SME Ecommerce Challenges
Back before we had even heard of the phrases Covid-19, lockdown and social distancing, SMEs across the UK were already facing key ecommerce challenges. Earlier in Q1 this year we conducted a large piece of market research amongst UK SMEs to get an understanding of the main ecommerce challenges they were facing along with their perceptions and adoption rates of AI and ecommerce personalisation.
Whilst this is not the forum for those results to be released, so keep an eye out for that, what was interesting was the fact that the key challenges found 5 months ago still very much stand today if not more so.
The main priority for SMEs was to stand out from their competitor set and convert their online visitors into customers. Whilst there was little understanding around AI and ecommerce personalisation and what it can deliver, there was a perception that it is expensive, complex, difficult to use and only suitable for enterprise sized retailers.
It is time for SMEs to get really personal
We have all over recent months during lockdown been buying more online and SMEs are now slowly realising that ecommerce personalisation is an effective way of increasing their online revenue and building a more loyal customer base.
With the high street practically closed for the last 3 months and even from yesterday limiting access on footfall, SMEs are now having to up their game online and looking for tools that ensure they do stand out from their competition more than ever before.
Mining a minefield
Some of the feedback we got was that SMEs don’t know where to start. There are many types of ecommerce personalisation in the market, but their pricing levels make them completely unaffordable. The ones you always tend to find at the top of your market search will be those with extremely high usage costs and deep marketing pockets and more often than not, have tiered access to features and hidden costs which you only find out about once you have signed up.
We wanted to look at some of the main objections from our SME market research towards ecommerce personalisation and show you why and how we have created the perfect ecommerce personalisation solution for the B2B and B2C
SME objections and solutions
So, what are the key objections in the decision making process for SMEs and how do we at PureClarity address this?
- Features available
- Ease of use
- Success management
- Contractual obligations
- Onboarding and getting started
- The ability to try before you buy
Our research showed that a good majority of SME businesses perceive ecommerce personalisation to be expensive and only suitable for Enterprise sized businesses.
The great news is that there are a few providers in the market which are more in line with SME requirements and budgets and offer a premium service and feature set.
A good portion of ecommerce personalisation providers have tiered access levels. Often, each feature that is added to your software comes with a hefty hike in price.
Transparency is key. Knowing exactly what they are getting for what price, with no hidden costs is a helpful way for SMEs to make their decision. Whilst budgets are tight, it is important that SMEs can openly see what they are getting and know their expected ROI.
We have been full transparent and includes full use of all our features. There are no hidden costs and completely affordable to the SME market. Pricing is based on the number of web impressions your website serves monthly and scales to reflect how busy your site is. Our pricing starts at £299 for up to 100,000 monthly page views.
2. Features available
The range of features that ecommerce personalisation providers offer does vary, some offering very little and others like ourselves offering a lot. We know that SMEs online customers have different ways of buying online and that the one thing they have come to expect is a highly personalised experience which starts the minute they land on their websites through to the emails they receive thereafter.
SMEs need to ensure they are using features that are not only easy to use but effective at converting browsers into customers, increasing online revenue and average order value which addresses their main concerns overall. SMEs all have different customer segments whether B2C or B2B and they need personalise their site for each customer separately.
What our 2020 market research has shown us is that we have the widest and most comprehensive list of features on the market for the best cost.
These features include:
- Intelligent product recommendations
- Personalised content
- Unlimited audience segmentation
- Personalisation in email
- Personalisation in search
- Omnichannel personalisation
- Predictive reach analysis
- Cold start package (suitable for businesses with small amounts of data)
- Campaign prompts
- A/B testing and optimisation
- Onsite messenger
- Advanced insights and analytics
- B2B personalisation by price, location and customer groups
- Full onboarding and support
- Monthly client consultations
The list above may help both B2C and B2Bs make their own full market comparison when looking for an ecommerce personalisation provider.
3. Ease of use
One of the primary concerns amongst the SME market was that adopting ecommerce personalisation would be difficult to integrate and resource heavy. For this reason, we have made our software very easy to use.
Once the plugin is installed and the areas of your website you want to personalise are set up, you are up and away.
With plugins now available for all major ecommerce platforms it could never be easier with minimum help from a developer if at all.
The beauty of AI-driven ecommerce personalisation is that the AI gets to work straight away with no intervention needed regardless of the amount of customer data you have.
We decided to ensure we offer a full support suite and each customer will have a dedicated Success Manager to take care of their every need.
4. Success management
The term Success Management is self-explanatory. The key being in Success. Most SMEs are hugely busy running their day to day businesses that they can rarely afford time to dedicate to new software. Our research showed many SME businesses saying that they simply do not have the time to learn something new.
Other market providers leave clients to self-support often charge for additional support which is both frustrating and limiting to many SMEs. There is nothing worse that getting lost in a black ticketing support hole!
Which is why we made the decision to give full onboarding and management support completely free. By providing a dedicated Success Manager to every account we ensure that our clients get 100% out of the system through advice, consultations, help, and strategic guidance via phone, live chat, zoom meetings and email.
5. Contractual obligation
SMEs need to be flexible with their business models allow themselves to test and try new initiatives for customer acquisition and retention. Our research showed that many SMEs were concerned that 12 month contracts were too long a commitment for any new software. I completely agree.
We decided that this was completely unnecessary so only ask clients toprovide a month’s notice after the first two months. We are that confident in the fantastic results our clients see!
6. Onboarding and support
One of the smaller but still extremely relevant objections we discovered through our research was that SMEs felt they would not be given the due care and attention larger businesses would. Day to day technical queries will always come up especially when businesses first get started and want to know how to get the best out of the software.
Most ecommerce plugins are comprehensive to follow within set-up, but SMEs are much more comfortable knowing they have a dedicated team on hand to answer any questions they may have.
We have recently implemented a great live chat application via Intercom. Highly popular both on our website and especially with all our clients. We offer direct access to out Support teams as well as full documentation, guides, online tutorial and how to videos should the need arise. Not only that SMEs also get the full benefit of their dedicated Success Manager, but they get peace of mind knowing all this support comes completely free of charge.
7. Ability to try before you buy
SMEs making any type of investment in technology software need to know it is the right choice before making any decision to purchase.
Most tech providers these days offer a minimum of a 7 or 14 day trial. The one issue found in such a narrow trial window is that SMEs do not always have the time or resource there and then to dedicate to get the software up and running.
To address this, we have decided to offer a minimum 1 month free trial* to ensure you have the time to see the return on your investment. We are also very flexible with our free trials and will accommodate any start and end dates when needed. As the AI gets to work from day one, we are confident you will start to see the results straight away.
Who are PureClarity?
We are specialists in AI driven ecommerce personalisation. By offering of the features we have in your monthly price we can ensure all businesses whether B2B or B2C experience an average increase in revenue of 26%. We pride ourselves in helping our clients exceed the success goals they set out when joining PureClarity.
* At the moment, we are running a 2 month free trial to support businesses into Julys Covid Revival phase when businesses sign up before 30th June 2020