As consumers continue to adopt new digital devices and emerging social networks, the customer journey simultaneously becomes more complex. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that online retailers maintain a connection to their customers at every touch point to drive conversions, boost brand loyalty and increase revenue. Consumers are attracted to brands that consistently meet their purchase and customer support needs.
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52 percent of millennials said their first impression of a brand is digital, and 33 percent of consumers are first introduced to a brand through their smartphone, according to a recent survey. In response, online retailers need to develop strong digital marketing strategies by determining the right distribution channels to reach target audiences, personalizing customer experiences, maintaining a consistent brand style and voice, and integrating 24/7 support.
As an initial approach to strategic channel distribution, start by monitoring competitor content across online platforms and social media channels to understand how your customers want to interact digitally.
- Are they interested in hearing about discounts and promotions?
- Are they shopping for products with the intention to buy online or in-stores?
- Are they seeking community feedback or other followers’ advice before making a decision?
- Are they reaching out via social media with customer service issues?
The distribution strategy should align with the channel audience in a way that feels authentic for customers to engage with the brand digitally.
Once the distribution channel is matched with the right audience targets, the next step is creating channel- appropriate content to personalize customer experiences and drive meaningful engagement. Retail brands need to create emotional connections around content-rich experiences across online and offline touchpoints.
Personalized digital content offers a unique, authentic customer experiences that build trust and strikes the ideal balance between transaction and emotion. It’s also important to interact with online audiences after the initial point of digital engagement to continue building the relationship with the brand.
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Proactively engaging with online audiences is crucial for establishing trust and meeting customer needs. By sharing special promotions, offering helpful feedback, responding to user comments and asking for product reviews, it makes your customers feel valued and connected to the brand.
Increased mobile connectivity and the growth of social media has created a variety of touch points across all phases of the customer lifecycle from product research to customer support. In a constantly changing digital landscape, retail brands need to be accessible to customers 24/7 in order to stay connected and maintain trust.
Some 64 percent of customers expect to receive real-time assistance regardless of the customer service channel they use, which means retailers must integrate 24/7 support strategies throughout the entire customer journey.
Brand awareness, product research, purchase consideration, conversions and post-purchase customer service are all accessible consumer touch points to increase brand visibility and boost sales providing the approach to engagement remains consistent.
Listen Up, Retailers
Retail brands must merge the digital experience with live interactions. Regardless of where you interact with you customers, creating personalized, omnichannel customer experiences is the key to building trust, fostering authentic connections, boosting loyalty and driving business revenue.