How to Engage with Customers in Retail
Being able to engage with customers in a retail environment is seen as a talent. Either you've got it or you don't. But for most retailers (especially those who run their businesses online), engaging with or creating messaging that engages with customers isn't so cut and dry. So, how do you successfully engage with customers in retail?
For retailers with brick and mortar stores, the answer lies in a combination of personable, in-store experiences and cross-channel marketing. For online retailers, cross-channel marketing is one of the only ways to stay engaging and remain relevant in your space.
Cross-Channel Marketing: The Key to Customer Engagement
In today's technology-driven society, shoppers have access to brands 24/7, from websites to mobile apps to storefronts. The key to successful customer engagement is an in-depth understanding of context as well as what channels best fit that context.
For example: When a shopper is browsing the aisles of your retail store, he or she might also be on a mobile device reading reviews or searching for lower prices. While a shopper is browsing your online site, the individual might receive an email from a competitor that captures his or her attention.
If you're not making sure your readers are engaged, your business won't be memorable, and the likelihood that they will return to you and make purchases will start to dwindle.
Engaging with customers in retail stores is all about building loyalty, and you can't do that unless you share a little bit of yourself. You'll want to personalize the shopping experience for your customers as much as you can and make them feel welcome, but you should also give your customers a chance to get to know you and your employees.
Engaging customers online is similar to engaging customers in-store. You have to create personal and memorable experiences! A few ways to do this are with good design, an easy-to-use interface, and through the use of outstanding promotional activities.
Consumer-First Marketing: The Importance of Contextual Data
Successful marketers use contextual data to ensure successful campaigns—which allows them to gain trust by focusing on consumers' needs.
Example: With 12 different hotel brands, it's important for IHG to communicate to each customer on a 1-to-1 level based on location, hotel preference, travel history, points-level, travel preferences, website searches, and more. They take relevance to a whole new level by leveraging real-time data to refresh the content of emails every time they are opened—even down to the weather forecast. IHG delivers value in every communication, which has led to a 68% open rate for these messages.
The use of data is immensely important for retail campaigns. Holding consumer preferences in high regard is essential for Consumer-First Marketing, which inverts the traditional approach to marketing. Instead of beginning with the product, marketers should focus on the needs of the consumers in ways that are meaningful and relevant.
For an example of how to implement contextual data into a consumer-first strategy, look to Fab, an online retailer, and how consumer data customized their email sends. Fab automatically opts customers out of email programs that they never read. This not only demonstrates integrity and respect for the customer, but it also helps Fab better understand what the consumer values. When individuals are given the opportunity to re-subscribe to the program or alter their preferences for other messages and opportunities, they are in control—which is important for Consumer-First marketing.
Long-Term Loyalty over Short-Term Goals
Retail campaigns need to implement past purchase behavior and data to engage customers both in retail stores and online. Understanding customer data, particularly past purchase behavior data, can help retailers engage the user. Companies see greater overall returns over time when they prioritize long-term customer loyalty over short-term sales goals.
Engage Your Customers with Selligent
Whether your business is solely brick and mortar, solely online, or a combination of both, you can use cross-channel marketing to provide personalized, memorable experiences. Selligent is an omnichannel engagement platform that makes Consumer-First Marketing a priority.
The following case studies demonstrate how various retailers used Selligent to succeed in customer engagement:
- Kruidvat's—a Dutch retail, pharmacy, and drugstore chain—uses Selligent to automate its cross-channel customer loyalty program, driving conversion rates and more than 2 million website visits monthly.
- SECRETSALES—a members-only UK online retailer—uses Selligent's cross-channel data and dynamic content execution capabilities to send relevant and personalized messages to customers and potential customers.
- Joss & Main—a flash-sale site Wayfair operates—uses Selligent to consistently provide millions of personalized sales event messages, driving the company's success.
- FootSmart—an online retailer of foot healthcare products, used Selligent to revitalize its triggered email marketing program, resulting in $750,000 in additional revenue from targeted cross- and upsell offers.
- ASDA—Britain's leading retailer—reached over 6 million customers and drove record engagement in an omnichannel campaign that used location data to personalize in-store and online offers.
Selligent also provides marketers with other tools, such as customer profile creation, behavioral retargeting, and reporting. Let us help you choose the channel that best fits your needs for individual campaigns. Selligent is the best solution at execution and engagement within each individual channel. Contact us today to learn more.