Customer engagement – Channel Hopping: Delivering the right data to the right customer.

How can modern day retailers gain market share in ecommerce and maintain customers’ loyalty across all their sales channels? Best practices from European retailers show that omnichannel strategies depend on the findability of product data.

The most successful retailers are implementing omnichannel strategies in order to increase their customer loyalty online and offline and to make their business models sustainable. Customers expect to have their buying desires fulfilled at any time. This is a shopping behaviour that tends to start with a search for a product, whether that is via a smartphone during a TV ad break, or at information terminals in bricks and mortar stores.

All data at the right time to the right customers.

Customers take for granted that “channel-hopping” works without a hitch. Retailers, however, face a technical challenge: from various source systems, the entire range on offer – quantities, availabilities, daily campaigns – must be collected in a central platform and made digitally accessible. Only if all of this works investment in product data will elicit a rapid ROI. Thus, delivering content is just as important as creating it in the first place. 

Most retailers know all too well about full project pipelines. This is also true of the complex planning associated with long-term projects. However, it can sometimes be smaller measures that are easy to implement and can be very effective. Channel engagement doesn’t have to be complex, sometimes we just need to rely on human instinct and good old fashioned common sense with a dash AI and automation to find the formula that works. 

Ignite emotions – this is the formula to success which enables online shops to draw customers’ attention and boost conversion. Before customers buy a product, they want to be inspired, wooed and amazed.

It’s a well-known fact that more than half of the shop visitors perceive a significant added value through customised and emotionalised product presentation. Merchandising campaigns offer a full range of possibilities to stimulate visitors’ emotions and to differentiate from competitors and in this day and age there are plenty of technology solutions that can help speed up and automate the process.

With the right technical requirements, you can easily create compelling brand experiences, theme worlds or landing pages. This does not only increase the time customers spend in your shop, it is also proven that it motivates to pursue a purchase. The innovative search and merchandising functions of search solutions like Shopbox.ai or  Luigi’s Box support you further with this, don’t be afraid to experiment and remember the ABC – Always Be Comparing!

Engagement tips
  1. Theme worlds create strong visual incentives to buy – not only for the searched product but also products of higher value or from a completely different category. For example, bikinis and sunglasses are usually found within the categories “sportswear” and “accessories”. Bundled under the theme world “Sun & Beach” they can generate valuable additional sales.
  2. A good sales person determines the success of a brick and mortar store. A good CRO/CMS or personalised search solution brings the merchandising expertise of a real sales person straight into the digital world of ecommerce. The benefit: the electronic assistants sell a lot and cost next to nothing.
  3. Think about advisory campaigns. This is when the exact questions (online) are being asked that a normal sales person in a bricks and mortar would address – for example personal preferences and requirements or the preferred area of usage. Based on the given answers, the advisory campaign displays further questions and finally selects the suitable shop items. Mostly this comprises a neat selection that supports your customer in finding the right product without much effort.

 

Unlike any other tool in the ecommerce sector, advisory campaigns are able to address customers directly and convey a feeling of comfort in their decision to purchase. This represents an indisputably strong argument for every online shop that offers this extra service. When deployed successfully these can be very productive in reducing returns and leading to an improved UX.

Channel engagement is a revolving door, it can feel like you are going round in circles BUT it’s a vital component that still baffles even the biggest brands so don’t expect to solve this overnight, it’s an ongoing and everlasting conundrum. Gone are the days of monolithic and clunky technology that takes months to implement, we live in a world of fast paced product development, meaning more choice and competition that ultimately plays into the hands of the retailer. Be sure to play the market and keep an open mind if looking at technology to support your channel engagement, evaluate several options if needs be until you find the right solution for your brand.

Take time to evaluate what’s achievable, don’t overstretch and under deliver, instead engage with your digital/development agency and work together on how best to deliver a unified CX across all channels.

No time like the present, best get moving!!

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