More and more retail business is happening online. The brave new world of ‘ecommerce’ makes it incredibly easy for customers to jump onto the internet and shop to their heart’s content. It’s magic, really. We can buy an almost infinite number of products and have them delivered to our door – all from the comfort of our own phones and laptops.
But there’s a problem. As your business moves online, it can be harder and harder to create a memorable experience. An experience that keeps customers coming back. While some traditional bricks and mortar stores go to such lengths as creating their very own branded scents to increase the customer experience, online, it can feel like we’re quite limited.
But it is possible to deliver some amazing online experiences. More specifically – experiences that are extraordinarily timely and relevant to each of your customers unique interests.
With the right technology and data, you can create awesome customer journeys that impress, convert and keep people coming back to your store time and time again.
Even better – these can (and should) be automated.
Customer experience is king
Imagine you’re shopping for a car. You enter the dealership and you’re immediately greeted by a salesman. He follows you around the store as you inspect each vehicle, and watches as you pass up on one, linger at another. He assesses your tastes, and knows what you’re in the market for.
You don’t find anything that day that impresses you enough to purchase – though your visit was pleasant enough. “Maybe another day”, you smile as you leave.
Now the salesman knows you’re a qualified lead. He knows you’re ready to buy once you find the right car. He keeps you in mind. The minute a new model arrives on the floor that he knows you’d be interested in, he’s ready to give you a call.
If a new product doesn’t come in, he’ll know when to drop the price on another model just enough to pull you over the line.
More importantly, he knows you by name and he’ll keep you up to date with the business along the way. You know exactly what’s going on, and his dealership stays at the top of your mind.
That’s good customer experience.
But this level of service seems impossible without the human element. The truth is it’s far from impossible online.
So how would we go about creating our digital salesman?
In as few words as possible: by linking your ecommerce platform with your email marketing platform, you’ll be able to create incredibly intelligent automated flows that nurture your potential customers to their first sale, then keep them coming back again and again. In a nutshell, with the right software and know-how, it’s possible to create automations that match – or even outperform – sales best-practices.
Basically, you can create automations that perform the old-fashioned, best-practice sales tricks for you – all with just a little computer wizardry.
We call this ‘Lifecycle Marketing’: time-released, intelligent email ‘flows’ that work behind the scenes for you to act almost like a sales representative on your behalf.
Let’s run through a few examples.
If you were to walk into any other store, you’d probably appreciate someone offering to show you around. Online, it’s no different.
Sure, you’ve got some very well written website copy. You’ve got your branded images. Customers know what you’re about at a glance. But for those that might want a little more information before purchasing – a welcome series is the way to go.
Getting customers to subscribe with a small incentive (say, a 10% off voucher), gets your foot in the door and allows you to educate them further about your brand or product. You can nurture them towards their first purchase and they’ll be more likely to recommend your brand to their friends. Plus, you’ll have their email on file for further automations.
Abandoned cart series
Many (in fact, most) digital carts are promisingly filled, then barbarously abandoned. Luckily, if the absent customer happens to be a subscriber, there’s still hope.
One of the quickest wins any ecommerce business can implement is an effective Abandoned Cart series. It’s also one of the best ways to instantly boost your online store’s profits. By sending a gentle reminder to the customer that they’ve left without finishing their order, and restating your product benefits, often the sale can be reclaimed.
Still no response after the first gentle reminder? Again, a slight discount might help. As little as 5% off is often enough to convince most customers to convert. Let your email platform drop the price just enough to stop your customers walking out the door empty-handed. Just like any other salesperson would.
Depending on what you’re selling – a replenishment series might be a perfect way to quickly boost your ROI and increase your customer experience.
Let’s say you sell something that will eventually run out. It might be toothpaste, makeup, coffee beans, tyres – the list goes on. By determining the average lifespan of your product, then setting up an automation to remind the customer they might need to stock up again a fortnight or so before they’re likely to run out, you can help to ensure they purchase their goods again from you. This can be a fantastic way to boost your revenue.
Plus, if you’re selling something important (here’s a real life example; life-saving flea and tick prevention for your pet) then these reminders can also be extremely valuable for your customer.
Now that’s good customer service, right there. Perhaps even better than real life?
Automated email campaigns are one of the best ways to boost the customer experience of your ecommerce store. Not only do they work behind the scenes, even when the customer isn’t on your website, but they can be highly targeted to send exactly the right information at exactly the right time.
If you’re looking for ways to simultaneously boost your customer service and revenue for your online store, look no further than email automation.