The sudden closure of bricks and mortar stores, and the doubt in consumer spending forecasts has left the retail sector trying to determine how to best drive business forward.
While there isn't a crystal ball to understand how retailers will emerge from this, there are particular strategies retailers can employ now to successfully pivot their marketing into ecommerce-only, maintain customer contact and experience as best you can, and increase retention and loyalty post COVID-19.
MAKE VISITOR IDENTIFICATION A PRIORITY
As regular in-store shoppers and new visitors are led online, many retailers are seeing a spike in web sessions. To assist the recovery of any lost in-store earnings, it is imperative to be able to capture the data on as many visitors as possible in this time period.
This means identifying those who have not yet logged in or created an account, in addition to the ones who have clicked via an email and haven't entered their email address anyplace on your site.
Having a solution in place that will correctly recognize every visitor, even anonymous ones, and capture their behaviour as an individual customer profile is vital to ensuring you can communicate with each customer, personally.
This will also help you down the road in better understanding how their behaviour is changing and will change, as the crisis continues.
USE OFFLINE DATA TO CONTINUE TO ENGAGE PREVIOUS IN-STORE SHOPPERS
As mentioned above, the majority of retailers are concerned with the impact COVID-19 has on in-store earnings. If you haven't already, be sure to leverage your in-store customer information and transfer those into your online marketing efforts to specifically communicate with those who have been influenced by store closings.
Introduce these customers to the convenience of your online shopping site and highlight to them the benefits of connecting with you digitally.
By linking cross-channel information, you can then cross-sell and recommend items to your physical store customers through your website, email, app or perhaps mobile SMS, based on their in-store shopping purchases.
USING STOCK SHORTAGES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Many retailers are confronting stock shortages right now -- from excess to insufficient merchandise. Whether you are attempting to keep up with product demand, push seasonal items, or keep high-margin products top of mind, time bound alerts to your customers are a simple yet tremendously effective strategy to notify customers in real time about the products they care about.
Use merchandise alerts; price changes, cost drops, back in stock messages, to people who looked at particular items, and to be most effective in driving conversion, these communications should feature the product they considered, in addition to recommendations such as accessories etc.
PERSONALIZE MASS SENDS, TO AVOID UNSUBSCRIBING & DRIVE CONVERSION
Many retailers have been reverting back to blasting their customers with generic messages and deep discounts (comparable to Cyber Monday) to drive cash flow.. But this is just contributing to white noise in your customers' inbox and may result in heavy unsubscribes. Personalization is crucial at the moment, even for your mass sends.
Target your deep discounts and earnings to people most likely to buy, based on previous interest, and integrate in-email personalized offers, to keep blasts highly relevant to your customer's recent activity.
Modules and content blocks permit you to personalize by loyalty status and include private offers, and highlight specific inventory, top vendors by category, browsed items, and product recommendations directly in the mail without additional creative or production resources.
If you would like to talk to me directly about any of the above, contact me anytime via my helperstreet profile.