Most online businesses are scurrying to find the best definition to Customer Experience. Without fully understanding the benchmark of Customer Experience and related analytics, marketing teams often miss their own objectives of delivering relevant personalization. Whether it’s Instagram advertising or a transactional email newsletter, your customers expect consistent branding and messaging that further strengthens the brand-individual relationship.
We spoke to Ben Jabbawy, Founder and CEO of Privy.com, the leading marketing automation platform for SMB e-commerce merchants, to better understand what he thinks of onsite marketing strategies for Customer Experience. We also discussed the role of AI/Machine Learning in making things easier for Marketing Intelligence teams to find suitable grounds to define CX for omnichannel campaigns.
How should SMB e-commerce businesses leverage onsite marketing strategies to generate better ROI?
The short answer: Keep it simple.
In 2018, there isn’t a single marketer out there who doesn’t want higher conversion — SMB or otherwise. But, small e-commerce merchants often get stuck in a growth rut. They want better performance, but they think “better” means more complexity and increased investment.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, we’ve found that by staying focused on relevancy instead of over-optimized, personalized strategies, SMB e-commerce brands can shatter the industry standard 2-3% conversion rates. What are the winners doing differently?
Homing in on the most important segments — your top sources and most engaged shoppers. Ask yourself, what’s bringing people to your site?
Recommended: Why Advertisers Can’t Ignore the Amazon Opportunity
Identifying your top traffic sources and using targeted displays can help thread the needle and ensure every visitor has a relevant experience. These targeted displays keep interest alive and mean the difference between a purchase or an exit.
Consistent engagement at all points in the path. Sending automated email flows can help keep the conversation going while encouraging customers to return to your site with new items in stock or new deals.
And, for repeat visitors, it’s an easy reminder to purchase the items they’ve been eyeing. Before your customer leaves, create a display designed to pop-up if they show signs of exiting. Similarly, creating cart value-based offers, and sending cart abandonment emails can help push people to complete their purchase.
Our 2018 Ecommerce Trends Report showed that SMB eCommerce merchants face similar growth challenges as their larger retail counterparts. The issues include driving traffic to stores, engaging repeat customers, and increasing cart size. And yet, they remain optimistic about the year ahead.
In fact, over half of the SMB e-commerce merchants polled reported they plan to grow by more than 50% in 2018. That’s an impressive goal, but using the above, we’re confident they will be well on their way.
How has the definition of Customer Experience evolved over the years with new technology formats for marketing?
In October, Shopify reported more than 70% growth year-over-year. With more than 500,000 merchants on its platform, e-commerce is exploding. On Privy sites alone, there were 3.2 billion consumer sessions on small- and medium-sized merchant sites in 2017. All this to say, customers have lots of options and expect an experience vastly different than years before.
In the past, e-commerce merchants were giving visitors more or less of the same web experience — a ‘one-size fits all’ approach for all visitors and overlooking when and how they got there.
Today, merchants can provide a relevant experience to every visitor without adding complexity or a large investment. The customer experience can be truly personalized with relevant messages. E-commerce merchants can leverage targeted displays and messaging apps to connect with customers, and targeted email tactics to never lose a lead.
Enabling relevancy is what will separate the winners from the losers in today’s crowded market.
Understanding each segment of your customer base, where and what is driving their interest and path to purchase, will help marketers craft a relevant message enabling higher conversion. Even for small merchants with smaller budgets, these strategies can be easily implemented by using behavioral data from shoppers to deliver a relevant customer experience that once seemed impossible 10 years ago.
How should SMB marketers identify the best-fit toolset to create a relevant experience for buyers?
What we find mostly is brands are so focused on changing one thing — driving more traffic to their site — that they forget about delivering an entire experience. If brands take a step back and really look at the path someone takes to get their site, they can then work to bring them relevancy.
Today, marketers are spending an extraordinary amount of time, money, and energy on a problem that’s really quite simple to solve. Instead of investing thousands in the ‘shiny new object’ like chatbots or voice assistants, e-commerce brands can win by simply nailing the basics.
Don’t invest in tools that will only complicate things — there are lots of affordable options that get the job done. Focus on one or two things that deliver a clear ROI, like onsite targeting or email nurturing. From there, you can connect the dots, and figure out what’s bringing visitors to your site.
Understanding who your customers are and what is driving them to your site will dramatically help in creating relevant experiences.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric technology-driven marketing ecosystem?
E-commerce merchants might think they are offering personalized experiences, but they are really giving each visitor more or less of the same web experience. It’s easy to say AI and data science will be the saving grace for “personalization” in e-commerce. But the reality is that even those deploying advanced tactics, likely aren’t doing their best at the basics.
It can be hard to ignore the shiny new SMB marketing objects that promise powerful and complex analytics and fully-optimized e-commerce capabilities.
Experience tells us to keep things simple. And the best platforms will do just that. The future of e-commerce lies in building a strong foundation that drives high-quality traffic and captures relevancy data on your top shoppers and most-engaged visitors to boost conversion.