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SurfStitch, The Iconic and Cotton On ‘hitting the mark’ on digital

SurfStitch, The Iconic and Cotton On are ‘hitting the mark’ in their digital interaction with customers, but many APAC brands still aren’t doing the basics, such as segmenting customers, or sending abandoned cart emails.

That is according to the latest Hitting the Mark report from customer engagement platform dotdigital. The 10th edition of the report, released on Monday, ranked a selection of 30 brands from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore on their online customer experience over a three-month period in 2019.

Shopping under a pseudonym, members of the dotdigital team followed the same path to purchase as a typical customer to evaluate the brands’ email marketing strategies, including their welcome, abandoned cart, post-purchase and other emails, and other aspects of their online presence, such as their SEO ranking, mobile site experience and payment options.

The evaluated brands included major omnichannel retailers, such as Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Priceline Pharmacy, Chemist Warehouse, Cotton On and Officeworks, as well as leading online retailers, including Adore Beauty, The Iconic, Appliances Online and SurfStitch.

The top 10 brands were:

  1. SurfStitch
  2. The Iconic
  3. Cotton On
  4. Zalora
  5. HipVan (online furniture retailer in Singapore)
  6. EziBuy
  7. Adore Beauty
  8. Youfoodz
  9. Officeworks
  10. Kogan

SurfStitch was singled out as a leader in email marketing, thanks to its gender-specific emails, clear calls-to-action, timely offers, personalised birthday emails and the overall quality of its design and copy.

The Iconic was also commended for its use of gender-specific welcome emails, but the retailer has room to further personalise its messages based on behaviour, geolocation and time and event-related data, the report noted.

Meanwhile, Cotton On practiced good customer segmentation, but was overly focused on sales, to the detriment of editorial content.

Overall, dotdigital found that brands could be doing a lot more to improve their online communications with customers.

For instance, a third of the brands evaluated aren’t sending abandoned cart emails, 60 per cent aren’t practicing basic segmentation and 43 per cent aren’t sending product review requests.

This adds up to a substantial chunk of money being left on the table, according to Rohan Lock, regional director of APAC at dotdigital.

“As the market continues to be competitive and with lot of options at customer fingertips, it’s key for retailers to harness all channels if they want to remain competitive,” he said.

“By not using the right practices, such as leveraging customer insights, personalisation, segmentation and automation, brands are missing out on the opportunity to enhance their customer journey and deliver engaging content.”

On a positive note, all but one of the companies evaluated have implemented an automated welcome email.

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