Havas Market specializes in creating meaningful shopping experiences for consumers – and as consumers continue to trend towards e-commerce, understanding the principles that guide revenue is more important than ever. Read more about the topic from Bertrand Fraboulet, Global Head of Havas Market, below.
Can you give us an overview of Havas Market and what its offerings are?
Havas Market is a strategic full-service e-commerce offering within the Havas network focused on creating meaningful shopping experiences for consumers and driving incremental revenue for brands across all sales channels: marketplaces, direct to consumer channels, social commerce, and digital ‘drive-to-store’.
At our core, we’re problem solvers who take a holistic, consumer-centric view at clients’ businesses and find the best solutions adapted to their needs, ranging from focusing on specific challenges to leading the transformation of their entire e-commerce strategy. Our services include:
- Providing insights on consumer behaviour and business opportunities (e-commerce insights and consulting: shopper studies, pricing and assortment strategy, opportunity scouting)
- Optimizing product availability and delivery (e-commerce operations: vendor and seller accounts management, logistics and fulfillment consulting, order management)
- Crafting compelling content (performance content: product catalogue production and optimisation, product pages, brand store development, Google and e-retail SEO)
- Enhancing brand and product visibility (e-commerce media, social commerce)
- Forecasting sales and inventory (e-commerce analytics: sell in and sell out forecast, inventory forecast, media performance analysis)
What drove you to write your latest POV?
Amidst a challenging economic environment, brands are increasingly performance oriented, focused on the retail strategies that drive growth and ROI. Demonstrating the benefit of one’s marketing efforts requires a detailed understanding of the value generated by each dollar of media spend. For example, did a large media investment truly have a measurable impact on sales growth, or is a different strategy responsible for this increase in revenue, which would have been achieved regardless of the media spend? This is the challenge of incrementality, which seeks to measure the concrete benefit generated by each dollar of media investment.
Incrementality has unique relevance to e-commerce, where media is one of hundreds of factors that drive online sales and revenue growth. Brands must first define a clear e-commerce strategy: where do they want to sell their products (DTC, marketplaces, brick and mortars, social commerce etc.); what assortment of products will they offer and at what price; what approach to fulfillment will they take to provide the best overall retail experience? We then use Havas Market Forecast – our unique methodology which forecasts the e-commerce incremental growth potential for any brands wanting to initiate or grow their e-commerce activity – to forecast the incremental revenue each aspect of their strategy will generate.
Can you talk about how the e-commerce market has expanded in the last few years?
E-commerce is anchored in consumer habits, and over the past years billions of shoppers have embraced the convenience, affordability, and selection of products available to them online. Consumer behavior has dramatically shifted, and as a result e-commerce is a constant presence in consumer’s lives – 1 out of 5 shoppers’ dollars being spent on online purchases globally. In an environment where physical retail is stagnating, e-commerce is experiencing consistent double-digit growth.
E-commerce is more than a new sales channel, it’s a complete revolution of the retail environment. We’re seeing:
- More and more brands build their own ecommerce DTC website to eliminate intermediaries and provide the best experience for their consumers
- Major marketplaces grow more and more powerful, with the top 3 players (Amazon, Alibaba and Tencent) representing nearly 50% of all e-commerce sales in the world
- Brick and mortar retailers adopt an ‘online-first’ development strategy to capitalize on shifting consumer preferences
- Both sides of the industry converging towards social commerce to offer a more seamless retail experience, with social platforms becoming marketplaces to tap into new advertising revenue streams, and marketplaces evolving their social interactivity to offer a more immersive and rewarding experience for consumers within their platform
The impacts of this shift towards e-commerce echo throughout the larger media ecosystem. For the last 5 years, Amazon has overtaken Google as the number one product search engine and is now the 3rd largest media network globally, and e-commerce media investment is growing twice as fast as digital media overall.
How can brands make e-commerce work hand in hand with “offline” shopping?
An omnichannel approach is necessary to give today’s consumers the best of both worlds. Physical retail is far from obsolete and has the potential to become stronger than ever, provided brands integrate it as part of a broader, seamless shopping experience that functions cohesively across devices and channels.
Pure e-commerce marketplaces have understood this reality for years, with a number of online players creating physical showrooms and pop-up stores to accompany their online experiences. Amazon has extensively tested brick and mortar concepts, ranging from Amazon Fashion stores launched in the UK in 2022, to Amazon Go, to the 2017 buyout of Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion dollar acquisition. Other retailers have digitized the in-store experience, cultivating a new era of brick and mortar. Sephora is a prime example of this evolution, with stores that functional as digital playgrounds full of devices and screens, allowing the brand’s marketing teams to track the full customer journey from online to in-store.
What can brands do in the world of e-commerce to set them apart from their competitors?
Jeff Bezos has always said that Amazon’s path to success can be summed up in 3 principles:
- Cheap Price
- Quick Delivery
- Vast Selection
Adherence to these three principles has made Amazon the global behemoth that is today, but cheap price, quick deliver, and vast selection are now seen as requirements, and are not enough to stand out from the competition. The winners of the e-commerce race are those who can offer consumers the best shopping experience:
- This experience must be seamless: shoppers must be able to navigate their shopping journey without facing any friction as they transfer between devices and channels
- The shopping experience must be meaningful: Today’s consumers are not only looking for functional benefits of price, delivery and selection, but a personalized experience that improves their life and offers a sense of community.
To learn more, check out Bertrand’s article here.