FiltersFast.com’s EVP of Sales and Marketing, Dee Ray, was invited to sit on a panel a few weeks ago at the Sealed Air Charlotte Headquarters to talk about how FiltersFast.com, as a brand, has fared during an intense era of e-commerce consumerism. Dee sat beside among some esteemed panelist including Andrew Vagenas, CEO of Pharmapacks, Blair Boggs, CMO of Driven Brands and Erin Sellman, VP of Global Marketing for Sealed Air.
Each of the four panelists, all from different businesses and backgrounds, talked about how their business has tackled unprecedented challenges, and how they are building their brand strategy to compete no matter how things may change.
This panel discussion is part of the Charlotte Business Journal’s #buildingupbrands series and we were truly honored to have one of our own up there.
The afternoon started out with the moderator, Jenn Grabenstetter, sharing a few harrowing statistics about the current state of e-commerce.
- 51% of Americans prefer to do their shopping online.
- The average value of an online order has gone up to almost $83 in 2017.
- This brings the current global e-commerce market up to 2.3 trillion. It is expected to hit 4.5 trillion by 2021.
- 80 billion parcels were sent last year and that is growing at a range of about 17% a year.
Which means shopper expectations are shifting with it, here are some statistics that speak to that:
- 54% of shoppers categorized speed as their #1 thing they’re looking for in their delivery experience
- Majority of shoppers say that 2 days is pretty fast, but over 50% shoppers that live in metropolitan areas believe they should be able to get some items within an hour
- 90% of shoppers say that FREE SHIPPING trumps fast shipping
Technology is also changing consumer behavior too:
- Mobile commerce interactions are growing at about 40% per year
- By 2020 30% of web browsing interactions are going to be done without a screen (Alexa, Google Assistant)
FiltersFast.com is constantly looking for ways to meet and exceed these expectations and we appreciate your loyalty to us as we adjust in the ever-changing world of e-commerce. We appreciate your customer loyalty and patience as we continue to adjust in this fast-paced industry.
Here is a short recap of the panel, we hope you enjoy!
How can online retailers use data for insights on customer behavior? Blair Boggs, CMO of Driven brands said that “In the automotive service industry, customer satisfaction is the most important measure of how the business is doing”. He also went on to say, “Our business is driven on customer retention, not acquisition..It’s not necessarily maximized at the transaction level as it is by tapping into the value of that relationship.” Realizing this, Boggs said that Driven Brands has developed data management tools to monitor in real time if satisfaction scores begin to tail off so adjustments can be made at 2,500 locations. “We live in a world where everyone wants to leave a review, and it’s become a very important metric.”
Mistakes and Corrections.
We all know that online relationships with customers are extremely important, but Dee warned marketing ofﬁcers to remember the importance of being accessible. “We rely on data, but data can lead you wrong sometimes,” Ray said. She recalled a time when internal research showed us that people wanted to interact with the FiltersFast.com brand online after their purchase, so we went to work building an online portal for customer self-help and removing the phone number from its header. Doing this decreased conversion in the shopping cart. “People wanted to know they could call if they needed to, we ended up correcting ourselves.”
Andrew Vargas, CEO of Pharmapacks, said that an effort to speed up processing time resulted in damaged merchandise because they were sending products in padded envelopes. “Within three months we got crushed in reviews because the product was damaged,” Vagenas said. Pharmapacks corrected by converting to bags that were used to ship wine bottles and went back to a great customer satisfaction rating.
The Brand Experience.
Erin Sellman of Sealed Air said that e-commerce has fueled a “pallet to parcel revolution,” which is channeling business away from the typical retail experience. Products are less often delivered to retail outlets on a pallet and displayed for retail consumption. They are instead advertised online and sent individually to customers. “With the pallet to parcel evolution, those discrete orders now travel by themselves,” Sellman said. “It’s an opportunity to work with an OEM on whether the packaging going through parcel is designed for that.” The moment of truth comes in the unboxing of the product. “We did a study of people opening boxes,” said Sellman. “Consumers spend 45 seconds pulling the package from the porch or the lobby and 22 seconds unboxing it. Which means we have TWENTYTWO seconds of captive consumer attention. This is when we can take that moment to upsell and cross-sell.” At FiltersFast.com, we recently engaged with Sealed Air to create customized messaging on packing pillows. “We did a study a few years ago of regular purchasers and 17% couldn’t tell the name of the company they purchased the filter from,” Ray said. “We were concerned and knew we needed to spend some time on the post-purchase experience.” The pillows include the FiltersFast.com logo and website link to a free gift. These simple, customized air pillows had more of an impact on the customer experience than even handwritten notes of appreciation for the business. “This is something we can customize. It’s a way to have that moment of human interaction in an automated way.”