There were more than 1 billion smartphones in consumers’ pockets at the beginning of 2013, according to Forrester Research Inc.’s 2013 Mobile Trends for Marketers report in February. With the proliferation of smartphones, email will continue to become more customized to subscribers with mobile responsive email design.
Social media continues to show promise with rising stars like Path and Pinterest, while the ever-popular Facebook surpasses 1 billion users. It’s the kind of digital growth we’ve seen year after year, continuing for one reason: today’s cross-channel digital consumers demand it.
In ExactTarget’s Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013, President of Convince & Convert Jay Baer wrote, “According to research conducted by Google, in 2010, consumers needed 5.3 sources of information before making a purchase. In 2011, just one year later, they needed 10.4 sources. In just 12 months, the amount of information needed to pull the ‘buying trigger’ doubled. Why? Are we less decisive? More risk adverse? No. We need more information because we have more information.”
In other words, your customers are more connected, in more places, and in more ways than ever before. Enter cross-channel marketing. In the simplest form, cross-channel is the idea that the marketer must build marketing strategies that enable them to interact with consumers across the channels consumers use most.
At ExactTarget, we have evaluated the performance of retailers during the recent holiday season and the current spring buying season and identified two universal areas of improvement and focus: customer acquisition and cart abandonment. When building a cross-channel marketing strategy, it is important to look at three tactics of consumer buying. If planned accordingly, the following tactics will help drive these cross-channel interactions and result in more business and an increasingly loyal customer base.
Improved acquisition should be a priority this spring, and the best place to start is by analyzing where your consumers already engage with your brand. This will give you a foundation to determine how to enhance the customer experience and drive engagement.
Here are a few ways to get started:
In-Store eReceipts: Offer to send in-store receipts to consumers via email. This is a great way to provide value and convenience to your customers’ experience. It also gives marketers an opportunity to gain feedback, promote special offers, and drive web traffic. Not quite ready for digital receipts? Then focus on including a digital call-to-action on in-store receipts to encourage further interaction.
Check-Out Interaction: Develop an understanding to ensure that collecting data at check-out is right for your business (via sales clerk, SMS capture, etc). Whether collecting personal data or geographic data, be sure to use it to create more personalized and data-driven marketing. If the data isn’t used, you’re just inconveniencing your customers with a lengthier transaction process.
Promote Through Facebook: Include an email opt-in form on your Facebook Tab to encourage your social followers to subscribe for special discounts, offers and information. Follow the same principles you do for your website opt-in form.
Customer relationships are your most valuable asset. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage and build a brand experience that drives loyalty.
If you’re like most retailers, online cart abandonment is a challenge. Whether you’ve had a cart abandonment program running for years, or are just considering the idea, almost everyone can do better.
There’s no magic formula that will reengage customers once they’ve left your site, but there are three key elements that all successful abandonment campaigns possess: well-utilized data, a compelling message, and proper timing.
Here are few tips to help you get started or refine your online cart abandonment program:
Customize Your Message: Customize imagery, pricing, and supporting content to match the specific product(s) abandoned. Consider offers, information or incentives to help inform and compel buyers to act. If the product has a lengthy buying cycle, offer alternative conversion options such as low inventory alerts, price change alerts, or updated model alerts to drive continued engaged.
Never quit: Don’t stop analyzing your eCommerce data once you have a cart abandonment program running. Remember consumers don’t need to have something in their cart to be considering a purchase.
Make this shopping season one of your best by building the cross-channel engagement that today’s consumers expect. Understand how your audiences are using channels, examine what content they’re posting and sharing, and then engage with information that aids in the buying process. Don’t forget, this process isn’t static. Ensure your routinely evaluating and understanding any changes in consumer behavior.