Create a Cohesive Customer Experience For Online and Offline Sales
Many retail brands nowadays understand the importance of selling products across multiple channels. Whether you’re selling online, offline, or both, the majority of consumers think brands ought to improve at creating a seamless shopping experience. Meaning there’s plenty of room for improvement, and a great deal of opportunities to differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Consumers are challenging retailers to captivate them through a range of shopping experiences. Connecting all of your brand touchpoints doesn’t just mean gathering the information. It means creating a cohesive experience for each customer interaction together with your brand, both online and offline. And here’s how retailers can do exactly that.
Put Your Customers First
When creating a customer experience, it is important to prioritize the customer. Everything should be considered from the point-of-view of the customer and it shouldn’t just be about selling products. Instead focus on giving the customer an ambience and an aesthetic that they can later recall upon and remember your brand specially.
So, how can you get inside your customers’ heads? Studying your target market is the best way to step forward. And here are some other ways you can learn to grab your customers’ attention.
Focus groups: Gather a group of individuals that fall within your target audience to ask some questions regarding their needs, possible solutions, and learn more about what makes them attentive.
Market research: Conducting research not only highlights insights on your competitors, but it can even reveal market gaps that allow you to better serve your ideal customers with an improved product, effective marketing, strategic pricing, and/or impactful brand positioning.
Channels To Consider
Realistically, retailers can’t be everywhere at once. So, here are a number of the top sales channels to think about when creating your multi channel sales strategy.
The rise of ecommerce is a well-known trend to most retailers. Here’s what to consider on your website:
Ease of use
Even if selling online isn’t a significant part of your business, your website remains essential.
Your retail store
There are many ways to create a customer experience in your store. Turning back to your brand identity and your target audience will guide you to bring that identity and knowledge to life in your store.
Online retailers have less control over the customer experience on marketplaces like Amazon. eBay, Daraz and AliExpress, but these customer interactions aren’t to be overlooked. When considering the cohesiveness of all channels, these marketplaces still represent an extension of your brand.
Here are some ways you’ll remain cohesive on these third-party sales channels:
Language: Ensure the language you employ matches your brand identity and brand voice. Even these third-party marketplaces can reinforce the entire customer experience together with your brand. This includes product descriptions, one-on-one interactions with customers, and your seller page.
Visuals: Many marketplaces may require a white background photo for the featured image, but you can substitute with additional angles, contextual photos, or colorful backgrounds — if it matches the customer experience you’re trying to make.
Customer support: Customer support through these selling channels is a huge plus point.These impressions go a long way and make an enormous impact on the customer experience. Remember to be consistent in your voice and to treat these customers as you would any other.
Speaking of customer service, there are several channels through which your customers will interact with your support team. Whether this is customer service over the phone, email, or on your site’s live chat, it must be the same experience each time.
Document a customer experience and brand identity guide to your support staff so that they can ensure their interactions support that experience. If there are common phrases or questions, offer guidelines for your support team on the way to respond, perhaps going as far as to write the responses for these instances. This may also provide a good reference for employees to emulate with their own interactions.
Your customer service team must also be timely in their responses,across all channels. Reply to all public customer support queries (social media, customer reviews, etc.) as timely as you would to customer support communications. Failure to try to do so can impact the customer experience in a negative way and you could lose your customer base by a large amount.
Social media is another representation of your brand and the majority of today’s consumers are using it proactively to reach out to brands, particularly for support. Social media is your outlet to broadcast your brand identity, make customer connections, and strengthen the experience.
Again, the language and imagery are essential. While the tone might alter per channel (considering different audiences are on different social media channels), your voice should remain constant. The visuals you utilize must support that customer experience you’re trying to make .
Whether you use email to send promotions, newsletters, customer support interactions, order updates, receipts, or more — every email matters. and each email may be a part of the customer experience.
While observing the channels separately can help, it’s viewing them holistically which will create the cohesion you need. After all, these channels do work together and your customers interact with you in various ways at different stages of the customer journey.
Begin by specializing in one channel that most accurately fits your product and do it well. This could make the task more digestible, as well as assist you to establish a baseline and learn lessons before tackling all of the other channels. From there, consider how the channels work together. Take yourself through some scenarios to place yourself in the customers’ shoes.
At the end of the day, retailers can create cohesive online and offline experiences, but analyzing and changing them over time is what will provide you with a real competitive edge. Almost three-quarters of organizations don’t collect data, let alone review it. Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and retailers ought to continue , transforming customer experiences as quickly as consumer preferences change.
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