Going Beyond Customer Profiling In E-Commerce

By Rachel Tan, Head of Business, Oxwhite

As e-commerce blossoms, a progressive and forward-looking brand needs to understand its competitors and stakeholders to thrive in this landscape. By practising customer analytics, a brand will be able to make better key business decisions and predictive analysis via market segmentation. The information is used for direct marketing, site selection and customer relationship management.

It is a common practice to categorise the customers data based on male and female segments by analysing their preference, consumer habits, shopping frequency and spending power.

Women are often defined as impulsive buyers. They shop on journeys and prefer to browse for what they want. Sensible marketers would spend more time on designing alluring web pages to attract more women visitors. On the other hand, men are identified as utilitarian consumers who shop based on mission. They will do pre-shopping research and are “fast, firm, accurate” while making buying decisions. Therefore, marketers need to make men see their “needs” and subconsciously stimulate their buying decision.

As of June 2021, close to half (48 percent) of Oxwhite’s customers are men, this is contrary to the notion suggesting men dislike online shopping. Not discounting the research showing men usually prefer to shop physically and enjoy the instant gratification of bringing an item home, it is fair to say that this pattern is changing. It is challenging to achieve maximum market benefits, so it is extremely important to understand the major differences between men and women.

According to Oxwhite’s data, a male customer’s shopping cart size is at least 10 percent larger than a female’s, reflecting their objective of completing a mission and needs in a single activity. The same data also revealed that men’s buying frequency is higher by 30 percent than womens’, this can be read as how men perceive value and their tendency to stay with it. On the other hand, women enjoy the shopping experience more and are attracted to creative and eye-catching advertisements and aesthetically pleasing web platforms.

Therefore, brands need to play a proactive role in planning a marketing strategy that could satisfy both men and women’s needs by:

(1) Consistently feeding the needs of all segments

If a brand wants to meet the buying needs of men and women at the same time, the brand must make consumers eager to meet their needs by creating demand. According to Bain & Company recently published a comprehensive report in 2020 on Southeast Asia Consumers survey, 54 of Southeast Asian respondents have switched their most purchased brand in the last 3 months. Reliability and value are the top 2 reasons cited for switching brands.

42 percent said they switched due to better pricing, while 34% cited better product quality. In the case of Oxwhite, this is reflected in its core value to provide “premium affordable lifestyle products” to make customers “look good and feel good”.

(2) Customer engagement for better product development

In catering to both men and women, most brands will utilise social media to get their customers to follow their latest news and trend. The engagement is often one-way and it is difficult to understand customers’ voices. Oxwhite has also a strong presence on social media with over 230,000 followers and a close-knit community group with over 25,000 customers via Facebook, receiving feedback and customers’ daily needs directly.

These continuous engagements can help brands to develop targeted, demand-oriented and profitable products based on a better understanding of customer needs. If a brand blindly develops novelty products, it may cause resistance among customers thus making it unsellable. Due to the pandemic situation, brands need to focus on their customers’ needs and create value for them in order to achieve sustainable profits.

(3) Establish trust and brand loyalty

A sustainable brand not only relies on the value of the product, but also requires building trust and brand loyalty. In order to generate a higher repeat purchase rate, brands need to put more effort on building trust and engaging consistently with customers. According to Oxwhite’s customer database, one of the methods used by Oxwhite to keep the relationship warm apart from engaging with customers daily on social media is to provide them additional value such as affordable price products they can enjoy, and to take into consideration their feedback on product development suggestions and quality.

Additionally, an average of 10 customers will be selected every month as winners of Oxwhite’s community giveaway as a token of appreciation alongside a handwritten note by its founder, CK Changr. Recently, in conjunction with its 3rd birthday celebration, Oxwhite also gave away over RM 1 million worth of prizes to its customers. With such interaction, Oxwhite is able to maintain a higher than average 58 percent repeat purchase rate.

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