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marketingcloud

SHOP WINDOWS AND HOMEPAGES

If you were to walk by a shop on your morning commute every day, and the display window looked exactly the same for a month, you’d start to form an opinion that there were no new products, no special offers, and no reason to head in outside of necessity.

Companies employ Visual Merchandisers for a reason, they help entice you into the shops with creative and elaborate displays that capture the attention of passers-by enticing them in. That approach has to be the same for your website!

Managing a homepage needs to be the perfect execution of strategy and technology. In this instance, one informs the other and will help determine how you can keep the homepage refreshed and interesting.

Out of the Box features
Depending on your current tech, there are a number of out of the box features that you can switch on, that will work to refresh your homepage –

  • Magento: Take advantage of customer segmentation that serves different products/carousels based on known customer behaviour
  • Drupal: Personalise the experience for returning customers
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Utilise Predictive Intelligence to help make product recommendations using AI

For each of the above examples, you can dedicate retail space on your homepage, allowing the platforms to adjust and recommend products on your behalf. Customer trends and behaviours change, so having recommendations based on the “wisdom of the crowd” is a great way to provide relevant content in a timely manner.

Plugins
Tools like Visual Website Optimiser, Optimizely and Hotjar provide you with the means to A/B test your website. You can interrogate customer behaviour and build up a picture of what expressions, content, and colours are increasing presonses to CTAs or increasing basket sizes.

Strategy
With strategy, you need to have a good understanding of your current limitations and look at ways to keep the homepage looking regularly updates. The use of a Content Calendar is an excellent way of managing key elements of the page ensuring that you are regularly reviewing what is live and what can be updated. Running regular campaigns that are communicated through carousels or other means, ensure that the homepage doesn’t remain “static” for too long.

We firmly believe that a homepage’s content should evolve and update on a regular basis. There is no point providing an excellent offline experience and then having a website that doesn’t mirror that commitment. If you need support with either Strategy or Technology, reach out on the form below.

GOLDEN RECORDS LEAD TO GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

Consumers today expect personalised customer service. Not choosing to focus on this experience will cost you customers and revenue as a result. Creating this experience can sometimes be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the work required to clean your data.

Multichannel customer service points means that customers may communicate with your business in a variety of ways. This can be online or offline and include instore, social media, live chat, email, telephone and more. So aggregating all this data into a single view of a customer is one of the most crucial tasks that retailers need to undertake.

A single view of customer, or a “Golden Record”, means having all information known about a single customer in one place that all customer service teams can access. This then makes it easier to personalise information to that customer, whether for marketing purposes, answering enquiries or dealing with a complaint.

Other benefits that come from being able to collect, aggregate and analyse data and provide better customer service includes more loyal customers, higher conversion rates, greater longevity of that customer and even word-of-mouth referrals.

Cleaning your data
There’s a challenge with collecting all this data and creating a personalised experience, and that’s marketing from a database with dirty data. Examples include data that contains errors, is misleading, incorrect, duplicated, incomplete, non-integrated, violates business rules or is out of date.

Dirty data can have a number of negative impacts on your eCommerce business. Incorrect or outdated information can lead to wasted marketing efforts and lost revenue. It makes it much harder to successfully target the right customers with the right information, wasting company resources and potentially alienating the very customers for which you are trying to create a personalised experience for.

There are a variety of approaches you can take to clean up data and the difference between it mostly being automated to being cleaned manually is dependant on how you currently store that information. Talk to us to find out which is the best strategy for your circumstances.

How can you keep data updated?
A typical strategy is incentivising your customer to come back to your website, or in store, and refresh/update their information – working with your store staff to check this each time can really help improve data quality – but give them a reason to do so.

For example, if they are active on social media and use this as a means of accessing your site, you can target them through various social platforms. Offer discounts, rewards, and serve up relevant content that will encourage them to return and keep updating their personal information. This will not only ensure your data is up to date, but it gives your business the chance to create long-term customer relationships with clients who trust you to deliver what they need.

Another approach is offering them the ability to keep key information updated, in Salesforce Marketing Cloud for example you can provide them with access to a Profile/Preference Centre which allows the user to manually refresh their information. In Magento for example, providing signed in account users with prompts to check their data is another effective approach.

Explain your use of their data
It is important to be clear with customers and let them know how you will be using their data. This can give them peace of mind, and they will be more willing to share their information.

Customers these days don’t like being sold to. They want to enjoy an experience. Not knowing your customer intimately will mean you risk losing them. By explaining how you intend to provide them with timely, relevant advertising, can be critical in turning a golden record into a golden opportunity.

If you would like to discuss strategies in creating a Single View of Customer records or other data issues with The Playhouse Team, you can contact us on the form below, or via email or on Facebook, or on Twitter, or on LinkedIn. You get the idea!

OMNICHANNEL RETAIL INDEX 2017 REVIEW: PART 3 – CUSTOMER SERVICE AND LOYALTY

With the costs often involved in gaining a new customer, it has become increasingly important to online businesses to ensure that retention is front and centre. After all, it costs more to get a new customer than it does to retain one.

Email Marketing Still Has Prime Place
It might surprise you to learn that email marketing is still considered by top global retailers as a key tactic. With the undisputed rise in numbers of people who read their emails from their mobile devices, the optimisation of emails for mobile has been successfully adopted by 98% of brands and retailers in the Index.

In order to attain success with email marketing, it is of paramount importance to make sure email addresses are collected at each and every possible point in the consumer buying process. The core opportunities to grow this list are below:

  • Email Sign-Up in the Site Header
  • Sign-Up Pop-Up Banner
  • Incentive Online to Sign-Up
  • Email Sign-Up in the Site Footer
  • Email Sign-Up instore
  • Email Store Receipts
  • Instore Incentive for Email Sign-Up

Enhancing the Customer Experience
When you collect data about your customers, you can use this to enhance the personalisation of the experience they get when visiting your online store. Smart Retailers are capturing specific information such as sizing, style, and colour preferences which allows them to serve-up personalised communications to their customers while driving sales and engagements.

Loyalty Programs Lacking
The importance of a proving a seamless customer loyalty experience should not be underestimated. One of the areas that many retailers are currently falling short on at present is exactly this. Whether on the web, mobile or instore, loyalty programs need to be highlighted and customers should be either reminded or prompted of the benefits of the program. Simply asking “do you want to sign up?” without an explanation, isn’t sufficient.

67% of businesses within the index offer an online loyalty program. However, only 30% of these retailers of an incentive for customers to sign-up. If a company is taking the time and making the investment into any type of loyalty program, these efforts need to be driven across all channels in order to raise awareness, drive sign-ups, and encourage participation.

An intuitive way to do this, and to enhance the online presence of a business, is to reward customers for sharing their opinions or experiences of your products via social media.

Customer Service and Support
Almost 80% of customers agree that a poor customer experience would result in them ceasing to do business with a retailer and seeking out alternative options. In fact, 70% indicate they are prepared to pay more to a company with a better customer service rating.

Customers expect to be able to choose how they can contact you. Simply having an email is no longer acceptable and may result in lost sales, and unhappy customers. The below channels are accepted as the most important to offer to clients.

  • Live Chat
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Secure Message
  • Phone

By offering multiple communication channels, customers feel reassured that should something go wrong, they can contact you easily to resolve matters. While 90% of retailers offer at least two methods of communication. However, only 1/3rd of these businesses make their contact details clearly visible in a site header.

Key opportunities that have been missed by many are the inclusion of contact details on product pages, checkout pages, and within pop-up banners

Live Chat is the most sought-after feature and shoppers agree that being able to get an instant response to their question elevates their customer experience and helps them to make a purchase quicker. Chat Bots are the latest innovation and harness the power of AI to deliver automated and intelligent responses to frequently asked questions by consumers.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

Automation is your extra team member

There isn’t a business going that wouldn’t benefit from a resource that works 24/7, who constantly kicks goals and ensures consistency of performance. In the real world (until robots take over) this isn’t an option.

That being said, Magento, Drupal and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (to name a few) all provide the end user with a variety of tools to create “set and forget” campaigns, marketing updates, and product changes, which is as close as you can come to a 24/7 worker.

Critical to benefitting from these platforms, is having a solid digital strategy in place which allows you to leverage the tech and free up resource to concentrate on other areas.
As retailers, we all understand our strengths and weaknesses, we know what works and what can be improved. Documenting the above is an important step to improving the day-to-day and can unlock further opportunities. Focusing on weaknesses alone, can miss situations where a business strength can be further enhanced.

One of our favourite examples of automation, can be found in Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder. Creating onboarding email journeys for customers, that aren’t reliant on anything other the initial setup, can be have a big impact on retention and customer satisfaction.

The strategy here is to serve the customer information that is relevant to them and at a time where they are most engaged. Trying to run an email campaign live, without the benefits of automation, isn’t going to offer the same level of success.

Another example of automation that should be considered by all retailers, is abandoned carts. More than 65% of shopping carts get abandoned. In 2015 alone, the estimated overall value of those abandoned sales totalled $5 trillion. By having the correct strategy, and technical implementation, retailers can start to close the gap and reduce the financial impact.

We’ve touched on the importance of automation previously when discussing the last mile and integration and having a small team shouldn’t be a hindrance. Adopting automation where possible will provide the following benefits –

  • Increase productivity
  • Improve your Customer Services provision
  • Reduce time wasting
  • Deliver a controlled message to your audience
  • Maximise your revenue potential
  • Help you to scale and ultimately grow your business

If you’re struggling to constantly produce quality work against the clock, reach out and let’s discuss how we can get your technology working harder for you.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximize the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercializes the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

3D MAPPING AND AI: TECHNOLOGY AND FASHION

Online shopping is quick, easy and efficient. As the use of technology matures in the market, you are able to receive your purchases quicker than ever, and the ability to return an unwanted item is seamless. However, that experience is lacking when compared to directly walking in store, choosing your outfit and trying it on for the first time. It does ask the question, does the current online experience lead to more items being returned than traditional means? What can be done to help reduce the gap?

Putting the item on in person can make a world of difference in your purchasing decision. And that’s where online clothes shopping falls short. It can’t provide the visual and experiential assurance that conventional store shopping can and that’s why even in this current technology boom many people, especially when shopping for high end products, remain skeptical and tend to favour traditional shopping.

Bridging the gap between online and offline clothes shopping is underway, and the difference is getting smaller and smaller. With recent advancements in AI, reduction in technology costs, and an improvement in rollout of 3D mapping, virtual, and augmented reality, fashion designers and dress companies can now offer visual and experiential contentment to their customers when they order their products online.

3D mapping is a technology that can replicate any three dimensional object by bouncing infrared light off and beneath the surface, measuring perceptible depth. In the context of online shopping, this helps in recreating a life size digital avatar of a potential customer which then can be used to determine if a particular dress is a good fit and whether it looks right on that specific body type. This way a potential customer knows the dress goes well with their figure and if there’s any need for alteration without ever going to the store.

Eliminating doubt and scepticism from online shopping experience is a major breakthrough for eCommerce and it’s not surprising that according to a Goldman Sachs Virtual & Augmented Reality Report, visual experiences industry is going to grow beyond $100 billion by 2025. Apart from application of visualisation technologies in online dress shopping, it’s also being used by major fashion brands to give their walk-in customers interactive experience. Fashion mogul, Tommy Hilfiger now provides 360 degree virtual experience of seasonal fashion shows in their brick and mortar stores.

Aforementioned experiences are complemented by artificial intelligence that learns from your shopping habits and patterns using the data to make useful suggestions and recommendations. It’s also the force behind visual technologies that takes crucial data points, processes them and gives out precise results factoring in meta-information and other variables.

With recent developments in 3D mapping, artificial intelligence and visual technologies, the gap between retail outlet and online shopping is narrowing and soon there’ll be a time when a fashion brand or a clothing line not offering these features will be facing a serious competitive disadvantage.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

OMNICHANNEL RETAIL INDEX 2017 REVIEW: PART 2 – MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

With so much focus on the online market, there is a strong requirement to make sure that in store experiences are optimised to deliver a heightened experience to consumers. Digital tools have developed those experiences significantly and have helped to better serve those customers who shift between shopping online and in store. There are still many missed opportunities that retailers can capitalise on to further enhance their offerings.

Access to Information
Store personnel are still a focal point and key to delivering an exceptional in store encounter. Giving store associates access to key information is one of the many ways that retailers can help them do this. By giving consumers key information about products they want and telling them where they can locate items which are out of stock provides a far better experience and it helps with the overall revenue for the business, Vs. that of the individual store.

Access to Company Tablets or Mobile Devices
Only 15% of retailers are equipping their in store personnel with mobile devices to help them better serve their customers needs. Being able to engage with the consumer when they are present in store helps to close sales more quickly and facilitates cross-store selling. Without a device to hand, the value of those engagements is diluted. Mobile POS does come at a cost; however, it is proven to deliver value to the business and the consumer.

Capturing Key Customer Information
Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power. The bare minimum of data collection should entail the ability for a store associate to collect an email address for remarketing purposes. As of 2017, there were only 31% of in-store personnel asking for this information when interacting with customers. Loyalty and reward program sign-up requests have been adopted by almost half of the retailers, and 1/3 of these sign-ups were given an incentive for in-store signup.

Buy in store – Ship Anywhere/Collect Elsewhere
Almost half of the retailers now offer the ability to consumers to make a purchase in store and to have that product shipped to a location of their choosing. A similar figure can be seen for the buy in store, collect in another store functionality.

In store Signage
Interestingly, only 40% of retailers use printed and digital media to promote a website, social, or mobile application channel. Leaving a huge number of retailers missing out on key exposure opportunities for these other sales channels. Other visual aids of a digital nature such as digital help desks and kiosks have only been adopted by 13% of retailers, despite many consumers indicating they find these tools useful and vital for adding value tot heir overall shopping experience.

Free In store Wi-Fi
Only 26% of retailers actively offer this service to their shoppers. Of course, there are concerns from retailers that shoppers might use their Wi-Fi to locate cheaper or better-reviewed products with other retailers. Consumer behaviour dictates that shoppers are always going to use their phones for reviews to help guide their purchasing, and with almost 50% of consumers recognising that Free Wi-Fi can hugely improve their in-store shopping experience, there is a huge gap between that figure and the number of retailers offering this service.

Mobile Apps
Almost 75% of retailers offer or plan to offer a mobile app. However, there are many features that can truly drive purchases in store which are yet to be utilised. Some of the key features are:

  • Push Notifications
  • In store Incentive to Download the App
  • Self-Checkout Feature
  • Apps to Scan Products

So, if you want to know how to get ahead and capitalise on this information, try introducing any of these seven points to help optimise your in-store retail experience in 2018.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

USING PERSONALISATION TO RETAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS

Knowing your Customers is absolutely fundamental if you want to understand the right way to talk to them, and what to talk to them about. Flooding your customers with useless information can be a real turn-off when it comes to marketing; sending the wrong messages at the wrong time can result in losing their trust, interest, and ultimately losing their business.

In this post, we talk about the best way to provide an end-to-end marketing solution that will heighten your customer experience and help you to deliver a more relevant and personalised approach to customer communications.

What is Dynamic Content?
This is a type of content that adapts depending on their access time, personal preferences, and their individual information. Some of the most powerful content is that which is tailored to the individual.

Three of the biggest benefits of dynamic content are listed below:

  • Seamless – The user will be able to receive the dynamic content in such a way that goes completely unnoticed.
  • Interactive – It increases the interactions between the site and the customer.
  • Personalisation – Content can be tailored to the individual based on their previous visit to the website or specific request.

Does Dynamic Content Work?
For Dynamic Content to be effective, is to ensure that it is relevant. Whether we are looking at email marketing or content that is hosted on your website, there is no doubt whatsoever that the more personalised it is, the better results it yields.

According to Jupiter Research, personalised content that is relevant to the recipient is almost 20 times more likely to generate revenue compared to generic non-personalised content. Wow!
Another important point is about nurturing your leads. If you nurture your leads or customers with relevant content, then you can expect to see a 20% increase in revenue as a result of that activity.

How to be relevant comes with having customer data, and using that information in the right way, to result in delivering content that is appropriate to the customer, at the right time, in the right way.

Dynamic Content Suggestions
Ok, so now that we have outlined what dynamic content is and how it can help your business, here are some ways you can start to implement this with your marketing.

Dynamic Content ultimately needs to be intentional, targeted and purposeful. If you would like a few tips on where to start and how to start implementing dynamic content into your end-to-end marketing, then please read on!

Tailor Your Content to The Relevant Stage in The Buying Cycle
The lifecycle of a lead essentially refers to what point in the decision-making process a customer or prospect is at. Are they at a point where they are ready to buy a product or is this their first time visiting your store?

Having this information and tailoring your content to suit the precise point of the buying cycle they are at can help you to avoid over-selling or missing out on an opportunity to position your product to sell. There is a range of dynamic content tools we can help you with, which allow you to get the right information that will help you tailor email marketing or website content to your customers.

Eradicate Repetition
If someone has already downloaded a resource or a particular offer, then repeating that content will serve no purpose whatsoever. You can use specific tools that work to remove repetitive content and prevent it being shown to your customers. This helps to make their visit more purposeful as you can serve them with a fresh offer or new information that could help to increase your conversions and sales overall.

Looking After Loyal Customers
If a customer has already been captured as a lead, hiding content behind a form can be a real sticking point. Why would you make them fill in their details again and again to access content on your site?

You can harness the power of dynamic content to ensure that those customers are recognised and give them a better experience by never asking them to continually enter their personal information to your site. It also helps with the problem of creating duplicated leads in your system.

Relevant Customer Sector or Segment
It is perfectly normal that any company will have a number of different customer personas or target sectors that they frequently deal with. By using dynamic content, you can adapt the content and its relevance to the different sectors that you typically deal with. This gives your target audience a completely tailored experience that really delivers content that is personalised for their needs. You can even serve up images that relate to their specific sector, making them feel like your product was specifically designed for their individual needs.

Pet peeves of mine are when I see retailers not using the customer data a customer has shared to personalise the customer experience. If the customer has setup an online account with a saved shipping address, then use the post code to only show Stores which are nearby. If a customer has subscribed, then don’t use valuable homepage real estate for an email subscription block. Competition is fierce and these touches of personalisation add up to a great customer experience and a retained customer base. (Luke H , Online Strategy Consultant)

Dynamic Content using information that is collected about your visitors helps you to deliver a better customer experience by serving up content which is tailored to their specific needs. When a customer feels important, when they are giving information that speaks to their individual pain points, it will result in more sales and an overall improvement in your customer’s experience.

Need help with platform selection to deliver on a personalisation? Contact our team via our contact form below.