The retail industry has had many challenges in the last decade with the new era of technology advancements. Just think about it. A few years ago most of us would go to the shopping mall for all of our purchases. Today, we hit up the internet and online stores from the comfort of our couch. The latest retail eCommerce trends have literally changed the face of the industry forcing retail brands to pursue online shoppers in order not to loose revenues that in many cases have surpass these brand’s offline sales.
This is why the future of retail business evolves around the ability to adapt its production processes and marketing to new technologies which are changing the customers’ shopping experience for good.
In terms of marketing, what has truly changed the business to the core is the shift between selling the product or service and selling the user experience to the customer. As good as your service or product is and as much as its quality determined a brand’s success in the years, today the customer has access to a global market where there are just as many brands selling similar products and services. So what does truly make the difference between one brand and another? It is the way brands engage with their customers using digital channels, the shopping experience the user gets while online shopping, the customer care provided in the months to come.
For those of you who believe that reputation is still more important than any other factor in defining a brand’s success, we may agree with you but just to a certain point; while digital innovations enabled all brands to reach remote audiences and use new channels of communication and marketing, it also made a brand’s reputation less of a unique selling point. After all, customers’ trust is earned by delivering what is promised and positive users unbiased reviews available online.
Today you may be considered a market leader in you niche; tomorrow? Who knows. Depends on your customers’ satisfaction when interacting with your brand online.
To make sure you are on top of your game when it comes to adapting to the latest innovations in marketing, we rounded up the 5 retail eCommerce trends that will influence your brand’s online reputation in the year to come.
The customer is everywhere
Retailers are more than aware that customers are to be found online these days; however, most underestimate the wide array of devices used by the customer when shopping or browsing for products. The customers should be targeted with content adapted for each of today’s most popular devices such as computers, mobile phones, ipads.
As much as it may sound simpler sending the same message across all channels, offline and online, the way you adapt the message to the device it is sent through will define the success of your marketing campaigns targeting your users.
Personalize how you approach customers
Customers may have one thing in common and this is a specific product they want to purchase; however, these customers are very much different in terms of their habits, life experiences, favorite colour or dish. This means that a one-fits-all content strategy will not make your customer user experience unique, resulting in less users visiting your online store and liking your brand in the first place.
When communicating with your customers, designing campaigns, pushing messages via diverse online channels, customise the content to different types of users. Your brand should have more than one voice and it should address more than one person. We’re all different. Remember that.
Put technology to work for you
You know what’s the most fun part of today’s marketing tools at your disposal to make the user experience simply beautiful? It’s images, videos, infographics, 3D showrooms, mobile apps, even virtual reality. There are so many creative ways you can communicate, connect, interact, engage with customers by using technologies which fluidly transform text, visuals, 3D images and the combination of any type of multimedia. Use it!
Connect the user experience with the product and services
As I mentioned before, it is not enough to highlight the quality of your products to increase sales. Just as you are the one selling these products online, so is doing your competition. The best way to make your brand stand out from the crowd is to present the products in a different way. Don’t just highlight the characteristics and add a simple description. Tell the user all the ways he can use the product or service. Even better, show the customer how the product works. Highlight other customers’ positive experiences with what they purchased from you (you can ask your customers to send you in feedback via social media).
Adding user generated value to a product adds value to the whole shopping experience the next customer will have with the same product. At the end of the day, this is what makes a brand’s reputation stand out.
Make your business social
Today social media is not merely a channel of communication but it works as a sales channel just as much as your website does. Sharing deals, promotions, special offers, product catalogs over your social media is key in attracting new audiences and brad fans. Moreover, social media is a direct link to your customers and a tool to collect feedback regarding your services, performance, your brand’s reputation as well as reviews to be used to your advantage when building your online presence.
Engage with your customers, join their social conversations, ask for direct feedback, reply to their questions, wishes and requests. This is the best customer care tool at your disposal.
Stay tuned for our next week’s article tackling the problem of brand’s with a damaged reputation!