Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain the most lucrative days for online retailers in the UK, with the former accounting for some £1.49bn worth of consumer spending in 2018 alone. Gaining consumer attention and maximising such opportunities in a crowded market, however, has become more science than art in recent years, leading retailers to turn to technology to drive customer action and widen choice.
The positive news for today’s retailers is, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, consumers are more open to trying new brands. In fact, research from the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) ‘Acquisition and the Consumer Mindset’ report revealed 61% of consumers have made at least one brand switch in the last 12 months. For marketers seeking to acquire new customers by enticing people away from their trusted brands, the research suggests that there is certainly an opportunity to exploit.
Whilst there is no single strategy which delivers a silver bullet for attracting customers in time for the biggest e-commerce sales day of the year, understanding the consumer mindset should be central to any marketing approach. Technology, and more specifically customer communications management (CCM) solutions, are having a big influence on this.
An omnichannel approach
Today’s consumer look to a range of sources for their marketing messages. Although email remains amongst the most trusted channels when it comes to contacting customers, with 68% of people rank email as their first or second preferred marketing channel, 60% of millennials claim they have discovered new brands through social media. When it comes to discovering new products and services, therefore, it is clear that a range of both digital and non-digital sources are influential in engaging consumers.
Regardless of the channels with which they choose to engage, today’s customers now demand personalised, relevant communications, available in real-time and which they can access via the channel of their choice.
Organisations wanting to keep pace and meet those expectations can benefit enormously by embracing new technologies and adopting modern CCM solutions.
Embracing CCM solutions provide organisations with the means to meet customer expectations by enabling the timely creation, approval and delivery of omnichannel communications from a single platform.
In doing so, the modern CCM leverages advanced journey mapping techniques, using relevant, existing data and the most appropriate templates to generate highly engaging, personalised messages. Furthermore, these real-time communications allow customers to move seamlessly between different channels and devices.
Trigger-based marketing automation
Trigger-based marketing automation, using machine learning to optimise your communications, is a prime example of using technology to enhance communications across multiple channels. By implementing advance CCM platforms, data services can be used to map, enhance and optimise data to support communications based on customer preferences, profile and behaviour.
The result is giving customers more of what they want and need, at the most appropriate time and via their preferred channel. Such an approach enables communications to be designed, created, and delivered across multi-channel, integrated campaigns; tailoring the creative and messaging to the customers’ profile and position in the sales cycle.
For instance, marketing automation can be utilised to recover lost customers after they abandon their online shopping baskets, a valuable asset to have given that in 2018 alone, the cart abandonment rate in the UK for all E-commerce orders was 74.6%.
Cart abandonment emails can be triggered and automatically sent to shoppers when they leave their shopping basket. By including discounts on recently viewed products, using data gathered from the E-commerce website, marketing can be optimised to recover the sale.
The key advantage of CCM solutions is that they can significantly reduce the workload necessary for such processes, whilst at the same time also boosting order values, retention rates and upsell outcomes.
Cutting through the crowd
Brands and consumers alike are already gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, with so many brands vying for the attention of customers during the busiest holiday shopping event of the year, and leading brands like Amazon kicking off the sales seemingly earlier every year, it is imperative that retailers get their marketing tactics right.
Leading-edge CCM systems have established themselves as the go-to tool for centralising communications, enabling organisations to deliver a truly omnichannel customer experience in the digital era, effortlessly communicating across multiple channels from print to email, SMS, app notification or other preferred channels.