In this opinion piece, Jonathan Ryan (pictured), regional manager at ANZ Infobip, discusses how important a business’ digital presence is with sales season fast approaching, and how you can maximise your sales as a result.
The goal of a digital presence is to make your business noticeable on the web, so that potential customers can find out about your products or services without having to do much searching. It’s important for companies to establish a positive reputation online because potential customers often take their first impressions from what they find in search engines like Google before even considering whether or not to make an actual purchase.
Shopping season is right around the corner, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day all on the horizon and sure to deliver a spending spree that will lead into Christmas. Black Friday stampedes still happen, but there’s been a significant shift to online shopping and click and collect brick and mortar eCommerce sites.
Here’s why your digital presence is critical in the lead up to sales season, and what communications strategies you can adopt to maximise your online sales.
Online sales and revenue growth
It’s essential to understand the trends influencing retailers and their customers to increase your online sales. According to Australia Post, 9.3 million Australian households made online purchases in the year to March 2022, with 900 million parcels delivered in the last three years. Online sales are still rising, and customers are not returning to pre-pandemic days of buying in stores.
The way people use personal devices changes the way they buy online. To minimise pain points across the purchase journey, retailers need to understand how customers make purchases and which devices they use to do this. From there, retailers can develop a plan that will increase the chances of repeat purchases. Millennials are increasingly buying products through social media platforms, and retailers should be jumping on this new opportunity. This shows that retailers in the post-pandemic world need to be where your customers are, instead of forcing them to go looking for you.
Finally, email inboxes are bursting with new offers and discounts. There’s a lot of competition, so you need to ensure you are setting yourself apart from the crowd. Providing a connected customer experience across the right channels makes customers want to engage with you.
Begin with Data
Your communication strategy has to be smart and data driven. You’re likely sitting on a mountain of customer data, so it’s time to bring that data together, study your customer’s behaviour and develop a messaging strategy that delivers results.
Where to begin? Well, you need to segment your customers based on their demographics like age, purchase frequency and geography. This helps you to make offers aimed at their needs and desires. You should also take a close look at last year’s data, to better understand which of your products drove the most sales.
You also need to closely analyse shopping behaviour from lockdowns periods. This can help tell you the right products to get in front of customers at the right time and on the right channel. Lastly, you should identify loyal customers and provide an exclusive offer before opening it up to everyone else, to show you value their business with you.
With price slashing a race to the bottom, personalisation means you stand out. Therefore, knowing your customers is key, as it allows you to create tailor-made offers, build highly segmented campaigns, and get super creative.
It’s important to ensure the messages and deals you send are personalised to your customers. A 50 per cent discount on everything in store is impersonal. However, promoting relevant high-range products to high-value customers isn’t. You should always use contextual info, and address messaging to customers using their first name to make sure it feels like you’re talking directly to them.
When it comes to engaging with your customer, you need to run targeted messaging campaigns across all your digital channels. You need to be communicating everything – from welcoming new customers to reminding them of an abandoned cart – so ensure you have engagement campaigns set up in your multi-channel cloud communication platform of choice.
Seamless customer experience
Shopping season means higher online volumes. To cope, your website, app or other sales platforms need to be capable to handle the traffic and enhance the customer experience in a scalable manner. This is critical, because delivering a seamless experience can help boost your conversion rate.
Investing in the right multichannel customer engagement solutions will deliver brilliant opportunities for connecting through digital channels. The right solution should allow you to build connected customer profiles and send automated campaigns at the right time across key channels.
Also, integrating chatbots can improve your brands responsiveness and provide 24/7 support to customers. The ability to conduct a smooth transition to live agents for complex or difficult inquiries means that customers will have the best possible support system available during the busy season.
Proactively connecting with your target audience is key to driving the correct engagement. Multi-channel cloud-based communication solutions let you reach your customers with the information you want to deliver at the time where they are most likely to receive it positively. From sales information to welcoming emails, these solutions drive engagement with your customers and help you establish and control your digital presence.
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