GPeC e-commerce conference: key takeaways on going international, GA4 and a new marketing funnel (part 1/2)
On May 30, 2022 I had a full day at GPeC - Gala premiilor in e-commerce (The Awards Gala in e-commerce).
It was the first time after the pandemic to participate in person and I was happy to meet ex-colleagues and professionals that I have been working with. It was their 17th anniversary and I want to congratulate Raluca & Andrei Radu for this practical and applied event that gives a chance to specialists and non-specialists in digital and e-commerce to understand the full Customer journey.
The agenda is balanced between marketing & communication and finance & logistics, because - guess what - the e-comm is not just about inspiration, creativity and branding.
I do appreciate - as a marketer, often bored with myself and my non-practical contribution to the world - to see all the pannels on delivering happiness (courier & payment services). I also appreciate to see international and local speakers.
I will cover this event in two parts and the first one will be dedicated to:
A. Go Global with Google
B. GA4 and how soon you should implement it
C. See/Think/Do/Care - a different marketing funnel versus Awareness/Consideration/Conversion/Loyalty
D. Delivering happiness - how to scale up and go cross-border
A. Export Strategies based on data
Oana Dumitrescu Google/Go Global with Google
Market Finder Think with Google tool (Retail/Travel focus on export)
- last months - war & exit of Covid19 restrictions, +6.5% economic growth in Q1 2022
Euromonitor & Eurostat:
- retail sales in rise +20% YOY in March 2022
- online sales stable at 2021 levels
- 8% share ecommerce out of the total retail
- Romanians prefer the local sites (according to a Statista survey from July 2020), they have 1-2, max 6 international acquisition per year
Cross-border retailers - why would customers choose them?
- prices are lower in foreign online shops - 55%
- can not find some products locally - 47%
- unique products offered in foreign retailers - 31%
- foreign online stores offer more discounts - 28%
- delivery from abroad is cheap or totally free - 27%
How do Customers discover cross-border online shops?
- 50% via search engines
- via social media
- already know this shop
- TV commercials
When it comes to local online shops, search engines are still the number 1 way of discovering them, but friends/family come in second.
Most established brands are perceived as domestic despite origin. Users do not make the difference between international and domestic as long as the brands have a high awareness and use the Romanian language, which translates into LOCALISATION of foreign retailers.
In a study conducted by Google and Euromonitor in 2020 on 6000 respondents, it came out that:
- people are willing to wait longer for a product if it has a better price.
- not willing to give up localisation - trust issues
What affects the consumer perception on an international e-tailer?
- brand country of origin
- maturity of the brand in the domestic market
- marketing (i.e. drawing on foreign roots)
- website localisation to the domestic market
- presence of physical stores
The cross-border e-commerce was a total of 171,2 billion euro market in 2021, +17% YOY.
If you want to check successful stories, go on g.co/marketfinder.
One example is Hooray Heroes Story - a personalised book retailer from Slovenia who scanned the globe to find new peak seasons.
“Summer has always been slow for us. In an effort to keep cash flow as steady as possible, we were looking for a country that has a big holiday in the July to November timeframe”. Mic Melansek, CMO & co-founder
Q: Can somebody operating into B2B benefit from the Market Finder tool? Yes.
Other useful Google tools to identify opportunities locally or abroad: Google Trends, Merchant Center (how your in-store and online product inventory appears on Google)
B. Maximize your use of Google Analytics 4
Krista Seiden, Experienced Leader in Digital Analytics
On July 1st 2023 Google Analythics 3 (Universal Analythics) will be replaced by GA4 and if you think you have time to change things, you might change your mind after reading my notes from Krista’s presentation.
Between GA4 and GA3 (most widely used analythics code) there is a span of 10 years. GA4 was launched in July 2019 and renamed to GA4 in October 2020.
It focuses on Events & Parameters and it is highly customizable (up to 25/100 parameters attached to every event). Moreover, events and parameters names are reusable.
If you need to see the differences between GA3 and GA4, check this link:
7 tips to maximize GA4:
1. Learn the new reporting
- realtime reporting (last 30 minutes)
- event count by event name
- pages & screens
- traffic acquisition
- new attribution reports - DDA for all
2. Take advantage of integrations
- google ads integration
- google search console
- and HUGE CHANGE, available for FREE for ALL - free BigQuery export of raw event data
3. Customize the UI for your users (Krista’s most favourite thing:)
- report customization
- report customization - landing page
- report library - organize reports
4. Take advantage of new measures and dimensions
- new metrics: engaged sessions (understand if people are REALLY engaged versus the option of bounce rate in GA3)
- new dimensions: source platform (brand new)
- new analythics techniques
- new default channel groupings
5. Go deep on Explore
- new analythics techniques
- open funnels
- elapsed time
- backward pathing
6. Use UI based tools to improve your data
- enhanced measurement
- cross domain tracking setup in UI
- modify existing event in UI
7. Know the GA4 data model (very different than GA3)
- fully events based:
a. automatically collected events
b. enhanced measurement events
c. recommended events
d. custom events
! Note ! If you want to have the possibility of apple-to-apple comparisons between years, then you should implement GA4 by the end of June 2022, not June 2023. If you do it later, you will compare apples (July 1st 2023 onwards) to pears (everything before July 1st 2023).
Moreover, historical data from GA3 will be deleted by January 1st 2024.
Therefore, Krista’s suggestion is to implement GA4 by the end of June 2022 and be able to compare similar data.
C. See, Think, Do, Care: Driving Innovation from Customer Intent
Avinash Kaushik, Best Selling Author & Digital Marketing Evangelist
My favourite quote at GPeC: DATA IS NOT that USEFUL if IMAGINATION is LIMITED
a. Most marketing is done using demographics/psychographics and it is not always responding as expected
(on stage example: Raul is a handsome young man who prefers wearing women underswear. Does anybody think to target him with women underwear? Raul, follow VS’s special offers, my tip)
b. The well-known marketing funnel (awareness/consideration/conversion/advocacy)? I hate it, said Avinash.
Between a. and b. we lost the ability to think.
What about INTENT? This is expressed behaviour. Forget about promoting yourself or your business with a slogan like “passion without limits”. This is nothing, it is so general and useless.
My second favourite quote at GPeC: Facebook has more DATA than GOD.
The intent-centric framework (as in opposition to the classical marketing funnel) follows this approach :
- largest addressable qualified audience (SEE)
- largest adddressable with weak commercial intent (THINK)
- largest addressable with story commercial content (DO)
- current customers with 2 or more commercial transactions (CARE)
A higher order should be perceived as CUSTOMER (long term relationship vs one night stand/acquisition)
Example of how this intent-based funnel would work for Sony:
- SEE - people who love to create and capture memories and seek self-improvement
- THINK - People who love to create and capture moments, and are thinking about their technology needs.
- DO - People who love to create, capture moments, are thinking about their technology needs, and are at the later stages of a purchase.
- CARE - People who own two, or more, Sony products
You can use this model/framework on 3 different aspects:
Which tools should you use with this approach for all 4 See/Think/Do Care?
- SEE: Mobile apps, Social followers, Magazine/Blog, Videos
- THINK: Email Signups, Product Recos, New Accounts, Wishlists added
- DO: Merchant Apps, Orders, Credit Card Apps, Gift cards, Insurance
- CARE: Loyalty cards, Genius/Prime subs, Donations, Contacts/Service
Youtube is very good at See & Think. Building an owned audience, with See intent, is a sustainable strategy on YouTube.Whenever you do the measurement, you should think that all the % of people who did not click are in fact a gift that you make to your competitors.
However, just being on Youtube because ebverybody is has no sense: if you see that your corporate videos have 2 or 10 views or tens, then you should stop wasting time and money to produce them. Nobody gives a … about what your company CEO is saying, because it is a DO content on a SEE platform
My third favourite quote, also from Avinsah: If you give likes to your company, you will go up:)
His favourite brand is Innocent (healthy drinks) from UK - what they show is what you need to have - they have attitude as a brand, they are not boring.
Paid Newsletter? Avinash uses this option only to raise charity.
Avinash is not a big fan of display advertising, he considers it irrelevant and he even showed couple of examples, one about a football article messed up with display on dentistry, women fragrance and other completely irrelevant associations.
As it comes to measurement, he advises us to replace the classical dashboard:
paid search/email/organic search/display
- SEE: # or % Interactions (platforms/ads)/Conversation, Amplification, Applause/Indexed Increase in Brand Awareness, % New Visits
- THINK: CTR, Page Depth, Per Visit Goal Value, % Assisted
- DO: Visitor Loyalty, Checkout Abandonment Rate, Cost per Incremental Conversion, Profit
- CARE: Repeat Purchases/Likelihood to Recommend/Monthy or Daily Active Users, Customer Lifetime Profit
4 principles of measurement:
- align success optimally
- obsess about all outcomes
- pivot on people
- unlock the power of machine learning
If you think of your June 2023 goals, Avinash suggests:
- 15% increase in multiple digital outcomes
- 50% increase in think content 9be more than sell/sell/sell)
- 100% in marketing measurement via See-Think-Do-Care KPIs
Q: examples of brands doing great S-T-D-C: American Express, P&G, Unilever (Johnnie Walker), Chanel US (a lot of See & Care)
The Care strategies are an effective way to increase LTV (lifetime value)
Q: If you had $100, how would you spend them?.
A: $10 on tools, $90 on people
D. Delivering happiness: What do Customers want and how do you scale up your business in the current environment?
This panel was represented 100% by men and my fair question to myself was: there is no woman who can deliver happiness in the current environment?:)
The participants were:
- Bogdan Colceriu (CEO Frisbo)
- Cătălin Maftei (Founder C-Solution)
- Adrian Mihai (CEO FAN Courier)
- Lucian Baltaru (CEO Sameday)
- Mircea Stan (CEO & Founder Postis)
- Alexandr Jealascov (CEO Packeta Romania)
and Andrei Radu CEO & Founder GPeC as a moderator
D.1. What does e-comm look after the first 5 months of 2022?
- more than 50% of the parcels come from e-comm
- on budget in January and February, after February 24th we saw an abrupt 40% decrease in online sales
- now in the end of May we see a step-by-step recovery
- 9-10% of retail is represented by e-comm in Romania, while 18-20% in Poland and 40% in UK
- we will see a moderate increase at year level - 5, maybe 10%, not at the planned level
- the problem of the supply chain - the deliveries from Constanța are re-routed because the time increased significantly
- there are alternative routes like trucks from Athens to/via Romania
- we are optimistic, we consider that the courier services and e-comm are lucky industries now
- we should be agile
- expected increase - 5-10%, but part of it depends on our agility
- we will increase out of SERVICES that we provide
- 15-20% market increase expectation at year level, with a similar evolution in the first 5 months to what FAN mentioned
- in terms of services, customers expect DIVERSITY
- increase of delivery for Click & Collect (pachetomat)
- 15-20% internal increase at year level, 30% on cross-border
- same pattern of decreases in Feb/March and recovery now
- if the situation remains as volatile as it is now, we estimate 5-10% increase at year level
- if the situation worsens, we will have not have increases
- the internal market can not increase very much, we can increase more from cross-border
- (only 2/10 retailer do cross-border according to a Google survey)
D.2. Customer satisfaction & Open network
- according to a fresh survey done in May 2022 - versus October 2021 results - we noticed an increase in Customer satisfaction: 80% (+10 pp) satisfaction on courier services.
- Easybox has increased from 27 to 30%
- home delivery is on #1, but on a decrease (42% vs 39%)
- Click&collect will further increase its contribution next year (85% of consumers have already tested the service - mostly because of the delivery taxes from marketplace (wink, wink, my opinion). It also has the capacity to increase conversion & repetition.
- we had to adjust our lockers when we had to deliver termo-sensitive products (take care of products, track & trace temperature)
- those who offer the option of click&collect has a higher retention - 98%
- the network development is based on PROXIMITY principle
- open network idea: we have the example of DHL Express who used our infrastructure
- we are thinking in terms of having each block entrance (scară) with lockers and maintainance services
- we believe in a common network used by all - there are 350k lockers in China and 250k are open for all couriers
D.3. Cross-border approach
- 25 storage halls, 15 markets (Italy, Spain, UK, Benelux, CEE, including the Baltics + Russia/Ukraine that were approved on Feb 23 and removed on Feb 24 after Russia invaded Ukraine)
- we avoid France because it is hard to enter - does anybody see an opportunity here?
- appetite for cross-border selling has just been discovered
- 2021 - 90% of income came from Romania, now we have 60% and will further decrease to 50%
- we see 5 markets where Romanian online shops are selling well: Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece + UK, Germany, Italy & Spain where there are big communities of Romanians
- we deliver from/to 34 countries
- more than 13.000 pickup & lockers in 4 countries
- 91.000 lockers network as pickup partners
- one single integration, 87 transporters
- return address in every country
- we have recently opend FAN Moldova (it seemed a good idea last year:)
- Moldavian market needs courier & online services
- the goal is to connect Romanian online stores to the Moldavian market
- the Moldavian market will further develop
- we are in charge both with the customs & the reinbursement (2-3 day process)
- we have an office in Poland
- we are conservative for the internal growth, but for cross-border: 3 times more than the internal market increase
- there are bigger markets in CEE
- cross-border is the next disruption on the e-comm & courier market - with a potential for a unified regional area, with no commercial borders - Balkans make up to 40 million population, with a huge potential on product selection - Hello, government, are you reading?
D.4. Having a huge increase in fuel, how will your transport tariffs look like in the near future?
- the fuel price is transfered as a 25% increase to couriers and we can not ignore it, therefore we must adjust it correctly into our services. If the % of easybox contribution increases, we can balance it
- 15% increase for HD
- Easybox is not affected by fuel increase because it has 4X productivity (400-500 parcels per day capacity versus 100-120 for HD) - the fuel impact per parcel in Easybox is low
- because we thought the war will last max 2 months, we agreed to support the fuel cost
- we now made 15% increase because everything is more expensive
- we increase the quality of service by digitalisation/automation (Cluj hub, Brașov to be followed)
Q: What is the best solution for selling cross-border from the logistics perspective?
A: cross border products + local courier
Q: What is the rate of non-pick-up from lockers?
A: if it is pre-paid less than 1% (Sameday), if it is not paid 8% (Sameday)
For HD - 3-4% - it is harder to refuse a courier, but the amount is the same
Q: How do you set-up a cross-border?
A from Packeta:
- First decide what country (what marketplace)
- Choose the infrastructure from Romania
- Do a market research
D.5. Future plans:
Sameday: further investment in Easybox
Postis: app to follow the delivery/expansion - office in the Western Europe
FAN: flag in site - eligible for easybox/very early ordering - to avoid the SC delays
GPeC e-commerce conference: key takeaways on most critical e-com pages & trends, failing and scaling up (part 2/2)
GPeC e-commerce conference: key takeaways on going international, GA4 and a new marketing funnel (part 1/2)