Setting up an online presence and successfully selling your merchandise via an electronic medium is no longer enough. Perhaps years ago, you could sell online and hope that your customers would return again and again to your website, but in today’s cut-throat online environment you have no choice but to underpin your online presence with three pillars that will support your retail endeavors – Customer Loyalty, Personalized Marketing, and Omni-channel Marketing.
All of these have to be built brick by brick and using a tool such as an ecommerce analytics solution will make this job much easier to accomplish.
Let us have a look at each of these foundation pillars and how they can be underpinned by ecommerce analytics to support and enhance your online retail environment.
1. Customer Loyalty
Research has proven that the cost of attracting new customers to your online presence is considerably higher than the cost of converting existing customers to a loyal customer; those customers that return time and again to spend at your ecommerce store.
Therefore, it makes good sense to pay attention to each customer that you have and do everything that you can to build a sense of trust between your commercial enterprise and your customer.
- What will you gain by doing this?
Loyal customers, apart from spending their hard-earned dollars in your store, are more forgiving when things go wrong. Sooner or later you will be faced with something that does go wrong; that is inevitable. A loyal customer is far more likely to forgive the error and still return to your commercial enterprise than one that is shopping with you for the first time.
Not only are loyal customers likely to be more forgiving, but they will also be the customers that laud your online presence to their friends and family. The benefits that can be gained from a positive social media presence from loyal customers cannot be underestimated.
People will be tempted to try your service when it is highly recommended by one of their own friends rather than any advertising campaign you run. Friends will follow friends if they recommend your store as a great place to do business and these recommendations will come from loyal customers.
Lastly, loyal customers are prepared to pay a higher price for goods, knowing that the service provided is superior and that there is no question in their mind regarding the security of the transaction.
- How can you build this loyalty?
Practically the only means that an online presence has to build customer loyalty is via superior service. The majority of interactions that your customer has with your business is via the inanimate interface of a computer screen; there is no human interaction to add warmth to the transaction so you must ensure that the service offered is superior.
Not only must the online retailer pay special attention to the service offered via a top-class website, secure payment facilities and efficient and effective delivery, but they must also ensure that the processes around dealing with errors are as businesslike as the sales process.
The call center staff must be knowledgeable and well trained with the necessary access to resolve problems immediately.
The careful use of ecommerce analytics can build a clear picture of the loyal customers that you have, along with their demographic profile. This knowledge will help you target those customers most likely to become loyal customers in the future, and those are the ones that should receive additional attention from your marketing team.
2. Personalized Marketing
The realm of personalized marketing can bring enormous rewards, but it can also be a minefield of poor choices that have the ability to scupper your commercial enterprise.
Human beings respond to personal touch. That is a given fact, and it is that fact that underpins the concept of personalized marketing. Your ecommerce environment needs to distil the advertising content for a specific customer based upon his or her choices.
The use of analytics can help you in identifying the choices made by a particular customer and using ecommerce analytics you can personalize e-mail and advertising content to appeal to any individual customer.
There is, however, a point at which the customer will become uncomfortable should this targeted advertising become too personal, and they will begin to feel stalked rather than made to feel important. Use this tool with caution but do not discard it. Modern software will give you the tools to customize your advertising thus saving you time and energy but ensure that your customers know that you intend to collect information; never collect data without their approval.
Millenials have grown up in a tech-savvy world and are a great deal more comfortable with this form of approach than an older, less confident customer. Again, go back to your ecommerce analytics and use them to understand the demographics of your customer base and utilizing this information you can better personalize the electronic or human conversations between your ecommerce enterprise and your customers.
3. Omni-channel Marketing
Omni-channel marketing is the process by which a commercial enterprise can blur the lines between the various channels by which a customer interacts with their store. It should make no difference to a customer whether they are dealing with a company via a high street shop, a website on a computer or tablet or a mobile site via a mobile phone.
Your modern consumer will expect to have the ability to jump seamlessly between the high street shop, a mobile site or the web and they expect their interaction to be consistent and relevant to them.
Research shows that a huge number of consumers do enjoy the process of browsing the high street shops, but increasingly they are looking to electronic means to enhance and facilitate that experience. While many consumers acknowledge that they feel that their online retailers know them and their preferences, an equally large number do not believe that the high street shops know them as customers and what they like.
Using an omnichannel approach retailers should have an online presence where consumers can browse inventory and then select items to try on in the high street. When arriving in the high street, the items should be selected and ready for fitting. When entering the store, consumers should be able to access an application that shows them all the items that they browsed online and advise any that are not in stock and give the option to back-order them and have them delivered.
Additionally, consumers are irritated when goods are priced differently online and on the high street. Retailers should be looking to personalize pricing for loyal customers and equalize pricing across all channels.
Retail innovation will depend upon ecommerce analytics that will be used to drive and enrich the customer’s experience. Careful analysis of this data will allow retailers to uncover the customer’s attitude, usage and buying habits and will allow the retailer to give the customer a personalized service across all channels which will, in turn, result in happier and loyal customers.
If you would like to discover how analytics could boost your business, talk to the Analytics Expert at ComTec. Find out where to start and get access to analytics capabilities. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to know more.