I have delivered in three different strategy roles over the past 20 years:
eCommerce and Digital Strategy: Case study
DHL is one of the largest and most successful courier companies in the world. In 2008, the UK business was reviewing its online sales, transactional capability and digital marketing effectiveness. I was hired to deliver an eCommerce and Digital strategy that would include an online-product development road-map, from ideation to prototyping to delivery. The outcome was to provide the business with a market leading eCommerce proposition that delivered an intuitive omni-channel customer experience for retail and business customers to engage with the brand and consume products and services from anywhere on any device.
Initially retained as an interim eCommerce Strategy Manager, I reported into the Marketing Director for UK domestic and international business.
I worked closely with the group of directors who ran the domestic and international business out of the UK to set tactical priorities and strategic objectives and achieve buy-in to a development roadmap.
I prioritised the quick-wins that delivered compelling consumer propositions with minimal cost/complexity and early ROI. The eCommerce and Digital Strategy addressed both sides of the EBIT equation, to increased online revenue and to improve margins by reducing operational costs. This was achieved by simplifying customer journeys, increase customer self service and improve operational efficiencies. I initiated the development of a new service oriented architecture, to provide a layer of web-services making it easier to implement a new customer experience in the future. Business cases were all underpinned with full EBIT and P&L analysis and were socialised at regional/global forums.
Scope of my work covered all digital channels across web, mobile, EDI and global applications, marketing and sales. These channels delivered products and services to customers across all segments (corporations to residential). The eCommerce Strategy aligned to business cases to deliver business benefits in three main areas:
1) Sell more services, cross-sell / up-sell:
- eCommerce journey optimization: Selective deployment of eCommerce optimisation tools providing advanced analytics, session replay and enabling a/b and multivariate testing
- Digital marketing: Managing online marketing activities to drive profitable revenues supported by SEO and landing page improvements to uplift conversion
- Customer portal design: Leveraging CRM data, customer and market intelligence to identify ‘propensity to buy’, from high-level demographics down to individual customers, engaging in rule based targeted online marketing.
- Customer Application improvements: Update the design, functionality and quality of customers applications to be best in class, increasing features and making them more simple to use.
2) Improve customer acquisition and retention:
- Attract online customers: Attract from major competitors and new entrants (online resellers) who all had very strong digital propositions
- Increase customer loyalty: Making it attractive and simple for customers to set-up accounts online and enjoy additional benefits/services when signed-up
- Extend brand advocacy: Using social channels, driving incremental customer accounts and transactions (social commerce).
3) Increase operational efficiencies and profitability:
- Customer self service: Through website, portal and mobile with call centre integration
- Customer journey improvements: End-to-end user journey reviews and rationalisation of redundant micro-sites and web-pages. Analytics/site traffic review. Usability reviews of selected landing pages and related websites leading to website optimisation / redesign projects. More effective multi- channel integration with telephony, retail, social, mobile and web-chat. Review and update brand and navigation consistency.
- Rationalisation of client-side apps: Review of all legacy EDI based ‘customer integration management’ solutions and either update to latest version or replace with more modern digital applications designed to integrate into back-end systems and applications either through new APIs of through a new service oriented architecture (web-service layer).
Digital – Delivery Programme
I was invited back to DHL 18 months after the original assignment to deliver the low-hanging fruit from the eCommerce strategy. Following a review and reprioritisation it was agreed to focus the digital elements. I set up a programme of small projects that would deliver benefits and ROI back into the business in the minimum time-frame. These projects were all funded out of revenue spend, so the ROI had to be visible each quarter.
1) DHL’s first Mobile optimized website (design, build and launch). Analytics captured during the launch period confirmed spectacular increases in visitors to the site with a healthy monthly conversion and a return on investment within a month. We tracked performance and usage and confirmed that KPIs for business case had been achieved through the mobile channel. Combined EBIT benefits in the first month alone were roughly equivalent to twice the total development cost.
2) Online marketing: I managed a small marketing programme, working with a digital agency on search engine marketing/PPC, affiliate networks, ad inventory and campaign management. This proved highly successful and profitable with ROI targets being exceeded.
3) eCommerce journey optimisation: Using analytics and session replay to identify, quantify and resolve customer struggle. MVT tools implemented make the necessary improvements to website design. Expecting short term uplift in revenue to be eclipsed by a substantial return over the year when the optimised website design combines with SEO and extended digital marketing.
4) DHL Social Media monitoring: I established (UK, global, competitors) and framework for monitoring, analysing, reporting and engagement.