As a retailer, you must think and act according to how your customers shop. Only then you will be able to keep them engaged. We are, today, living in the “on-demand” era where consumers want, what they want, anytime, anywhere, anyhow! This expectation has given rise to what we call an Omni-channel Retail Marketing—an integration and orchestration of all the channels through which the customers can reach the business. Falling short of customer expectations in these competitive times will knock you out of the retail market ring.
Step 1: Connect to Customers’ Mobile & Social Life
For a generation that mostly uses a smartphone to shop, and is going to spend generously through online smartphone shopping, having a mobile strategy just for the sake of having it will lead to failure much before anticipated. What you have got to do is be more creative and devise unique ways of engaging your customers. How about having a “swipe & match” feature for your products? Or a set of multiple-choice questions, the answers to which will lead your customers to the products ideally suited for them? Know about voice assistants with conversational capabilities that can really offer an enhanced shopping experience to your customers!
An effective mobile strategy is incomplete without integrating social media platforms. The behavior on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. helps in gathering advanced customer information to target customers better with segmentation and personalization.
Step 2: Be Your Customers’ Personal Shopping Assistant
January is the month of highest sales since people prefer to escape the cold and spend a vacation at someplace with a warm climate. However, due to the Brexit referendum and the uncertainty shrouding over, people put their travel plans on the back burner. A travel and holiday providing company on realizing this used personalization via dynamic content in their marketing campaign and sent emails tailored to customers’ preferences. Using AI, they devised some interesting subject lines that resonated well with their audience. The result of this campaign was a record increase in sales for the year.
To the generation experiencing choice fatigue, personalization is the strategy that can work wonders, and experts believe it will work because customers support anything that eases their cognitive effort and personalization does exactly that. Emerging technologies of today, like Machine Learning and AI, Big Data & Analytics, Deep Learning, etc. have made it possible to leverage data and algorithms with human decision-making to come out with highly personalized customer experiences.
Step 3: Keep the Customers’ Data Clean & Up-to-date
Your dreams to offer personalized experiences to your customers will be quashed to the ground if you have sent a make-up recommendation to Paul, and knuckle duster endorsement to Paulina. Data is more crucial to your Omni-channel strategy than you think. Poor data quality can cost a company unimaginable losses. If the decision-makers of a company are making decisions based on inaccurate data they are liable to make errors, the extant of which will never be determined; only the damages will be estimated later. Because with the wrong input, you get the worse output.
Step 4: Make the Customers’ Online & Offline Journeys Hassle-free
The most significant concern for most of the customers today is time. How can they save enough of it? If you have both online and traditional brick-and-mortar stores, you must know how to make the two work in parallel so that your customers save time. For instance, many customers place an order and pick them up themselves rather than waiting for the delivery at home or work. Some retailers even provide several clothes and shoes to try and keep the ones you like without any obligation on how many you can keep. There is no hassle and loss of money for return shipping, and consumers can make purchases after they are delighted.
The contemporary marketplace is interconnected and necessitates Omni-channel retail strategies. You must know your audience well and have an idea about their preferences from their social media. Once you know their inclinations, you can segment them and send more personalized offers and recommendations. But make sure that the data you are using to target your customers is reliable. Try to save the customers’ time and make their purchases hassle-free by well complementing your offline and online presence. And finally, do not burden your progress with the old, tired processes when you can sprint with the 4 steps as mentioned above to transform into a formidable retailer.