Why a web touchpoint is essential to sell

Revenue growth of SMEs making extensive of the web (also referred to as “High-web”) is on average 22% higher than Low or No-web SMEs. In the UK, the e-commerce leading country, the difference can be as high as 500%.

Screenshot of Ralph Lauren Ricky microsite

Ralph Lauren, who jumped on the sales opportunity that the internet offered as early as 2000 – before many of its closest competitors – recorded a twenty-three percent increase over the same period.

Such difference can be explained by external and internal reasons, regardless of whether a business sells online or not:

Market & product exposure

The web is a cost-effective marketing channel as it enables mass visibility and laser targeting. SEO/SEM strategies drive traffic towards brands and CRM programs can significantly boost sales and build loyalty through online campaigns and personalization.

Luxury brands, which for long disregarded e-commerce, acknowledge today the web is a crucial channel they need to embrace in one form or shape. Brands like Gucci or Burberry placed digital touchpoints and customer experience at the heart of their strategies. Even e-commerce skeptical and conservative brands, such as Prada, stepped into the game with increasing use of microsite, online campaign and e-commerce site for accessories or selected items.

A web touchpoint represents also a low-risk/low-cost avenue for product diversification and market expansion as it enables endless aisles and cross-border business.

Online data is a powerful source of competitive advantage

Illustration with different customer data elements

Customer’s online activity (product research, reviews reading, shopping cart abandonment, loyalty program etc.) is a valuable source of information to leverage.

Web touchpoints enable richer customer interactions, which in turns fosters greater customer engagement. Companies can as a result gather valuable information helping them to better understand customers needs and preferences, as well as the market in general.

Improved organizational efficiency

Organizations making extensive use of web tend to be more agile and reactive companies. By using cloud-based services and tools, they can rapidly develop new capabilities and improve processes with lower organizational impact. Another benefit of strong online presence is it eases recruiting and allows companies to attract global talents.

 

Sources

Luxury brands net an ecommerce boost (matterofform.com)
The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)