brand. Below are ways in which successful DTC brands leverage different technology platforms and applications to provide a full funnel experience by embracing content as a primary pillar.
Top of Funnel Content: focuses on educating the audience, entertaining, engaging the customer and addressing a specific pain point or need they are looking to address. Creative assets for paid social such as images, sales videos, testimonials, UGC can be created via technology platforms such as Canva, Snappa, Adobe Spark, Visme, Vimeo and Wistia are great to build rich experiences on the website and creative assets such as carousels, videos, collection ad formats besides create Instagram stories, Instagram reels that particularly work well for DTC brands. UGC platforms Cohley and Pixlee help brands connect with customers and engage them with authentic conversations inviting them to discover the brand. Building on-site personalized quizzes can further improve time on site and grow engagement with your customer.
Middle of Funnel Content: focuses on helping educate, informing and building trust with the customer. The focus here is to solve for why your product or service would help fulfill the customer’s needs. Building social proof by integrating platforms like Trustpilot, Yotpo are great. Brands integrate chat via Paloma, ManyChat and MobileMonkey that help DTC brands engage, inform and retain visitors on the website – channels such as Instagram and facebook messenger accelerate customer experience and brand credibility.
Bottom Of Funnel Content: this is where the rubber hits the road. Ensuring your store has product optimized pages with a goal to ensure a frictionless path to conversion with one click upsells, a seamless add to cart experience, a secure check-out with a post-purchase cross sell opportunity to grow average order value (AOV), conversion rates (CR) and customer lifetime value (CLV) are big rocks that aid conversion optimisation. Landing Pages that are AMP optimized for quick mobile downloads and desktop optimized separately are important to ensure a rich customer experience and reduce bounce rates, load times and improve conversions. Ensuring message match between ads, content and product offer pages is key not only to ensure a high-quality score when running facebook and google ads but also is key to increase conversion rates and lower cart abandonment. By adopting technology software such Unbounce and InstaPage to launch custom landing pages in a drag and drop environment DTC brands are able to drastically improve customer experience, drive customer retention and prevent a leaky bucket. Apps such as Zipify and Candy Rack are two of the top-rated apps on the Shopify app store that allow you to easily create upsell and cross-sell offers.
Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands states, “If you invest in SEO today, you will reap its ROI over 12 years”. For some brands, relevant search volume will allow them to scale to tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of qualified shoppers per month through search engine optimization (SEO).
To do that requires a combination of three factors.
One, optimizing your collection and product pages for high-buying-intent keywords. Two, optimizing those same pages for technical considerations – correct H tags, alt image tags, and load speed. Three, producing additional content for non-buying-intent keywords. By leveraging SEMRUSH, BackLinko and Ahrefs a seamless search engine optimised storefront with organic traffic can be built, growing the stores brand authority while driving conversions.
2. Ensuring a healthy channel mix while building traffic
Once a DTC brand builds a great product that solves a specific need or pain-point of the customer, saves time, money or solves a problem – then the next ideal step is a laser focus on building traffic. Traffic = store visitors. As John Mac Donald, President & Founder of The Good, a conversion rate optimization firm states, “Visitors come to your store only for two reasons – to research your products and understand if it solves their problem or need and to purchase as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Your job as an ecommerce marketer is to get them what they came for with the least friction”.
As an young DTC brand, a focus on growing organic traffic, improving on-site conversion rate through conversion rate optimization and establishing a retention strategy via email and SMS marketing to grow your short-term LTV (60-day LTV) will deliver profitability in order to better prepare you to scale in the future.
Early DTC brands that have seen success aim to push revenue via organic traffic to 20%+ and email marketing to 25% to build for profitability.
Once brands hit 15M+ and are a maturing DTC brand, direct organic traffic should contribute to at least 40% of total traffic. As DTC brands build sizeable organic traffic and continue to grow with a goal to deeply understanding their customer personas, they grow higher quality traffic to drive to their storefront and scale business further by a focus on paid advertising via search and social. A focus on full funnel advertising optimized at an SKU and price point level to win profitable sales, building high converting creatives rooted in analytics focused on time tested principles that accelerate the customers journey should be the focus all with one primary goal – get visitors to make a purchase. Further brands build intelligent remarketing campaigns that separate customers, visitors, browsers, and cart abandoners. Search engine marketing (SEM) is leveraged to make sure that the store “owns their real estate”: the top results for branded searches. Google ads versus Facebook ads shouldn’t be pitted against each other; but instead work together to build an omnichannel presence across search, shopping, and social media. A healthy store has a 40-60 organic to paid traffic mix or an ideal 50-50 organic to paid traffic mix.
None of this is possible to track and measure without using the rich machine learning capabilities and algorithms of the big three – facebook, google and amazon ad platforms and pixels or even first party and third-party data technologies.
3. Optimizing for the conversion always! Growing revenue per visitor as a goal.
When DTC brands focus all efforts into cutting down wasteful expenditure testing ads with small budgets first, always testing 6-8 creatives and remarketing to existing customers while prospecting to new potential customers only – they see a lift in conversions and conversion rates besides improved return on ad spend (ROAS). When brands test both ads and funnels leveraging the AIDA model and rapidly iterate creative assets to optimize for the conversion, paid advertising finally pays off and allows brands to rapidly scale, grow new customers and drive repeat purchase rates and average order value.
By accelerating on-site conversion rate optimization actions, focusing on bespoke photography and video asset optimization, site speed and mobile optimized AMP pages for quick load times, brands are able to build profitable ecommerce funnels that reduce friction points to conversion such as your offer, return rates, bad reviews, poor product quality, creative, account optimization goals or an incongruent message or visual between your ad and landing page structure. Testing each element of the ecommerce funnel – ad imagery, headlines, copy, blog copy, video, testimonials, social reviews creates a frictionless path to conversion with a coherent message to the consumer. Further conversion rate optimisation does not end with the purchase – post-purchase retention strategies help further drive engagement, cross-sell and upsells that consistently grow brand loyalty, increase repeat purchase rates reducing average time between orders.
By personalizing the customer journey across touchpoints, focusing on product assortment optimization, directing paid dollars to acquire ideal customers and ensuring message match between the ad and landing page, DTC brands are able to greatly impact conversion rates and volume. Marketing software such as Adobe Spark Post, Canva, no limit creatives allow entrepreneurs and marketers to rapidly test creative performance and build stunning creative assets. Conversion Optimisation Software (CRO) software such as Omniconvert, Optimizely and VWO enables brands to conduct RFM segmentation, cohort analysis and launch customer surveys to better understand customer clusters with varied lifetime value, on-site behavior and intent. This helps every marketer to successfully focus on profitable growth.
With heatmaps, rapid A/B testing and software such as HotJar, Microsoft Clarity, brands are able to optimise on-site product page experiences. Further, auditing customer reviews on your store and on Amazon can play a part in strengthening the product offering and service capability.
DTC brands personalize cart recovery by installing LiveRecover. They recover about 20-25% of abandoned carts at minimum. All these actions are an essential part to conversion rate optimisation for the storefront online.
4. Accelerating LTV with retention programs via email marketing, SMS marketing, informative newsletters, community building programs for your brand
If you aren’t leveraging email and SMS marketing, you are leaving a pile of cash on the table. Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands says, “Good retention is about coming up with plays that keep your product in the top 15-20 things in a person’s head at any one time”. Simply put – email marketing and SMS marketing are those #1 and #2 retention channels!
No other channel matches the ROI of email marketing. For every $1 spent email generates $38. Well performing email marketing has the potential to drive 20%-30% revenue.
Email is the most important touch point between brand and community. It helps convince people to engage, consider, buy and express, take interest, engage and influence buyers. With customer acquisition costs likely to continue to spiral upwards, investing in email marketing to build a direct relationship with the customer and “own” the relationship is critical.
As Chase Dimond, Co-Founder of Boundless Labs says, “I think email’s important for a lot of reasons. First – with the iOS 14 update and cookies going away, it’s going to be even more important to control your audience and really have predictable revenue.
The goal is to get to a point where you can press send and you know that this campaign is going to drive you X number of clicks and X number of sales and the revenue per recipient is this.
And with Facebook and some of these other channels, those are obviously very effective for what I do. We are dependent on top-of-the-funnel traffic, but they’re going to become a lot less precise, a lot less predictable. So having a channel like email marketing where you own, and you control your destiny is going to be super important”.
Marketing automation platforms such as Klaviyo, Privy, Active Campaign and Sendlane allow marketers to not only establish a one-to-one relationship with the existing and potential customers but leverage deep learning to build segments and communicate with your customers to inform, educate and convert more visitors to customers.
By focusing on a healthy mix of both campaigns and flows. Ensuring your core flows welcome series, cart and browse abandonment and post purchase series are always activated. Building a cadence of list hygiene and cleaning to ensure healthy engagement rates – email marketing can become a highly profitable channel.
Merchandising emails with top-sellers and bundled offers to drive repeat purchases help grow a DTC brands average order value (AOV).
Post purchase emails are critical to keep customers engaged, thanking customers for purchases made and launching cross-sell and up-sell opportunities over time grow AOV. Educating your customers about how to use your products leveraging newsletters, build social proof and valuable feedback. Email Marketing helps shore up organic traffic through a continuous stream of existing customers visiting your site to explore new products, engage with your blog and feel part of a community.
With the iOS 15 ATT updates, we will see a potential impact on opens leading to our inability to accurately understand revenue, IP based activity, ability to serve dynamic content, list segmentation, build automated triggers and logic, launch list hygiene and offboard unengaged subscribers. Ensuring UTM tracking is accurate and consistent to enable last click reporting through Google Analytics would be key. Collecting historical data to adequately read without open data would help create a baseline to benchmark against. Updating segments to utilise recent creation, clicks, purchases and site sessions to build segments of engaged contacts. Auditing all automated flows for use of opens and identify any elements of the program reliant on Geo-IP. Implementing batched re-engagement series for pre-iOS 15 list hygiene would go a long way in making informed and intelligent decisions to boost the health of your email marketing program.
5. Building A Frontline of Defense with Customer Service:
Martech platforms such as Gorgias go a long way in not only reducing churn but also leveraging data to build customer service as not only brand advocates and grow one-on-one relationships with the customer. Customer service is a brand’s frontline of defence. Customers are the first to know when something is wrong, broken, or if anything can be done better. By identifying the needs, concerns, and issues of the customer faster than anyone else, brands can also fix or address problems before it gets any bigger and becomes damaging to the company.
It is important to keep the customer happy. If it is their first-time ordering from a brand and they have a less than stellar experience, they are most likely not going to order again. They will not give any of the company’s second products a try, such as the more expensive purchases or subscriptions. That is why customer service helps in not only preventing any bad experiences but building a trusted relationship. By offering simple solutions from a technical standpoint, such as dealing with refunds or providing a shipping label, the customer is excited that the brand provided them with a solution. Tools like Gorgias help drive stellar customer service enabling brands to leverage data to cross sell and up sell products, retain or win back customers and provide exceptional customer experience.
6. Scaling with Facebook Ads Profitably
Why facebook you may ask? With more than 2.9 BN monthly active users worldwide, facebook is the largest social network. Besides the continuing challenges with Apple’s iOS updates, it is estimated that ad spends would continue to rise by 32% on facebook in 2022 per eMarketer. While CPMs have risen by +47% on facebook in the US and +54% YOY for ecommerce brands – there simply put isn’t a single channel replacement for facebook that provides better or similar returns.
Facebook and Instagram are the highest performing, most efficient channels out there why? This is because of the humongous data they are sitting on. Facebook pixels are over 8 million websites on the internet. facebook knows about their users through their conversion tracking algorithm more than anyone else.
On the buy side of the facebook platform it is important to focus on five key areas to leverage the power of the platform profitably.
Feed the facebook algorithm with a variety of ad creatives, testing every part of the ad while leveraging a consolidated account structure, ensure message match and congruence between ad and landing page
Set clear prospecting goals only targeting new users to be able to retarget to existing users for scale and profitability
Build audience exclusions while setting up retargeting for visitors, cart abandoners, engagers, and varied customer segments
Calculate facebook budgets and CPA targets based on profitability goals
Eliminate single account ROAS goals while focusing on SKU based goals
Embrace Adobe Spark, Pixlr X, Snappa, Adobe Premier Rush to create outstanding Facebook ads that convert.
7. Always refining the almighty offer to grow AOV and short-term cash multiplier LTV 60 days
Focus on understanding different customer segments and their purchase trends, what they are willing to recommend and what they have returned. If you have excess inventory, BOGO is a great promotional offer to increase customer engagement and generate sales. Free shipping belongs on every customer list. Conversion rates are known to increase when you use free shipping. Free returns set customers minds free and gets them to purchase more. Threshold free shipping can incentivize shoppers to add more items to their cart increasing both AOV and LTV. At all times, merchants must cater for what people really care about – which is almost never a brand or founder story – but something relevant to their needs.
Limited edition and low in stock are great ways to drive urgency besides money back guarantees. Product bundling including starter kits and special edition seasonal items. A membership or subscription program is a powerful way to bring your customers into an exclusive club and generate some guaranteed revenue. If your membership is structured well, you can get your customers to spend more than they would otherwise. Store credits are a great way to get your customers to come back again and incentivise the next purchase.
Bolstering your business with a robust live chat experience, customer service platform such as Gorgias or building a customer review via UGC with Okendo would work wonders for your brand. This would help in driving more traffic by showing reviews in paid and organic marketing channels including Google Ads, Google Search and Google Shopping. The above tactics all go a long way to improve average order value (AOV) and LTV 60 days i.e., a cash multiplier for the brand.
8. Capturing demand through Search Engine Marketing with Google Shoppingand Google Ads
If brands want to be wherever their customers are, then this is one of the foundational steps. If someone finds a brand on Facebook or they see the brand on Amazon, one of the next things they’ll do is search for same brand on Google and so as DTC brands, we want to show up there for branded search.
Now you might be asking, if someone is searching for me by name, won’t my organic search do the trick? Because I’m going to probably rank for my own name number one. And the answer is, yes you most likely will rank at the top organically for your own brand name. There are very rare exceptions that you would not. However, there are likely going to be some ads above you.
Branded Search Ads help prevent competitors from poaching a brands customers. Search Ad spend is still growing at 20% per year. Google Shopping makes up 55-60% of all retail paid search clicks per Search Engine Journal. One of the reasons why Google Shopping is so popular is because the return on ad spend (ROAS) is just consistently strong.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is the holy grail. Once you install the GTM container pixel on your site, you’ll be able to manage all your pixels from the GTM user interface. Launching Google Tag Manager on site, also makes sure you have a much less chance of accidentally breaking your site trying to add pixels. More importantly it will help you track the holy conversion and other key actions such as add to cart, order value, product or item bought, sales revenue and much more.
9. Launching private label brands on Amazon FBA and leveraging Amazon Advertising
Amazon is quickly becoming a destination for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands looking to expand their reach and increase their sales. Since third-party sellers joined Amazon in 1999, they’ve grown to account for 58% of Amazon sales.
DTC brands that have an already established store can leverage 300 million active customers across 180+ countries via Amazon. It is one of the most efficient ways to reach new customers with 66% of new product searches beginning on Amazon.
Positive Customer Reviews can boost the brands perception and drive organic traffic to their store thereby improving conversions and sales. This means healthier profit margins.
With Facebook ads costs rising post Apple’s iOS ATT rollout by almost +45-55%, Amazon PPC ad costs could be cheaper depending upon the category. DTC Brands could leverage market intelligence platforms such as Jungle Scout and Helium10 to make real time decisions on their Amazon FBA strategy based on their inventory availability, new product launch strategy, gain competitor insights and feedback from customer reviews to continuously iterate the product and improve product features, packaging and after-sales service. Brands could even launch bundled offers to push excess inventory or plan to push sales during peak holiday seasons to maximize both sales volume and profitability
10. Measuring what Matters
Successful DTC ecommerce brands know their growth is tied to a fundamental set of metrics. Visitors, Conversion Rate, Operating Expenditure, Contribution Margin and Customer Lifetime Value are some of the key metrics that when tracked and measured, lead to informed decision making and a profitable DTC commerce business with more cash in the bank. Other key metrics such as Net Promoter Score, Customer Acquisition Cost, Purchase Frequency, Average Order Value, Time to First Response and CLV to CAC ratio are additionally important metrics to track.
A holistic view of these metrics cannot be attained in the absence of technology driven software such as Google Analytics, OmniConvert, Tydo, Ramp, Settle and more.
Successful DTC brands start with a mission to create world class products that best serve the customer to deliver exceptional customer experiences with customer lifetime value as their north star. Some of the world’s best DTC brands such as Glossier, Beardbrand, Lalo, Qalo, and many more power their DTC technology stack leveraging these world class software applications and platforms mentioned in the article above.
Smarte Digital is a boutique ecommerce growth marketing consultancy with a mission to scale DTC brands that are between 2MN-30MN+ profitably.
The skincare industry has always been a very traditional space in the way business was done. Heavily brick and mortar, mass targeting when it came to marketing, touch and feel factor was crucial and only the big boys had a stake in the game. Well, all of that is being challenged and the disruptors are here to stay.
The health and well-being industry went through a seismic shift during the pandemic when, time at home increased exponentially and the need to engage and connect reached an unusual high. This interesting combination led to niche skin care brands finding innovative ways to not only build a community but use digital platforms to engage, interact and show customers how to maximize their time at home while achieving that sought after glow and Zen vibe.
Online shopping platforms and social media tools gave brands the much needed space to create content that was amplified to customers who were hungry for relatable content and the need to find a calm in the chaos of the pandemic. Customers interacted with each other and shared feedback on the efficacy of brands and were not shy to voice their opinions about the drawbacks of a product. This forced brands not only to be transparent about their sources but also held accountable to high standards which in turn made online skincare shopping more appealing.
Taking this conversation forward we talk about business growth alongside trust and community in the skincare world. The natural and organic beauty product market is expected to touch $54Billion by 2027 and digital has a strong role to play in this. Direct to consumer on online market places has been a game changer and will contribute heavily to this forecast. Social media product tags will also be a big part of the sales numbers for skincare brands.
Never before has it been this pivotal for brands to be present and be seen on the phone screens of Gen Z to Millennials.
Baréskin calls its’ customer base the “CircleOfTrust” which cements how important the factor of trust is in a world where digital interaction is the only option sometimes. Community building and a strong story, backs this brands success and there is no looking back. Frequent LIVE sessions with the founder, supporting other female-led brands, taking transparency of toxic ingredients seriously and authenticity of its content are all part of the brand ethos which the founder has ingrained in all aspects of the business. This has to seamlessly translate to the customer which is when the magic happens.
Capturing this wave will mean staying agile and on the ball more than ever before but fortunately for us, we take this challenge on as an opportunity to grow to our full potential.
It is a paradox of our lives that some of the most common of actions underlying a functioning society are left virtually untouched by advancement as civilization marches forth to Metaverses and recyclable rockets. An example is how Education has operated historically – a source of knowledge (teacher/computer) facing a collective of students, dispensing knowledge. The dispenser may vary but the fundamental construct remains unaltered. But the one I want to focus on today is the act of making Payments. Yes, payments…the industry that is supposedly being disrupted with an onslaught of payment tech start-ups touting nosebleed valuations. But if one peels away the slick interface and looks into exactly how the payments course from one end to the other, you will inevitably run into technology which was built when Mash was still on air and “Bloody” a bad word!…
Let’s think of a situation where a corporation say Nike, needs to pay its suppliers in Vietnam called VietShoe. Nike instructs it’s bank to make a payment in VND to its supplier bank account. Nike is shown a FX rate by the trader at Nike’s bank, “Banque de Zapatas”(BDZ)…there follows a little negotiation… then finally the golden word “done” is said/typed. The next stage is for the operations people then deduct the USD100 from Nike’s account in the US and initiate a series of steps whose desired outcome is to get the VND equivalent of USD100 (about 2,250,000 VND at current rates) credited to VietShoe’s account.
FX markets are the largest component of capital markets with a daily trade volume is 6.6 Trillion USD (the equivalent number for equities is 0.5 T and bonds is 4.7T). hence, there are hundreds of thousands of such Nikes making millions of payments to the Vietshoes of the world every day! The scale is mind boggling. The good news is that there is a method to the madness. There is a common platform and a common language which banks can speak to each other. And a central organization creating rules for this superhighway, so these trillions can move around seamlessly. That organization is a member owned cooperative called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). This was set in the 70s! And is still the backbone of the vast majority of the 6.6T being transacted every day.
I will give you a brief taste of the gymnastics involved in the example above.
1.Once the rate is agreed with Nike, Bank NY needs to let it’s partner bank in Vietnam called Bank VN (termed “onshore bank” in the Trading Room) two things – One, the identity of the Beneficiary and it’s bank account details and Two, the amount to be transferred. This is done using a MT 103 Swift format file.
2. Once Bank VN receives the request, it will debit the account BDZ maintains with it for 2,250,000 VND and credit the ultimate beneficiaries account.
(I am making a number of simplifying assumptions here like the presence of “nostro” account as well as absence of routing banks. These can be the subject of another future note.)
The route above, is how most fintech apps work today. If evaluated by a tech person, she will be aghast at the usage of flat files, and, in a minority of cases, API calls (which will be the subject of future write ups). Now, take a step back and juxtapose the promise of blockchain technology to this archaic construct… suddenly, The Swift system, if imagined as an entry on a vast netted ledger, across multiple counterparties, begins to resemble a classic blockchain construct. And the realization comes that this is the exact point where the technology should be deployed and has not, for the most part, been deployed. For it remains mired in producing Dogecoin’s and NFTs to make use of those Dogecoins!!