A brand TLD is a powerful tool to help brands enhance their digital strategy in the long term through a widely recognised, homogeneous and innovative online presence. A lever that remains largely yet to be tapped by large-scale retailing brands, with the exception of E.Leclerc, leader in the sector and a dot brand pioneer, Edeka and Schwarz (Lidl).
Large-scale retailing is a business sector whose business model is undergoing a major transformation. While digital technology is increasingly steering consumer practices and preferences, it is also at the heart of the strategies of some Digital Natives who are setting new standards for brands, standards that are becoming the norm in the sector. Service innovation, logistics power… large-scale retailing brands need to step up to new challenges in order to stay in the race.
In this series of articles taken from the dedicated study, we will set out five key challenges we feel large-scale retailing brands need to overcome to remain competitive and pursue their development, and will look at to what extent a brand TLD provides the answer.
In the previous article in this series, we talked about the challenge for these brands of amplifying their corporate communication and CSR strategies, and showed how a dot brand can help them with this key challenge. This third instalment focuses on a new challenge: setting apart their e-services by certifying all communication using a widely recognised online presence.
Omnichannel sales, reliability, speed, authenticity: consumer needs are becoming more honed
Consumers are increasingly digitised. Using a smartphone, computer or tablet to compare products and make online purchases is a common occurrence these days. A phenomenon that was accentuated by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 and the restrictions on movement. Drive-through pick-up, home delivery and click & collect have developed rapidly and are now engrained in the practices of private individuals and business services alike.
To align with these new consumer habits and respond to the new practices of the public at large, large-scale retailing needs to innovate. In this regard, the customer experience is key to enticing consumers who have grown used, through other platforms, to making their purchases with just a few clicks and having them delivered in ever shorter times. So it is imperative to offer services that are reliable, secure and fast.
These new services rely heavily on digital technology, with ever more efficient ordering and delivery systems. One example of this is self-scanning, which allows customers to scan and then pay for their purchases directly from their smartphone; this service has grown exponentially in just a few years and is now offered by a large number of chains. It responds specifically to customer expectations (time saving, budget control, etc.) and continues to entice them to the store. For brands, placing the spotlight on these different e-services within its digital space is a key concern.
Dot brand: vector of readability and hallmark of trust in a strategy of ramped up e-services
A dot brand allows a brand to launch all its online services under its own TLD and to deploy a secure territory which, by being immediately identifiable, acts as a real stamp of authority. An Internet address ending in dot brand is by nature associated with its owner, whose signature is crystal clear, and provides assurance to users that they are in the right place and not for, example, on a counterfeit website.
The brand TLD provides all the brand’s stakeholders with a trusted online environment wholly controlled by the brand. Customers, partners and affiliates can access authentic, targeted services and content in line with their needs: customername.brand for a customer area, press.brand for a press area, partnername.brand for an area offering the products and services of a third-party brand as part of a partnership, etc.
The customer experience is enhanced in phases leading up to and after the purchase, ensuring that they are accompanied every step of the way. A trustworthy digital environment creates a lasting preference for the brand, with which its services deployed under a brand TLD are automatically associated. The brand’s entire digital strategy, ramified under a custom TLD, enhances its coherence and readability with all its audiences.
Download the full study “Brand TLDs and large-scale retailing: 5 key challenges solved by a dot brand”
This article is an extract from the full study which presents:
- A situational analysis of large-scale retailing in France
- A focus on the brands with their own TLDs in this sector
- 5 key challenges faced by these brands which can be solved by a brand TLD