There’s no doubt that the emergence of COVID-19 has supercharged a huge leap forward in digital adoption by both consumers and businesses. Out of pure necessity, shoppers have embraced online like never before, and according to recent research, 65% of consumers expect to continue to use digital shopping channels more in the future.
This, quite rightly, means that brands are putting a bigger focus on driving traffic to their websites than ever before. And for any business selling online, getting consumers onto your site is one of the biggest challenges – efforts that often eat up an enormous amount of resources and budget.
But in brands’ desires to drive customers to their sites, they’re often guilty of relegating the important matter of what to do with them once they get there. In fact, our recent content and commerce report found that over half of consumers who end up on a brand’s owned site have been lost to other channels by the time it comes to purchasing. Getting content right on your website is one thing, but for brands owned sites to remain viable and relevant amid a plethora of digital channels and shopping options, they must focus on experience across the customer journey in its entirety.
Making Content Work Across All Stages of the Customer Journey
Making sure content is visible on your website and working in harmony with your transactional journey is a great start. However, your content is your brand’s fuel and you have many more channels through which to express its value and meaning to elevate and inspire the user experience.
We believe the modern shopper’s experience can be summarised in six distinct phases: awareness, interest, consideration and decision/purchase, post-purchase and re-purchase. And as a consumer moves through the journey, you should aim to have an omnichannel strategy in place which hits them with content throughout the process to keep them engaged with your brand. That content will vary in both its nature and purpose.
What it should not be is ‘content for content’s sake’. In order to maximize transaction potential and achieve customer loyalty, brands need to deliver the right content at the right time, and to the right audience. To do so, it pays to embrace digital, testing new technologies that connect with consumers – as 47% of them openly admit they prefer to shop with digitally innovative brands.
One such example is Levi’s use of TikTok – the video-sharing social network. Whilst its physical stores were closed amid the pandemic, Levi’s successfully focused on connecting with online shoppers by offering consumers the option to purchase its items directly on TikTok using the platform’s ”ShopNow” program.
The Technology That Makes an ‘Omnichannel’ Strategy Work
Mobile sites, social channels, email campaigns, digital advertising and even print all provide opportunities for a brand’s content to be further brought to life through reuse, reshaping, or streamlining in the way that’s right for its customers and business.
In order to operate effectively across all these channels and minimize attrition rates as consumers slip through the omnichannel gaps, lots of alignment is required. This includes strategy, organization, and most importantly: technology. The most critical piece of the puzzle? Data.
It’s vital for marketers to join up the consumer data that exists across their business and the channels it operates. Without a single view of a shopper, across the entire customer journey, an omnichannel strategy will be out of reach.
That’s where Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) come into play. They allow organizations to aggregate data and then act on it.
Organizations can use CDPs to build broad customer profiles which takes interaction across different channels into account, steering siloed teams away from storing their own solution-specific data.
Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs), then allow them to use that single customer view to enhance the experience by making all the data held by the CDP actionable and operational. They provide a single system to produce content and deliver it to all chosen channels, including email and social media, in order to boost efficiency and ensure clear messaging. These solutions can also be plugged with AI, which can enable marketers to deliver personalized, relevant content at an individual level.
If a brand is able to join up and successfully utilize the consumer data it owns across its organization and has the people, processes, and tech in place to make it happen, then it will be in a strong position to deliver experience-driven commerce fit for today’s shoppers.