E-commerce strategy

All Terrain Cycles

Situation

All Terrain Cycles (ATC) is a well-established family-owned bike retailer with the 2 largest bike shops in the north of England.

The supporting website was being managed by a specialist e-comms agency, having been managed by 2 others previously.

ATC’s owner felt the website could perform better. There was also a question whether the marketing was having the impact is should. An immediate concern was that organic positions had declined considerably.

Approach

Braid commenced a review of the digital situation including;

  • Marcoms sources and impact; assets, ROI, future worth
  • Platform; effectiveness, tools, opportunity
  • ATC abilities, agency skills, gaps
  • Competition; assets, routes to market, threat
  • Market; rules, consumer attitudes

Opportunities

Marcoms

The audit established opportunities with shopping campaigns i.e targeting, budget setting, Geographic’s, feed optimisation.

PPC campaigns were very broad, hence huge dilution of funds. Niche areas of high profitable worth/return on spend (ROAS) were not receiving the ring-fenced attention they deserved

Alternative paid traffic opportunities were being missed, or under-supported (i.e. Bing, Social)

A great deal of the direction was being determined by the ATC team, based on their personal knowledge and usage of the web. The application of a marketing process, based on data analysis was clearly going to add to results.

Content management was identified as a core issue behind organic traffic declines. Focus on generic product descriptors, with duplicate data and inefficient archiving did not help. There was lack of appropriate content to respond to new influencing factors (ie Social signals).

Platform

The custom platform was being developed with the fashion users in mind, and consequently some tweaks would be needed to optimise processes for bigger ticket items.

The resulting website had a range of usability opportunities including navigation, product clarity, proposition signals and performance (i.e. page speed, hosting, mobile optimisation)

The payment process inhibited the purchaser when a Finance option was required. As many bikes were being sold at +£2,000, finance deals were the increasing payment of choice.

Skills

Interviewing ATC staff involved in the e-commerce element of the business underlined a number of issues including content creation, platform skills, project management and marketing best practises.

An audit of the platform also established opportunities to improve product knowledge.

Competition

A number of competitor websites were audited based on performance, traffic and content. The research highlighted gaps in ATC’s offering (product) and especially where, if ATC deployed its specialist assets such as video, an opportunity to appeal to niche audiences existed

Market

Assessing the competing websites, and reviewing feedback to ATC , along with third party market assessments helped to build a picture of short and medium term opportunities.

Application

Our initial report included a detailed action plan on short- and medium-term issues. This broke down into traffic issues, platform, and staff skills.

The liaison with the platform providers was the most difficult, as changes to the platform had to in general be rolled-out to all their users.

Core changes were undertaken to payment process and product presentation. The development plan involved 9 months of liaison which in turn had the effect of bringing ATC closer to their supplier, and ensuring both parties had a better understanding of each other’s business process and objectives

The major change was the transition from an independent (non-trading) mobile website to a fully responsive single website. The positive financial impact was considerable.

PPC and Shopping management was taken over by Braid initially. We ran in parallel an education process to train members of the ATC team to take on PPC management.

Tactical campaigns were also run in social platforms.

Email marketing was set up and training given to the team to implement a regular communication programme. Braid oversaw reporting and testing to tweak the team’s efforts toward the objectives of engagement and sales.

A content programme was outlined with the ATC team to better promote video assets and supplement with a blog programme.

Braid established a monthly reporting function, bringing all marcoms activity together, and its related impact (i.e. email traffic generation related to sales and back to final ROI).

In time, ATC took on the day to day management of PPC and Braid took more of a back seat, monitoring and advising on technical issues as they arose.

Conclusion

From an initial audit, and RAG report, longer-term priorities were established. Market opportunities (i.e. Shopping feeds, finance campaigns, E-bike promotion,) and business processes (finance application, mobile optimisation) were addressed.

The relationship between website supplier and client improved and costs were reduced.

The impact of marcoms led to significant sales growth.

Since then we continue to monitor, report and actively managed the digital strategy for ATC.