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eCommerce analytics are not only skin deep - Just ask MikMak

I have struggled to find things of use or interest to write recently. Also, I was on vacation and have COVID through my family ! Heck of a summer ! I concluded an abridged strategy build with a department store and 2 other consulting partners. It would not have got done any other way. It demonstrated to me to the depth of knowledge, complexity and understanding we need to apply to be thorough, feel confident and be in a position to have the right answers - largely because the right questions were asked. It was the volume and scope that took even me by surprise. I have been looking at various evolutions in our world from an #ecommerce point of view. Mobile first is something we have heard about for some time and social commerce - without much evidence to confirm the opportunity of the latter. Combining all of that with retail and commerce smarts has been a long time coming. But ...

MikMak have provided me with the muse and ability articulate a category that is emerging from 2000's ecommerce into something resembling where the future will be won and lost. What is MikMak - The MikMak Platform helps brands around the world win market share by shifting them to an eCommerce first mindset and enabling data driven decisions.

So if they cannot build this message who can? Right? But it is not just 1 story that I like. They have produced 2 white papers recently that caught my eye - Grocery is the new Sephore: Beauty Tips for 2022 and Beauty Benchmarks and Insights.

To their content team firstly (Wow Rachel Tipograph ) well done, it is hard to summarise something so well summarised, it is the summary.

Beauty eCommerce increasingly driven by social commerce - YouTube is a key driver. Yes, Youtube. Social commerce is responsible for over 85% of beauty ecommerce traffic 40.3% of traffic coming from IG/FB. Purchase intent, however, is greatest in Youtube at 22.7%. The learning - Channel + Retailer Mix = Traffic ! And this, I love this - it is important to know where your customers are engaging but more important to understand where they check out - Yes. So channel mix is critical - not that this is news, but confirmation that there is a category with demonstrable, evidence rich stats.

The MikMak team go a step further - insights are the marketing footprint of yesteryear - they provide the growth initiatives you need to go after.

  1. Get your strategy down - nail the basics and get channel mix right

  2. Develop more nuanced insights for consumer relevance - This may involve listing on niche/speciality stores. Today Dean McElwee (MBA) mentioned the growth of vertical marketplaces. Ignore them at your peril.

  3. Explore growth opportunities - A/B test, be curious. Set real campaign objectives.

So I was reading this and being pretty much blown away and I keep digging. I found the Sephora guide. I mentioned a piece of work I just completed. There was a new team member who came in and spent an hour or 2 talking through their observations (in a short period of time) and it was really mind blowing to see the insight, action and plan required to correct the insight. Product and store adjacencies were wrong, relative to that consumer behaviour and sales data was telling them. Fix that and you got a chance I thought. So when I read page 4 of this guide, I immediately took notice.

Product adjacency means knowing what other products your brand is associated with, and when this association occurs. Many online beauty purchases will take place as an additional item on an eGrocery run and beauty brands should be looking at basket level data. This can open doors for better understanding your shopper, how they view your product, and even developing potential partnerships with other brands.

This line was great - The purchase stage for one product could simulataneously be the consideration stage for another.

Managing Customer Journey through customer experience

I have been trying to fully understand the #UX behind BEAUTY BAY for so long. This intertwined articles lend a lot to my understanding. A social first category with a website that clearly gets this.

The customer journey has changed significantly in recent years, causing eCommerce and brand marketing initiatives to overlap more and more every day. This trend is perhaps even more pronounced since COVID-19, when consumer demand for eCommerce accelerated 10 years overnight.

Where am I going with all of this?

With so many jobs to be done, the roles within retail and ecommerce have changed dramatically. We need to understand we cannot do it all. More than ever specialists and specialist agencies to help us to manage our understanding across our channels and our disciplines. The skills demonstrated by the MikMak team are quite extraordinary. We need to rethink the roles we need to fill. We urgently need to talk about your ecommerce manager and what you expect from this superhuman. We need to understand this is and never has been a one person role.

According to Rachel (in 2020) The consumer journey has changed from a linear, single path to a multi-channel marketing adventure.

I talk a lot about culture and strategy and it culture comes from within. Strategy gives it direction. I am more and more of the opinion that this will be where strategy can only win - when culture is right. Reading the work of this team and following their journey makes you feel success is inevitable and will continue. Culture doesn't trump strategy, but it enables it, it does even more than that, it makes strategy success possible. In a world of improbabilities today, I like those odds. Culture is real, it is something we can all create.

Culture is actions above words, but words matter - a note from MikMak

We don’t know about you, but our New Year’s resolution is simple: help more multi-channel brands understand the distinct nuances of #thenewfunnel and what it means for the shopping journey and our jobs at large. Those who do, will better understand their consumers, forge stronger relationships with their online retailer partners, and make smarter decisions, faster.
We hope you’re with us.


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