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Posted February 13 2018
Written by Christophe Grillot

E-Commerce, I Love You!

Love is in the air as Valentines’ Day approaches! Many customers are most likely shopping online to offer their loved ones a dream gift. What a great opportunity to allow them to find items that are unavailable in store or to provide them with a discount through your website.  After all, you do love your clients too, right?

Geeky hipster covered in kisses against red vignette.jpeg

A Seamless Interaction with Your Customers

We must always keep in mind that consumers are now experiencing omnichannel shopping. They no longer follow a linear process to purchase goods. Instead, they interact with your business through several touch points, such as:

  • Website;
  • Email;
  • Social media;
  • Mobile phone;
  • Point of sales.

The journey possibilities are almost endless! For example, a customer experience may begin on Facebook, continue on your website and culminate in your store with a purchase. The contrary is just as possible. Your potential buyer starts his journey in your store and ends it with a transaction on your website. In other words, the client has control over his buying journey and decides how he wants to communicate with your business.

Thus, all interactions count, wherever they may occur. As such, consistency is important with regards to e-commerce. Consequently, a business must communicate the same information and provide outstanding customer service through all its touch points:

Marketing should act as an orchestrator, ensuring that commerce, sales, and customer service are using the same language and communicating in a consistent style across channels to create a seamless experience.

Moreover, it is very important to ensure that the entire network is flawless. Therefore, you must identify the single points of failure that may prevent a client from completing a transaction. In that case, the client will switch to one of your competitors, resulting in many broken hearts. 

The Customer Journey and its Various Phases

There are seven key phases in the customer journey:

  1. Awareness;
  2. Discovery;
  3. Interest;
  4. Consideration;
  5. Action;
  6. Use;
  7. Loyalty.

Each of these phases requires considerable efforts from businesses to attract buyers. For example, publishing accurate and relevant content is at the heart of the awareness, discovery and interest phases. Indeed, you must earn their trust. It is essential to provide them with information that can help them assess their needs.

The Celebration of Love is just around the corner. Some of your clients might be about to buy last minute products. Let’s take a look at the consideration phase, which comes right before purchase.

Seduce Your Customers: The Consideration Phase

A potential client is ready to click « buy now » for one of your products. However, it is not a done deal yet, competition being at its highest at this stage. One of your competitors can also charm your customer at any moment. How can you maximize your chances to win a shopper’s heart?

  1. Anticipate and eliminate perceived barriers to action;
  2. Focus on personalization;
  3. Showcase your customer service responsiveness through, among others, social channels, review websites or social media;
  4. Allow your clients to easily compare products, including those of your competitors;
  5. Using data-driven marketing techniques to identify the right offers for the right buyers. The Customer Journey (SAP Hybris)

In that context, a close relationship with your client is crucial to understanding his buying behaviour and preferences. Some systems can collect information from all touch points and are used to simplify this work. It is thus possible to have a unique real-time view of the customer:

There’s a need for data to be shared across the company to support a consistent experience for the customer. Capture data in the moment and use it in the moment to provide information and service to customers as needed. Timely information sharing can provide competitive advantage.

Embrace Your Data

Data has an infinite wealth potential for businesses. During the consideration phase, it can help you:

  • Interact strategically with your buyer;
  • Aim your marketing efforts towards your clients;
  • Establish predictive models to recognize an up-sell or a cross-sell opportunity.

At this part of the journey, your customer is comparing:

  • Pros and cons;
  • Prices;
  • Features;
  • Similar offers.

Accordingly, it is appropriate to provide your buyer with these insights through his favorite channels. The goal is to give him information proving that your product is currently the best option on the market.

A customized solicitation will also contribute to enhance customer brand loyalty. Based on the collected data, including review websites or social media, it is possible to:

  • Measure their perceptions;
  • Define trends;
  • Assess the risk for brand switching. The balance.com.

Properly used, data will help your business increase its profits over the long term.

Download A Handbook for Meaningful (and Profitable) Engagement The Customer Journey should you wish to obtain more information on how you can improve the customer journey.

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