A customer centric business strategy is essential to winning the hearts of your online shoppers. We live in a digital world where online shopping is the way that a lot of people prefer to shop.
Businesses (particularly throughout Covid-19) have recognised the need for a digital presence, and therefore have migrated part or all of their business sales to online. This movement is great for welcoming in new customers and spreading brand awareness. However, it means that the competition is fiercer and much larger. So, now that many businesses are fully functioning online the next hurdle they face is standing out to encourage loyalty from their customers.
Within the chaos and confusion of the last couple of years, businesses have forgotten what customers really want and need from an online store. Our best advice is to go back to basics and put the customer’s needs and wants first.
You might be thinking ‘that’s easier said than done’; if that is the case this blog covers what a customer centric model looks like and how it can be executed to achieve maximum results.
What is a customer centric approach?
A customer centric approach is what it says on the tin – putting your customers first, meaning that they are the centre of everything that you do.
This is by no means a new concept, however due to the ongoing pandemic and the advances in technology today’s online consumer is now very different so businesses must recognise this and adapt accordingly to appeal to their audiences.
Marketing Evolution suggests: “creating a customer centric business model is key to success in today’s marketplace, where organisations must stand out to inspire loyalty with their customers. Retailers acknowledge that putting the customer first is important, with 94% feeling like they’re giving a customer-obsessed marketing experience. In reality, only a mere 9% of retailers are actually succeeding in their customer centric marketing efforts”.
Whilst a lot of groundwork needs to be done around understanding what your individual customers want. Efficiency, transparency, personalisation, and measurement are four effective customer centric retail marketing efforts that can be applied to most business models.
Now things are (somewhat) becoming ‘normal’ again, we are once again pressed for time. Most people do online shopping because they want an efficient and effective service to suit and fulfil their needs as quickly as possible.
Today’s customer is becoming more and more impatient. Introducing processes and strategies that efficiently accommodate the customer’s motives is a sure-fire way to make a lasting connection. Customer checkouts that remember login and personal details are great for a successfully smooth and quick transaction. Fast and secure payment options such as Apple Pay, and PayPal speed up the transaction even more.
Memberships and loyalty programs are also great for effectively delivering a variety of discounts and other offerings to encourage repeat visits. Email marketing is a great way to create a 1-1 dialogue with your customers.
Speaking from experience, my emails are linked to my phone, so any emails I receive will notify me on my home screen. That is a perfect opportunity for businesses to reach back out to a customer offering them an exclusive code for free delivery or 20% off their next purchase. Or even just a message letting them know how much you care with integrated personalised product recommendations based on their last visit.
Transparency and trust
Building trust is easily built through good customer service. If a customer shops with you and is satisfied with the service, it is proven that they are more likely to return. Offering support through FAQs, live chat, social proof, email contact, phone calls, and other on-site content can help build a relationship and gain that customers trust.
Moreover, it is so important that brands are open and honest about what they do, what they offer, and who they are. Offering next day delivery and a maximum 2 hour response time is great if you can deliver that, but it will damage your reputation if you can not honour this.
Infact, nearly 70% of consumers say that a good reputation and customer service will encourage them to purchase a product, but they will stop buying it if they don’t trust the company behind the product.
Brand values play a big role in whether or not people will choose to shop with them. Reflecting those values into the level of service as well as their products is crucial for winning the hearts and minds of your customers.
For instance, say you are within the health and lifestyle industry and you have seen that your customers are concerned about climate change. A way that your brand could accommodate would be by choosing more environmentally friendly packaging (such as plastic free) and more sustainable materials within their products. If these methods are not doable for some brands they could opt in supporting charities that align with the values of their customers. For example, for every £20 spent £1 of that goes to X charity.
Personalisation is the holy grail of a customer centric approach. Offering content that is specifically curated for the individual allows businesses to connect better with their audiences, build new relationships, while retaining and nurturing current ones – it’s a win, win.
Marketing Evolution states: “86 percent of customers believe personalisation plays a significant role in purchasing, while 56 percent of shoppers are more likely to return to a site with personalised recommendations.”
In a previous blog I discussed how Amazon uses personalisation to win over their audiences. In particular through the use of product recommenders, which make up 35 percent of their total sales. Now smaller businesses do not necessarily need to ‘be like Amazon’ to win, but can certainly mirror their approach to ensure online growth.
By implementing an affordable and effective personalisation solution, like PureClarity, allows smaller businesses the opportunity to provide a more seamless, unique, and convenient shopping experience. And why stop at product recommenders? Live chat, personalised content, pop-ups, and targeted email campaigns can all be just as effective with the right knowledge and strategy. It is the winning recipe!
Measurement and clarity
In order to pursue a successful customer centric strategy it is important to understand your customer. What are their motivations? Their interests and values? Do they shop using a mobile device? To fully appreciate and understand these questions, it often requires a combination of personal data and aggregate data.
Marketing Evolution describes Unified Marketing Measurement (UMM) as something that helps businesses understand “a single buyer’s journey while being mindful of market trends. This allows marketers to have a much more accurate view of their customer’s values, behaviours, and expectations.”
Tracking this measurement through analytics and in-depth insights will allow brands to understand and depict what content works best for their audience, and which messages to push to ensure maximum impact.
PureClarity are experts in delivering a shopping experience centred around each individual customer. Our intelligent personalisation solution is affordable, trustworthy, and highly impactful for ecommerce growth.
We have a vast range of experience of working with online retailers, providing strategic advice and tools to overcome ecommerce challenges and drive online conversion.
We offer a range of inclusive features that support and help fulfil your ecommerce goals. For instance, use our real-time analytics to measure your customers’ activity efficiently for maximum results.