3 Burning Questions: Emer...

3 Burning Questions: Emerging Trends in Retail & E-Commerce With Godiva

Feb 20, 2023

The e-commerce market has undergone significant changes in recent years, and it has become increasingly important for retailers to adapt to these changes. Additionally, staying abreast of the latest trends is crucial for success in the retail industry, particularly in the highly competitive e-commerce market. In the latest episode of our new series “3 Burning Questions”, we sat down with Marta Skrabacz, the Head of eCommerce of Godiva to unpack the emerging industry trends in retail and e-commerce. 

Prefer to hear her answers? Watch the full recording here!

Our 3 burning questions for this particular session were as follows:

  1. What is something unique about Godiva's retail/e-commerce strategy?

  2. In your opinion, how will retail and e-commerce evolve in the near future?

  3. What advice can you offer retailers in the face of faltering consumer sentiment and rising inflation?

What is something unique about Godiva's retail/e-commerce strategy?

According to Marta, Godiva is a true omnichannel brand that sells its products through a variety of channels, including its five retail stores nationwide, their e-commerce website, different marketplaces, and wholesale partners. The company focuses on three main product categories: i) luxurious chocolate gifts, available both online and in-store, ii) a vibrant cafe with a strong European influence, and iii) self-indulgent chocolate treats that are convenient to be carried around. As a result, they have a two-pronged approach in which consumers can both indulge in delightful treats for themselves and spread joy to others by giving them premium chocolates and gift boxes.

Regarding their target demographic, Godiva strives to maintain their primarily Belgian, European chocolate-making heritage while striking a balance between both traditional and modern influences. They use this heritage to tell the story of their goods to an audience that may have been exposed to them through their family and cultural background, whether they are of European or Asian descent. 

In your opinion, how will retail and e-commerce evolve in the near future?

The pandemic has played a significant role in the rise of online shopping, and its impact on both retail and e-commerce cannot be ignored. Customers are becoming more and more unwilling to tolerate pre-pandemic expectations, with regard to delivery times and product experiences in particular. While omnichannel strategies remain essential, there is now a greater emphasis on understanding the digital consumer journey.

All along, the collaboration between retail and e-commerce is crucial for enhancing the overall customer experience. In 2022, e-commerce accounted for approximately 10% of all retail sales, up from 8% before the pandemic. According to Marta, the retail industry is likely to become highly proficient in digital technologies, which may result in changes to the role of retail workers beyond in-store customer service in years to come.

Marta also provided a few examples of brands that have innovated to keep up with the ever-changing retail environment. Netflix, for instance, opened its one-of-a-kind popup store in the United States to provide a platform for consumers to engage with their fandom beyond just buying products online. Culture Kings in New York has also implemented similar initiatives, including in-store promotions, live DJs, and recording studios, creating a brand-aligned experience that goes beyond traditional shopping. Simply relying on just festive displays or regular discounts alone is no longer sufficient to satisfy modern consumers today. Ultimately, brands must strive to improve the overall customer experience by providing more than just a means to purchase goods.

What advice can you offer retailers in the face of faltering consumer sentiment and rising inflation?

During economic downturns, inflation, and rising interest rates, it can be challenging for both customers and companies to navigate, but it can also present an opportunity for brands to be innovative in terms of customer acquisition and product sales. In these situations, both the consumer and the brand prioritize cost-cutting measures. It's crucial, as highlighted by Marta, to be mindful of your advertising expenses and to reassess your investment returns. 

With the changing data privacy regulations, it's necessary to consider how customers use data differently in light of recent data breaches and the evolving landscape. Now is the time to re-evaluate the options you previously disregarded and to look for opportunities where your audience is present and your level of connection and conversion success is high.

There is a misconception that brands need to compromise or dilute their identity in exchange for sales. However, this is not necessary. It's essential to analyze poorly performing product lines, conversion rates, and opportunities for improvement. Perhaps it's time to revamp your website, apply your tone of voice again, and test new creativity.

“Besides, do not forget to secure your owned media. A brand's CRM and loyalty program should be its core, providing customers with genuine incentives and rewards. Look after your own well because acquisition is still going to be expensive, proving the old saying about the benefits retention gives,” mentioned Marta.

About Marta Skrabacz 

With more than 7 years of experience working in digital marketing and F&B, Marta Skrabacz's work across CRM, loyalty, e-commerce and digital communications have always put the customer at the heart of her work. As the current Head of eCommerce at GODIVA Australia, she champions digital growth, online sales and exceptional customer experiences to deliver happiness through gourmet Belgian chocolate.

About Unpacking E-Commerce Logistics Series

Unpacking E-Commerce Logistics brings together some of the best experts in the e-commerce logistics and supply chain space to unpack key concepts from a variety of trending topics, ranging the use of Artificial Intelligence in the industry to embracing hyperlocal delivery in the e-commerce world. An integral part of this series are our “3 Burning Questions” interviews that zoom in on important industry sub-topics that we all want to know about.

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