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A guide to avoiding e-commerce traps

Ajay Tawde

Digital Strategy Director



learning from a decade of digital

A guide to avoiding e-commerce traps

“The sooner we drop the e out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better” – Former Best Buy International CEO Bob Willett

E-commerce sales in Southeast Asia have soared from $50 million in 2017 to $72 billion in 2018,1 and we are now at a turning point. Marketplaces are expanding their ambition; along with striving to acquire users and be the #1 national player, they are also starting to build lifetime customer value, and serving second-tier and rural areas2.

A decade ago, we were at a similar inflection point3 in the development of social media in Indonesia. Since that time, we have seen the emergence of “The Brand”. Social media allowed brands from across categories to get closer to consumers’ lives and address topics never seen before. However, these victories were accompanied by mistakes and misconceptions around the role of social media in consumer lives.

While brands from the fashion and technology categories were early adopters, we are now seeing even the mainstream fast-moving consumer goods brands4 testing the waters with e-commerce in Indonesia.

E-commerce is not just about the shopping cart –
Here are five pitfalls to avoid in your e-commerce strategy

#1 – Assuming your customers know that you are available on e-commerce

In 2019, it’s a no-brainer to match your social media campaign with a robust media budget. However, a decade5 ago many marketeers were hesitant to spend on digital advertising. Hence, while brands were creating content for social media, seldom was any of it promoted to reach a wider audience.

KNOW – Ensure that you are helping consumers continue along their path to purchase by employing full-funnel marketing strategies leading to e-commerce.

#2 – Assuming those already on e-commerce platforms will find your product

A classic mistake made by marketeers with social media was to slavishly follow last-click attribution6 – many marketeers had almost obsessive tendencies to attribute all their success to the last ad unit that delivered conversion. This led to many marketeers ignoring the importance of email and search.

FIND – Ensure that you have a competent search engine optimization strategy to ensure that your product listing stays on top.

#3 -  Assuming that customers will click the “buy now” button on seeing your product

We’ve seen brands raising their profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LINE and other networks. However, many brands have merely duplicated the same content on all platforms and expected their consumer to engage7. Consumers use different platforms to fulfill different needs8, so it is necessary to develop an ecosystem strategy while creating value at every touchpoint.

SHOP – Ensure that you are creating an attractive value proposition that enriches the shopping experience on your official store.

#4 – Assuming that once a purchase is made, your relationship with the customer is over

Social media has given rise to a “call-out” culture9 among consumers. This is where consumers take it upon themselves to highlight and amplify what they perceive as brands’ bad behavior on social media. Over time, brands have started to develop expertise in ensuring a consistently positive brand experience.

FULFIL – Ensure that your e-commerce strategy includes ways to always deliver your product in pristine condition and on time, while also being ready to help consumers at every touchpoint.

#5 Assuming consumers will leave a positive review behind if they have a made a purchase

Social media marketing has revealed the hierarchy of brand love and brand advocacy10. While there is a percentage of customers who will post reviews about brands, a large percentage choose to be silent consumers of content unless offered a relevant, time-based incentive.

REPEAT – Ensure that your e-commerce strategy is leveraging the power of email marketing and surveys to encourage customers to leave behind a positive review.

To help brands develop well rounded e-commerce strategies, Ogilvy has developed “The Marketplace Audit”. This is a proprietary methodology to evaluate a brand and its competitors’ marketplace performance against the five steps of the e-commerce funnel (know, find, shop, fulfill and repeat). The Marketplace Audit plots e-commerce performance on a spider-chart and turns into a visual guide to ways a brand can improve its e-commerce strategy.