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NetElixir on Giving Consumers the Attention They Need

Udayan Bose says key consumer groups are being neglected in the chase for higher AOV.

A few different theories were floated at WWD’s 2023 Digital Beauty Forum in an attempt to get to the bottom of where NetElixir’s “magic” comes from. Wild speculations included an on-staff psychic, possession of a crystal ball and a powerful telekinetic who actively moves the consumer where NetElixir’s leaders want them to go.

Udayan Bose, chief executive officer and founder of NetElixir, said that looking back 19 years to the very beginning of the company he was “trying to do something crazy” when he began work on search marketing, which no one at the time understood. However, also important to growing the company to what it is today, the “magic,” he said, may have come from the intention to “build a company which has a lot of heart.” To this day, Bose told the audience, the key values of NetElixir are respect and equal opportunity.

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At its core, NetElixir brings a humanization to technology, understanding that e-commerce i becoming extremely personal. “People were talking about counting clicks and how many customers visited,” said Bose. “We were talking about the kind of human being who was coming to a website. In that way, we were trying to build a company that goes above and beyond.”

In 2008, NetElixir began conducting consumer research that tracks what shoppers are talking about and the shifts that follow. Today, the company has seen the entire evolution of the consumer, including with some notable nuances in shifts during the pandemic.

A key finding of consumer behavior found through NetElixir’s research during the pandemic was an increased frequency of consumer website visits as the customer journey continues to become more complex. In part, this is the result of much more active searches; in beauty specifically, Bose shared, shoppers went from purchasing within 18 hours to 48 hours in 2022.

Another pandemic-related impact, Bose said, has been the continued practice of purchasing online from those who previously shopped primarily in stores. Importantly, Bose said, this group’s behavior is unique from the consumer behaviors being exhibited by Gen Z and Millennials who grew up with technology.

“We can’t talk about just one consumer,”said the executive said. “We’re talking about multiple consumers in this case and each segment has a different overall path that is showing those differences. We talk a lot about Gen Z and Millennial consumers but not as much about Baby Boomers, but we were able to see [in our data] that Baby Boomers are high-value shoppers and they’re spending a lot. In 2021, our data set showed that Baby Boomers outspend any other category.”

By looking at each customer, rather than an average customer, e-commerce can move into looking at the high-value shopper and learn how to engage them, rather than focusing on the average value shopper, which continues at a lower AOV. “When the average shopper spends about $50, the high-value shopper spends about $320,” Bose said. “We’re talking about massive differences, yet companies are not really focusing as much in trying to understand the shopper and really engage responsibilities.”