This blog series highlights practical, immediate ways that brands and retailers can adapt and grow in the ever-changing world of a global pandemic.
Methods discussed in this blog:
- Taking control of your brand's digital platforms
- The added importance of delivering personalized campaigns
- Leveraging data analytics to increase marketing effectiveness
I’m sure your business plan for 2020 was a masterpiece three months ago. Sophisticated and perfectly tuned over countless hours and team meetings and ready for Quarter 1. Then along came Covid-19 and… how’s it looking now that every industry in the world has been disrupted?
You can still make it work – but you better start revising that masterpiece today. There’s a lot of potential for commerce in this new world. You’ll find it through the screen of your customer’s smartphone – and tablet, and laptop, and all of their other personal devices.
Because on average, Americans spend more than 3 hours online every day. The best thing you can do for your business right now is to lean in to this reality. In 2020, an estimated 55% of the world's population will have internet access. That's 4.2 billion people who can connect with your business.
At Revtrax, we work with businesses of all sizes and strategies, from D2C to nationwide retail chains. All of them benefit from increased digital commerce.
Why Ecommerce and Mcommerce?
Because you don’t get much ROI from billboards when people are afraid to go outside. And print ads are hard to come by when the publishing industry is falling apart.
Word-of-mouth promotion is still a great route, but what does that look like when people only see their friends via video chat? It means that personal devices are the inroad to all of your customers.
After all, 81% of Americans have smartphones. And the arrival of 5G will only enhance usability and customer connection to mobile devices. This year, in the US alone, ecommerce is set to grow by more than 12% and net $666 billion.
And within those massive sales numbers, mobile commerce (Mcommerce) is gaining market share. Projections for this year show mcommerce pulling in up to 51% of all ecommerce. So the opportunity is there.
When people move more and more of their entire lives to the screen, you’re trying to capture people’s attention in an intensely crowded space. Exclusive offers will win attention and keep customers coming back, provided that you can deliver them in ways that are personal, effective, and secure.
And even when you edge out competitors within your industry, you’re still fighting for attention against… basically everyone else on the internet. I’m talking advertisers in other industries, plus lifestyle bloggers, and YouTubers, and cat videos on Instagram.
How can you stay competitive as a business in that space? In short: be warm, be welcoming, be irresistible. Here is what that looks like...
Leverage Customer Loyalty
Good news: you've already found some of the most powerful revenue sources on the planet. They're your repeat customers. Repeat customers make up 8% of total visitors, but 40% of total sales.
And increasing your customer retention rate by 5% can increase your sales by 95%. Ninety-five percent! You can nearly double your sales by keeping your recent shoppers engaged.
Staying at the top of your audience’s mind is a matter of staying visible and providing consistently excellent experiences. Loyalty programs are a proven way to do both of those things at once, continually offering your audience fun ways to remember you.
Try This: Send a Thank-You note to your customer network
Thank your recent and former customers for their loyalty – do it with a personalized email that includes an exclusive offer. Or, to enhance the community-forward theme, make it an eReceipt Reward, encouraging them to redeem with a retailer in their area. This is especially useful for brands that don't sell directly to consumers.
Engage Customers On A Personal Level
People want meaningful engagement from brands, and 76% of shoppers expect brands to understand their needs. We all want to be seen as individuals, not as walking dollar signs.
One-to-one marketing is the answer. And with digital commerce, it's easier and more accurate than ever before. With a data management system that automates outreach, you can make every touchpoint dynamic.
Building on a decade-plus of consumer data, the RevTrax team has seen the need for this level of personalization continue to grow. As machine learning and A.I. become more and more accessible to businesses at any scale, personalization for your business may now include:
- Dynamic Email
- Custom Messaging
Try this: Make social sharing fun
Invite your customer network to send their friend a free gift through your brand. It's a great way to say hello to old customers while making a very personal impression on new customers. RevTrax designed a targeted campaign like this with yoghurt brand noosa. The result was a wealth of new opt-in customer data, as well as invaluable word-of-mouth promotion.
Optimize Your Campaign With Data
I’m not trying to say that customer acquisition in the age of Covid-19 will be any easier than it was before. It won’t. But you’ve got the resources to emerge even more competitive than you were before.
Data will be essential. It has always been important. But in uncertain times like this, you’re competing for a limited customer base – and your competitors are getting even more competitive with their data-driven strategies.
You need quality data, you need an ample amount of it. You need it now, and you’ll need even more of it tomorrow. You need a reliable database to start from, and you need to collect your own first-party data.
With the right tools, you can track and analyze digital campaigns on a granular level. See which calls to action are generating the most clicks. Perform A/B test iterations for every marketing asset. The more first-party data you have, the more precise your strategy can be. And with user-friendly analytics, you can optimize these campaigns in real time.
Try this: Invest in the customer journey
Use data from purchase histories to ping people when their favorite items come back in stock. Reach out with the relevant suggestion, and include a coupon with a retailer-specific code – this will protect you and your retailers from discount fraud and keep everything within scale.
The data generated along the way will show a detailed version of the customer’s journey, from when they first received your message to when the retail clerk issued their receipt, and countless points in between.
With analytics and CRM integration, you’ll be able to close the loop for every transaction, and keep your marketing campaign in a constant state of improvement. The next time you engage that customer, their experience will be even more valuable than the previous one. And, applying those lessons to customer acquisition, your conversion rate will continue to grow.
Ecommerce + Mcommerce Enhance The Customer Experience (CX)
Shifting to digital commerce allows you to invest more in your customers. You can reach them as individuals on their preferred platforms, with the specific messaging they enjoy, and even have them introduce your products to new potential customers. And when you’re using effective data tools with ecommerce and mcommerce, your customer engagement is improving moment by moment.
All together this is a customer-centric approach. And that's what today's customers are looking for in any climate, regardless of pandemic. Customer Experience (CX) is the key to conversion, especially with repeat business. We'll focus more on this in the next installment of the series.
In the meantime, you can explore data-driven marketing with RevTrax. Our team is always happy to discuss solutions.