"The journey isn't linear," publication The Drumdeclares in an article that discusses shopping habits and the ways that the retail industry is succeeding in addressing the buyer's journey. The extensive data mining project by Google Analyticsdrives home the fact that the rise of the internet and the eCommerce market has created new and complex customer experiences.
The challenge for today's marketers, however, is balancing manpower and resources in order to promote their products across multiple selling channels. According to a blog post published on The Huffington Post: "With each choice comes a certain amount of risk as marketers choosing to put a heavy investment in one channel may miss the untapped potential of another."
Here are some scenarios that still pose significant challenges and may be overlooked in the current retail environment.
Interested, But Not Committed
Many shoppers enter the buyer's journey with only a tentative idea of what they're looking for. They may decide that the changing of the seasons requires them to get a new coat, or they may need an interesting but affordable present for someone's birthday. The first intentional action performed by a customer is usually using a search engine to look for available vendors.
Last year's holiday shopping statistics show that a growing number of shoppers perform their product searches through their mobile and tablet devices. If your eCommerce site does not translate well into smaller screens, you may be losing your first and only contact with a potential customer. It is also crucial that your site's speed is optimized for mobile, since customers also leave a site if they feel that the loading speed is too slow.
Connected Business eCommerce builds beautiful web stores that can be optimized for targeted search engine visibility and can translate beautifully in different screen sizes, making your products more accessible to a wide segment of the populace. The need for a mobile-adaptive web store becomes even more crucial as Google's recent updates on their search algorithms are rewarding mobile-friendly sites and penalizing those that aren't. The SEO-friendly and mobile-friendly sites powered by Connected Business eCommerce anticipate this growing trend towards more mobile shopping practices.
You can also improve you brand's reach by taking advantage of the comprehensive Business Intelligencesolutions in Connected Business. By collating and analyzing rich data from you eCommerce transactions, you can pinpoint which products are highly attractive to shoppers. You can also use the data to hone your advertising and site optimization strategies, making the most out of your marketing investments.
The Best Value
Aside from the products' design, customers consider a number of variables when choosing which products to buy, as well as the store from which to buy them. These variables may include pricing, shipping options, payment method options and more. An additional value proposition that is unique to your company may become the deciding factor for a sale. To appeal to a market segment that is looking for more a better deal, it is essential to remove various points of friction in the selling process.
The Connected Business eCommerce system requires minimal setup for the first purchase, which makes it more attractive for discerning shoppers who want to try out your products. A dynamic brand that can quickly put their brand out there stands a great chance of establishing an early foothold in the market. Having your company associated with fast, seamless service can go a long way in attractive more shoppers.
Among other highly customizable features, Connected Business makes it easy to offer various payment or shipping procedures. By meeting anticipating customers' needs you add value to the sales experience that can help you stand out in the highly competitive world of retail.
The current retail ecosystem has moved on from the traditional model of the purchase funnel, where the customer's journey through the retail process often ends at the checkout. Consumers want to feel an affiliation to the brands that they support. This means a substantial follow-through after the purchase, which may include efforts such as strategic newsletters and loyalty campaigns.
An article about post-purchase loyalty published by Hanover Research supports this assertion:
"The reward psychology [...] points to a deep desire among consumers for a loyalty program that offers them a personal connection to the lifestyle associated with their purchases."
Rather than bet on pricey one-time marketing pushes, it may be more cost-effective to offer loyalty programs and make sure that your current market base is happy with your service. The fully integrated CRM included in Connected Business can help you maintain ongoing and positive relationships with your most loyal customers. The loyalty point program available in Connected Business, adds great value to your business proposition, encouraging long-term relationships and cementing positive associations with your brand.
As the retail landscape continues to evolve, the challenge falls on retailers to make sure that customers are not underserved and left frustrated. Regular strategic planning, data analysis and constant innovation are necessary to rise to the top in a highly competitive environment. Connected Business offers business solutions that anticipate a wide range of buyer's journeys and scenarios. Request a free demo today.