Your customers are motivated by more than just price. When they buy something from your company, they have already considered the ease of the process, the quality of the items, and the overall customer experience that comes with making a purchase. Even if you have the best prices in town, you can lose business if customers are pushed away from your brand.
Experiential marketing is on the rise across the retail industry, including eCommerce. Brands that fail to create a quality buying experience and cohesive brand will watch their customers trickle away to their competitors. Check out some of the latest data on online experiential marketing and how it affects your brand.
More People Value Experiences in Their Daily Lives
The rise of the millennial shopper has affected most industries, but the retail industry, in particular, has been forced to evolve. Younger shoppers overwhelmingly prefer to spend their money on experiences, which worries both eCommerce brands and brick and mortar store owners alike.
More than 70% of millennials say they wish they could spend more money on experiences, and 78% say they would choose to spend money on an experience rather than buying something desirable. On the whole, consumer spending on experiences and events has increased 70% since 1987, as shoppers of all ages leave the stores in favor of concerts, trips, and activities.
The modern shopper is experience-focused, which means eCommerce brands need to create an experience in their buying process or focus on how their items can be an asset to the activities that millennials choose.
What Online Brand Experience Do You Currently Offer?
From the second your website visitors land on your page, they review and consider your customer experience. If your website is confusing or your brand is vague, they won’t trust your products or trust your company to deliver their orders accurately and in a timely manner.
The team at Corra surveyed customers to learn what drove them away from websites and created negative customer experiences. More than 40 percent of customers said their biggest pet peeve is a poorly-designed menu without clear subcategories and navigation. This was followed by an ineffective on-site search experience and product information hidden behind too much branding.
A poorly-designed eCommerce site creates a bad experience but also tells a story about your business. Customers pick up on your problems and start to think your brand isn’t professional, or can’t afford a better website. This story can be enough to convince customers not to buy from you and choose products from a brand with a better reputation instead.
Knowing how your customers shop and creating a website that draws them in can create a positive experience that convinces them to convert and tell their friends.
Develop A Customer Experience Team
Ecommerce companies that focus on the customer experiences can see significant increases in revenue and website performance despite the struggling nature of retail. On average, companies that focus on the customer experience saw 17% revenue growth within five years compared to 3% for companies with poor customer experience departments.
Your customer experience team will look different depending on your company and its operating process. You might hire people specifically to focus on the customer experience and help your web design and marketing staff better do their work. Alternatively, you might train your existing staff on experiential marketing so everyone becomes responsible for the customer experience.
Either way, you need to focus on how your customers engage with your brand and website online — and how you can make that engagement easier.
How Can You Improve Your eCommerce Customer Experience?
Trying to figure out how you can promote your eCommerce items in an increasingly experiential world can get overwhelming. However, some retailers are up to the challenge. We’re already seeing shifts in our industry as a whole as companies move to change the customer buying process. The experts at Digital Marketing Magazine highlighted a few ways marketers can test experiential messaging and improve their online processes.
- Focus on content and product stories: from Instagram stories with brand ambassadors to blog posts about your product sourcing, you can make buying your products part of a movement, lifestyle, or ethical choice.
- Target emotional reactions and personal connections: humans as a whole are emotional creatures. Tapping into their personal needs and emotions can increase interest in your brand.
- Create personalized messaging and product recommendations: one-size-fits-all marketing is gone. Customers want to feel like their choices are unique, and will tune our mass messaging that’s not relevant to them.
- Invest in visual assets that can be used across the brand journey: images tell stories, are highly emotional, and inform your customers. Investing in brand-focused photos and videos can help you convey your messaging in a unique and engaging way.
These four steps can give you an idea for creating experiential campaigns for your buyers. From moving customers through a unique journey and sharing details, images, and stories with them, you can create an effective eCommerce experience.
Brands Need a Customer First Mentality
If eCommerce brands are going to be effective in 2018 and beyond, they need to develop a Customer First strategy. This is the process of considering the customer’s needs above all else and taking steps to cater to them.
One brick and mortar example is the return process in some stores like Kohls or Walmart. These retailers used to put the returns department in the back of the store, thinking it was more likely that customers would buy something if they walked past products instead of returning items at the front. However, this move was frustrating for customers who realized they couldn’t return items at the front and then needed to go all the way back.
This example can apply online as well. If you charge shipping costs on returns or make it difficult for customers to send your items back, then you’re creating a bad experience for your brand and driving customers away. You might save money in the short term, but you will lose customers in the long run.
If you’re ready to take your eCommerce to the next level, contact Trinity Insight. We are a development partner of Shopify and Shopify Plus and specialize in creating effective digital marketing strategies for online retailers. We can help you improve your online customer experience.