Global Market Outlook on Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Strategy

Latin America is one of the fastest growing region for e-commerce. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are key markets accounting for 59 percent and 24 percent of e-commerce sales in the region. The average revenue per user currently amounts to 332 USD, expected to grow by 16.6 percent in 2020. The user base is expected to reach 162.3 million USD by 2020

  • Brazil is one of the largest e-commerce market in LATAM, comes behind Argentina and Mexico in terms of pace of growth. The ARPU in baby-ware category is expected to grow by 16 percent in 2020, compared to 2017. Top products sold online in Brazil includes personal care (15 percent) and apparel (17 percent)
  • Colombia and Argentina are one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets. The strong growth is contributed by a significant increase in the number of internet users making online purchase
  • Mexico has high number of smartphone users and good internet connectivity but payment via internet is low in popularity. More than 80 percent of the consumers prefer to buy with cash, and retailers use cash on delivery as most promising option to reassure first time customers

E-Commerce Market Outlook–Global v/s LATAM

Global e-commerce market, which currently accounts for 8.3 percent of the overall retail sales across the globe, is expected to grow to 12.4 percent by 2019, much of which would come from consumers in the emerging markets making online purchases. Key factors driving growth would be the growing emphasis on omni-channel offerings, seamless integration of online-offline sales channels, competitive online prices, cross border e-commerce, increasing trend of repetitive and high value online transactions. Mobile commerce has a dominating share accounting for 40 percent of the e-commerce transactions made globally, expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.23 percent.

Key Trends for E-commerce

Content driven e-commerce :

  • Retailers are adopting the social engagement and story-telling strategy for customer services by use of real time data analytics, which in-turn is empowering the content driven marketing

Increasing use of Omni-channel commerce:

  • The uptick in internet users in Latin American countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia in the past five years as a result of improved infrastructure and technology has enabled the multi-channel, multi-device commerce and has supported the online retail to grow exponentially in these markets

Cross-border e-commerce:

  • The lack of availability of quality products and dis-organized retail sector has paved way for the cross-border e-commerce to grow

Third party service providers dominance:

  • The e-commerce market is dominated by the third party service providers, which also turns out to be the most adopted strategy for market entry by foreign brands. Mercado Libre is the leader in LATAM market

Souricng Model

The most adopted sourcing model in LATAM market is outsource model. The sourcing is for end-to-end services from product placement, strategy design, product sales and customer solutions post sales. The model benefits foreign brands to gain best localized expertize and reach a higher audience. Over the next five years, the large firms would shift to in-house model, but this requires heavy investments to build the in-house capabilities and local expertize.

Outsource Model:

  • This model is the most adopted for customers services in LATAM market. End-to-End outsourcing of the services keeps the costs & overheads in check. The model provides access to best-in-class resources and technology while ensuring the customer engagement across multiple channels

Partial Outsource Model:

  • This model has seen increased adoption for e-commerce operations as it allows the buyers to frame the strategy in-house and get it executed by the best bidding vendor. This reduces the project turn-around time while enabling the access to innovative technology and omni-channel presence

In-house Model:

  • This model has yet been adopted by only large businesses as a part of long term strategy. This increases the costs of operation compelled to invest in the technology and infrastructure as well as resource building costs for in-house operation. But in the long term, this model will see uptick from its benefits such as real time updates in strategy, low turn-around time

Best Practices–Brand Protection Methods to identify counterfeit products in Online retail/ E-Commerce

Around 30 percent of counterfeit seizures are directed to internet distribution and e-commerce sales. Attractive website design and lesser price are the key factors that are driving consumers to buy online fake products. It is observed that search engines are responsible for majority of consumers to buy fake products from fake websites. Majority of brand protection agencies have a separate proprietary tool to identify fake websites with the help of buyers’ internal team.

Websites:

  • Brand Protection agencies check for websites and its contents such as “about us, privacy policy, contact information, payment methods, uniformity in frame size & price listed, grammar, etc.” to check the legitimacy of the website and the sellers

Return Policies:

  • E-commerce websites usually have easy return policies up to 30 days. Brand protection agencies check for these return policies mentioned in the suspect websites which acts as a hint to detect the counterfeit seller

Webmail:

  • Agencies look for webmail addresses such as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com and other popular free webmail in websites to suspect counterfeiters since it is highly unusual for a legitimate brand owners using free webmail accounts

URLs:

  • Counterfeiters’ website URLs mostly bears a legitimate brand’s name along with other words that attracts consumers. Brand Protection agencies search for URLs that have the brand name except URLs that are authorized by the company with the help of a tool to identify and remove the fake websites

Covert purchases:

  • Mystery shopping, covert purchasing from suspect websites and cross checking with a legitimate product enables agencies and buyers to identify the fake websites and illicit online sellers. This is an effective method since the real identity of the brand protection agencies are hidden from counterfeiters

SEO:

  • In order to gain higher rankings in popular search engines, counterfeiters use unethical SEO tactics such as stuffing keywords, veiled texts, etc. Hence, agencies look for both sponsored links and organic search results in co-ordination with buyers to ensure only authorized products are promoted online

Content Checking:

  • Agencies check the content published on the website since counterfeiters sometimes just replace the content of a website that received take down notice to re-launch the website with a new content to avoid getting detected

Brand Mentions:

  • One way of detecting illegitimate websites is by checking the brand mentions in the page. It is observed that counterfeiters often fill their webpage with “brand names” and “discount tags” at multiple locations to attract consumers. This serves as a clue for agencies to suspect illegitimate websites

Best Practices–Brand Protection Anti-counterfeiting Packaging Technologies

Integration of anti-counterfeiting technologies with product helps consumers, manufacturers and other supply chain intermediaries to check or verify the legitimacy of the product. However, implementing a security solution alone cannot stop counterfeit activities, but it helps brand owners to monitor their supply chain to prevent illicit practices and entry of counterfeiting products.

Overt Features:

  • Overt features includes visible features that are integrated to the product package and can be used by consumers to authenticate the product
  • Some of the overt features available in the market are Holograms, Optically Variable Devices, Security Graphics, Color Shifting Inks, Sequential Product Numbering

Track & Trace:

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near-Field Communications are some of the technologies which enables buyers to track & trace their shipments
  • Advanced tracking systems consists of a suite which provides end-to-end solution with respect to product track and trace. In addition with the help of mobile app it supports buyers to authenticate products remotely

Covert Features:

  • These enable brand owners to identify counterfeit product which consumers do not even aware of. These are usually harder to copy or imitate by counterfeiters
  • Available products in the market are Invisible printing, Embedded image, Digital watermarks, Hidden marks, Substrates

Forensic Techniques:

  • Forensic techniques can be considered as a sub group of covert features. This involves checking the authenticity of a product scientifically with the help of a tool kit. However, the adoptability of this technique is much low due to high cost
  • Isotopes ratios, DNA taggants, chemical taggants, biological taggants, micro taggants are some of the techniques used to authenticate products

Key Measures for Brands to Identify the Right Influencers

The key measures of influence, which a brand should measure to decide on the key influencers in the market are Relevance, Resonance, Reference and Reach.

Relevance:

  • High relevance is important because the influencers are expected to have high expertize in the subject matter/area and have sustained influence over the target market. The brand should look for individuals who post frequently and have high percentage of total content output to specific topic. The brand should be careful to avoid the bots and automated social sharing accounts

Resonance:

  • High resonance implies that the influencers are creating positive Impact with the audience and have high engagement rates

Reference:

  • High reference is a good measurement for identifying the thought leaders, consultants, or conference e speakers, which are respected in the peer community of influencers. These influencers can also assist the brand in identifying the right set of influencers for other programs

Reach:

  • High reach gives an indication of the size of the audience and influencer’s popularity in the target market. The brand should be careful to avoid the bots and automated accounts that buy followers to trick the system

Amazon Business Model–Amazon as Full-Service e-commerce provider

  • This model allows retailers or manufacturers to maintain their website and customer relationship, while it uses Amazon’s fulfillment network for distribution of product
  • A good example for this model is Target.com which was owned by Target Inc. but operated by Amazon. The control for merchandising and the ownership for inventory stored in Amazon’s FC lies with Target.Whereas Amazon provides the technical support (maintaining the website) and logistics support(order fulfillment and parcel delivery)
  • Amazon is responsible for routing the order to the responsible fulfillment center and delivering the product to the customer through the courier/parcel delivery system