As digital commerce continues to evolve, it has become more challenging than ever for retailers to stand out from their competition — and consumer expectations aren’t making it any easier for them.
As the retail space continues to grow and expand, we find ourselves becoming more accustomed to a certain type of experience as consumers. To stand out in the retail space these days, it takes more than a monthly newsletter and a few coupons sent in the mail. Consumers are 80% more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences. More than 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognises them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history. The expectations are becoming higher and more significant to a brand’s bottom line.
Shoppers want unique experiences that not only deliver on a promise that they are important to the business, but also make shopping enjoyable. They want flexibility, convenience and competitive pricing all in one place and at the most optimal speed.
Looking at what an exemplary customer experience should entail can feel a bit overwhelming and cumbersome with the plethora of retail technology companies available. Thankfully, Segmentify aims to help our clients find the right solutions for their business to ensure results and satisfaction. In keeping with this trend, we have put together a list of the top four ways to digitally enhance your customer experiences.
A proper omnichannel experience will typically combine onsite browsing behaviour and transactional data points offering a shopping experience that includes all points of contact including the online shop, your social media accounts, your mobile app, and the brick and-mortar store. One problem is that while most ecommerce companies agree that omnichannel personalisation is the way of the future; only about 3% of companies believe they have a fully integrated omnichannel strategy. This means if a brand can get their omnichannel strategy done right, they are already ahead of the competition. Encouraging customers to shop across channels seamlessly is a strategic way to engage with them in different ways.
Flexible and easy payments are a customer expectation within the physical store just as much as they are within the online store. Offering various payment options, discounts at checkout and a reasonable (if not free!) shipping option are just a few ways to get in consumers good books. Technologies in payment solutions have come quite far in recent years so looking at options for shop now – pay later, instant returns or contactless can really help set you apart. One way to connect with customers is to ask them (via message or survey) what their preferred payment types are. They can feel like they’re part of the process in creating a better experience for themselves and all other shoppers.
In today’s billion dollar ecommerce market, consumer expectations around shipping can mean the difference between a customer journey that converts or falls short. 61% of online shoppers will abandon their cart due to high added costs, like shipping while 79% of consumers said free shipping would make them more likely to shop online (Shippo). Issues such as late shipment, wrong item shipped, unfulfilled orders, expensive shipping costs and poor packaging can all lead to consumers abandoning a cart in your online shop and journeying to a competitor. Shipping options need to be easy, clear and inexpensive compared to their purchased items. Hint: Combining personalised messaging within your checkout flow can allow you to see what your users think of shipping costs. If your customer seems flustered by shipping costs, offering them an additional 10% off at the moment of frustration through instant messaging (i.e. in real-time) can help renew trust and provide a potential for further sales.
User generated content is the perfect way to create brand ambassadors from happy customers. Encouraging existing customers to create content around their experiences using your brand can help you capture that happiness to then share with potential customers. Companies like Coca-Cola, Buffer and Aerie are all great examples of the impact that UGC (user generated content) can have on your growth, ratings and bottom line. You get the opportunity to showcase customer creativity while leveraging their networks and connecting with new, potential customers.
Customer engagement is about more than offering customers a good experience throughout their sales journey. Netflix is an amazing example of personalisation and engagement done right. The platform monitors your clicks, pauses or additions to your watchlist. They gather all the necessary data to recommend the content you will most likely interest you in a relevant and interesting way. Customer engagement has to inspire customers and encouraging them to take part in the experience. It should be a seamless experience around offering help or suggestions when needed rather than bombarding them with unnecessary prompts. Behavioural analytics can help you connect with your website visitors in an authentic way that resonates and offer helpful tips, discounts, price drops, suggestions and recommendations. Using a full channel personalised approach including email, text and website when engaging with customers can create the illusion of shopping with a personal assistant for that customer.
While the idea of creating an approach that encompasses all of the moving parts above can feel overwhelming, the best approach is always to carefully consider – then implement. This is one of the reasons Segmentify offers a 14 day free trial to ensure we are providing the technology you need to connect with your customers. Not sure? Speak to one of our team today to get a free demo and ask all the questions you’d like!