• User-Centred Design

21st Jan 2015

5 min

Where should Marketing & Ecommerce Managers focus their efforts in 2015? 

We posed this question to 6 industry and in-house experts to find out what they thought Marketing & Ecommerce Managers should be focusing on this year.

There’s a clear theme around personalisation based on context and ensuring all channels and marketing are an optimised, seamless part of it. After much talk about personalisation over the last few years is 2015 finally the year marketers and Ecommerce managers focus effort on creating sculpted, situational based experiences?

Develop a Rounded, Contextual & Modal View of the Customer

Ian Jindal Editor in Chief on Internet Retailing


Ian Jindal, Editor in Chief of InternetRetailing

Developing a rounded, contextual and modal view of the customer and how your products and services benefit her life. Even as we talk omnichannel, omnipresent touchpoints, and putting the power into her hands, our behaviour too often is ‘spam and promote at every touchpoint’. Delight in your products, contribute to her life, connect the dots so that she doesn’t have to.

If I had a word for the year it would be “cherish”. More than mere love, respect and understanding (which can be passive), adopting a cherishing approach requires turning that consideration into action for the benefit of the customer. In 2015 we have technology and exemplars aplenty allied to wonderful on-demand services.

The differentiation for businesses in ‘the age of competency’ is to move beyond disjointed moments of brilliance and averages. Test for each touchpoint, action and experience whether the customer feels cherished…The candid answer to that repeated question will tell you everything you need to do in 2015 with your people, technology and processes.

Mobile Optimisation for Growth

Stuart McMillan Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

Although many years have been described as the year of mobile, there were a large number of big news stories around mobile for Christmas 2014. For many large retailers, mobile is their only (or certainly their major) growth segment. Tablet adoption has had a major slowdown, with many reporting zero traffic growth coming from tablet; customers are moving from desktop to smartphone and ignoring tablet.

The problem with this is clear: conversion rate. The vast majority of retailers report a mobile conversion rate of around half their desktop rate. Even those having moderate success on conversion rate optimisation will be seeing downward pressure on their total conversion rate, due to this adoption of mobile.

You have two options: 1) do much more to improve smartphone conversion or 2) acquire a huge amount of new (probably expensive) traffic to compensate for the downward pressure on conversion.

Overall Online Marketing Optimisation


Niamh Taylor

Niamh Taylor, Head of Group Marketing at Sliderobes

2014 was a big year for website conversion optimisation, rightly so as it is the core of your online success. I believe 2015 will be the year that efforts are focused on overall online marketing optimisation.

So, go beyond website conversion optimisation, continuing to take a look at it but in addition the whole online marketing conversion funnel – online advertising, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing to ensure the entire strategy is cohesive end-to-end.

By looking at all of the online marketing, finding conversion gaps where you are losing conversions and working to fill them, greatest gains will be achieved.

More time spent on Planning, Measurement and Optimisation



Dave Chaffey, CEO of Smart Insights

With the range of digital channels available today, we have the challenge of investing the optimal amount in different digital marketing activities. This is not straightforward, to say the least, given the challenges of attributing sales to the right channels / customer touchpoints using analytics; Fragmented decision-making on digital marketing investment and the pace with which new digital marketing channels are introduced.

Our research into how businesses will manage digital marketing in 2015 shows that common perception amongst people working in marketing that insufficient time is spent on planning, measurement and optimisation (respondents could choose multiple answers). This is potentially a management failing since managers are responsible for ringfencing time for these activities.

Product Personalisation



Matthew Lawson

Matthew Lawson, Ecommerce Director at loveholidays.com

What ecommerce managers should be doing this year is looking at what they sell and understand that people shop for different products differently. Everyone in the industry seems to be talking about personalisation to the user but why not personalisation for their products. They should know them better than anything. Through advanced segmentation on conversion testing the results are telling us that a “one size fits all” website is simply going to drive an average performance. No one want to be average, right?

I’ve got first-hand experience where having different user journeys, page layouts or CTA for different product categories has resulted in double digit increases in conversion rate. Ecom’s need to fight the resistance from developers as its “harder” to maintain, by remembering who they are building a website for, developers or customers.


Prioritising Digital Marketing Techniques with Focus on The Customer


Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott, Head of Ecommerce at Poundland

Firstly, any business that does not really, truly, genuinely focus on The Customer will fail. Behind this, there needs to be increasing importance on prioritisation. Online, ecommerce and multichannel are still very young elements of marketing and retail, and we take for granted that these are changing and expanding at incredible pace. We still need to reach the right audience, acquire the right traffic… then merchandise, optimise and convert… fulfil to promise… and measure the results. But the range of specific techniques and tools that are available to us gets bigger and more complex, so it’s critical that we choose the right activities, tools, time and budgets for the best results. The prioritisation of deciding what to do, and importantly what not to do, will be fundamental to a successful relationship with The Customer.

Do you agree with the above? Feel like there’s something missing? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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