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Five Ways to Treat Your Retail Customers Better (and Boost Profits) in 2013

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Now that the dropping of the Times Square ball and the popping of the champagne bottles are a distant memory, it's time to get serious about your strategies for 2013.

How will you treat your customers? How will you acknowledge their experiences and build their brand loyalty? How will you encourage interaction with multiple channels?

The short answer: listen to them.

The long answer: read this article.

1. Rethink email


Email is cheap. That's why we retailers send so much of it. Though we want to segment our emails and therefore be more relevant, the larger portion of our subscriber community is still getting batch and blast email.

But getting out of the mass-email rut has never been easier to do. New tools and technologies allow you to easily target customers based on behavioral data, allowing you to create highly targeted lists.

Why is that important? I've routinely seen lists one-fifth the size of the standard marketing list bringing in larger amounts of revenue than those larger lists.

Call to action: go behavioral as much as possible, and drive relevance and revenue while reducing subscriber fatigue!

2. Refresh your mobile strategy

The refresh of you mobile strategy is really about the mobile experience, and not so much that of your site or app.

Consider that during this past holiday season, for some of the trendiest retailers, more than 80% of email open rates and nearly 90% of social interaction occurred, you guessed it, via mobile device.

What do those numbers tell us? They tell us how important it is for retailers to move beyond simply having a mobile site; they also need to not only understand but also have the ability to react to your customers' overall mobile engagement.

3. Get involved in omnichannel

In recent years, it's become more and more important for retailers to understand the unique experiences customers are having when engaging across online, catalog, brick and mortar, and mobile channels.

Sure, the idea of linking information from each of those may seem a bit daunting, but there are vendors out there that cost-effectively solve the problem. In the end, it's all about tuning the most value from each customer—and the omnichannel view is what makes that happen.

4. Treat social different from email

Social media is a great way to humanize your brand. Retweet relevant content, provide insight of your own, and respond to customers. Conversations that happen in real-time are unique. If you are going to promote, promote uniquely—keeping offers and product announcements different from your email marketing.

5. Recognize your unique visitors... uniquely

You love your website visitors; you work hard to find them, and to maintain them as customers after they buy from you. So why treat them all the same?

The new standard in customer communication should include acting on what we know about our visitors, reasons for being on the website, categories they engage, email opt-in status, previous purchase activity, and real-time messaging based on their real-time experience.

Technology to engage your unique visitors and customers uniquely is readily available; if you're not already using it, you should use it in 2013.

* * *

Maybe last year was a great one for sales, but why not strive to make this one even better and engineer more value from each visitor that comes to your website? Understanding who your visitors are based on a cross-channel view, deciphering intent, and remarketing to them in a way that builds brand loyalty and increases sales is priceless.

In the end, it's beneficial for retailer and customer alike.


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Angel Morales is a co-founder and the chief innovation officer of Smarter Remarketer, which allows retailers to understand and monetize the discrete experiences their website visitors are having. Its marketing automation and intelligence engine helps engage customers with timely, relevant messages and offers, driving incremental online revenue lift of 10-20%..

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  • by Eric Fri Feb 1, 2013 via web

    Great article, Angel--There's simply no reason why retailers should be stuck treating their visitors and subscribers like a homogenous group!

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