eCommerce strategies for the long term, data and user research, aligning with everyone in your strategy – all these and more are revealed in our interview with Manik Godhwani, Global Head of Digital & eCommerce at T2 Tea. He’s also acknowledged for his achievements at the Top 50 Retailer Awards during last month’s Retail Week in Melbourne.
Heads up to those working behind the scenes in business – the strategies you’ll learn her are crucial for success!
RLC: We are greatly inspired by your achievements in the eCommerce space for T2. What are the key things you would like to share when it comes to implementing successful eCommerce strategies from your experiences?
Manik: Firstly, we need to ensure that the eCommerce strategy connects the dots between customer, business & technology and proves beneficial at all levels. If we miss out on any of these, then chances are that the strategy won’t work long term.
Secondly, coming from product management background, I always back the strategy with data and user research. It helps you build confidence in executing your strategy and also helps you validate it at every step of execution.
Thirdly, ensure that your team & key stakeholders are also aligned with your strategy because it’s quite difficult to deliver alone…and there’s no fun in it.
Lastly, keeping up with the seemingly endless latest trends can seem daunting. Being prompt in researching and moving forward and doing better is the key. By standing still, you might run the risk of being walked over. It’s ok to fail but important is to fail fast so that next plan can be executed.
At T2, we believe that if it can be imagined, it can be done… and it can be done, if we do it together.
RLC: What do you advise retailers in terms of building their digital marketing strategy and achieving the results that they want?
Manik: No doubt that the new marketing tech advancements have been very alluring, but what’s important is to pick the trend that creates right balance between long-term brand strategy and short-term revenue driving activities. In the end it is your brand that will make you emerge from the pack.
Another key ingredient to a successful digital marketing strategy is to keep the ‘human’ element alive. We can continue to adopt new technologies but it’s important to do that to improve connect with the customer, ensuring that the strategy is adapted and executed to deliver best possible experience at all stages of engagement.
At T2 we experiment with strategies that merge online and offline shopping experiences, making it exciting and rewarding for the customer and diversifying as much as possible instead of relying on just a few channels. Also, we strongly rely on testing and progressing – as different markets open up different customers and their needs that definitely can’t be satisfied with a straight jacketed approach.
Lastly, it’s imperative to set clear objectives that point towards desired ROI. A clear start goes a long way in determining smaller steps that are not conflicting and collectively produce huge returns.
RLC: In terms of retail leadership, what are your thoughts in making a winning team and leading a successful business?
Manik: My mantra to this is industry agnostic. Before creating a winning team, one must first create a winning culture. This winning culture goes a long way in keeping engagement and adrenalin levels high.
To stay ahead of the game, it’s important to have genuine intention to learn and develop by one and all in the team. Especially with the digital world evolving at break-neck speed, upskilling isn’t a luxury but a crude necessity today.
Lastly, you’re an A team only if you win and lose together. Celebrating every win and failing fast and moving ahead when things go south can make a team from good to great.
RLC: T2 has made a mark in Australian retail as it has a chain of stores and is also successful in the eCommerce space. How do you make the omnichannel experience seamless for T2’s customers?
Manik: T2 operates in multiple channels; Retail, Wholesale & Online. And within online also, we have our own website, www.t2tea.com plus we operate in 5 marketplaces across the globe. With the customer shopping habits rapidly changing, it’s important that we have multiple channels in our armour that cater to different consumers depending on where and how they want to shop.
What works best at T2 is our thorough research in understanding different segments of customers and their shopping behaviour in each region. We ensure that we follow a customer first approach in every channel – every strategy thought through omni-channel perspective, blurring the lines between online and offline yet providing our customers with consistent, seamless T2 brand experience.
About Manik Godhwani
Manik is the Global Head of Digital & eCommerce for T2 Tea – Unilever. He leads a team of digital marketers, product managers and eCommerce experts to exponentially grow T2’s global omnichannel presence. He has over 11 years of experience in Product Management and Consulting. As a seasoned digital transformation leader, he was recently awarded as one of the Top 50 Retailers in eCommerce during Retail Week 2019 in Australia.