Nearly 67% of shoppers say they would like to receive personalised promotions or offers based on spending habits
However, brands capture data from multiple sources such as websites and apps, marketplaces and social media, resulting in data fragmentation and disjointed outcomes
Omnichannel messaging solution providers like Karix help consolidate this data and enable ecommerce brands to target and engage with customers across multiple touchpoints such as WhatsApp, SMS, email, voice and more
A hard sell or a forceful direct marketing strategy relentlessly pushes customers to make a clear and quick choice. For most decades, companies used to rely on this aggressive selling tactic. However, this approach does not work anymore for attracting consumers who are already spoiled for choices in an experience-driven market. They simply cannot be pressured into buying. The only way to get their consideration and win them over is through meaningful narratives and the soft power of persuasion.
A study by Adobe highlighted that nearly 67% of shoppers today say that when shopping in-store or online, they would like to receive personalised promotions or offers based on spending habits. In brief, brands need to move away from generic solutions and bring personalisation to the fore to create a memorable impact if they want to unleash spontaneous recall.
A personalised, intuitive and well-timed engagement strategy has proven to be critical for creating a differentiated customer experience,” said Sonia Kaul, VP of product marketing and digital enablement at Karix, a Mumbai-based Communication as a service (CPaaS) provider.
Leveraging the power of personalisation can not just help remove market noise and focus more on targeted communication but also ensure brands are delivering value through unique product offerings, benefits, deals and discounts. This, in turn, may help retain shoppers in spite of fast-shrinking customer loyalty. However, this could be an onerous task for many of the 5,000+ active ecommerce startups operating in India.
Take, for instance, how data is gathered and analysed by small-to-medium businesses keen to provide a compelling customer experience.
Brands tend to capture customer data from all possible sources – websites and apps, marketplaces, social media, online and offline data banks and more. Essentially, there could be truckloads of data accumulated from disconnected sources. But without the right tools and systems, processing this data and gaining actionable insights will be difficult.
Gartner says that nearly 63% of digital marketing leaders still struggle with data consolidation needed to deliver personalised and high scale experiences which are possible through AI/ ML
This is where third-party marketing automation solution providers like Karix come into play.
Karix offers a robust platform that combines automation, AI-ML-based business intelligence (to derive insights from big data) and personalised communications to help ecommerce brands scale their efforts and grow. Karix helps automate their marketing and customer lifecycle — from lead generation to nudging prospects towards conversions. These solutions can be leveraged by brands across channels and customer touchpoints such as WhatsApp, SMS, email, websites, voice and more.
In the past five years, Karix says that its partner brands have increased their average customer retention by 18%, improved engagement across channels by 31% and reduced drop-offs by 29%.
When Disconnected Data Impedes Smooth CX
According to Gartner, customer experience drives nearly 66% of customer loyalty, more than price and brand combined.
Sonia Kaul of Karix agreed, saying that building and maintaining customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges faced by most ecommerce brands today. It is one thing to attract prospects and convert them to customers but making them stick and continue coming back to you and transacting with you requires a well-planned and well executed engagement strategy. This engagement not just has to be on the right channel, but also personalised at the micro-level i.e. the right time and the right content.
But how can brands ensure smooth and effective engagement with all its customer groups?
A company collects and stores customer data from various touchpoints, including all sales channels, intending to integrate it with its data stack to enhance comprehension, communication and purposeful action. But in most cases, technological silos and data scattering/dispersion hinder reconciliation and comprehensive information visibility.
This can easily lead to product push or promotional offers that are way too irrelevant. Worse, companies may get the basic details wrong about their target customers, resulting in frustration, expectation gaps and drop-offs.
Interestingly, the more data a brand gathers from different sources and stores in different places, the more the scattering. Take, for instance, the customer-side data across multiple touchpoints. A person may view a product on a brand’s website/app, visit a marketplace for price comparison and explore the brand’s social media handles to understand the post-purchase experience of other shoppers.
In the process, multiple data points are triggered. These must be automatically collated and integrated to perform identity resolution and create unified customer profiles. Otherwise it may lead to profile duplication, incomplete/fragmented customer history, and disgruntled shoppers.
Speaking about data siloing and its daunting outcomes at the second edition of Inc42’s D2C Summit, Kaul said, “Even in these digital times, most brands are like the six blind men trying to figure out what an elephant looks like. Someone touches the trunk, another touches the tail and everyone comes up with their interpretation of the elephant.”
Is Automation The Holy Grail Of Digital Marketing?
To ensure an efficient and unified data outcome for building a holistic customer experience, brands can leverage thirty-party martech platforms like Karix’s Gamooga (its marketing automation platform), Moengage, CleverTap and the like.
Talking about the use-case based solutions that Karix has developed for its customers, Kaul said that all communication channels such as WhatsApp, RCS (rich communication services), GBM (Google business messages), SMS, email and voice chat play an integral role in enhancing the solution’s effectiveness in driving the desired outcomes. “To complement these channels, we have a strong foundation of SaaS layers, including martech, process automation, conversational design tools and contact centre solutions,” she added.
Using Karix’s big data analytics, ecommerce brands can assay mobile app user data, sign-in location, number of interactions with the brand and more. It can also analyse conversion and cart abandonment rates and after-sales data to provide an all-encompassing view for targeting and retargeting customers.
Analysing and integrating data helps brands automate workflows, create customer personas (by bucketing customers in different segments for targeted campaigns) and ensure personalised campaigns.
“Use historical and real-time data from a customer’s browsing history and past shopping behaviour to generate recommendations and cross-sell. Create a well-orchestrated brand experience online when known users come online,” advised Kaul.
What The Future Looks Like
“The consumer experience is rapidly evolving from transactional, process-focussed shopping to a model built on deep, enriching relationships at every step of the journey,” noted Kaul.
Ecommerce brands must invest in multichannel technologies and hiring, upskilling and training the workforce to manage new-age systems at scale. Likewise, they should watch for personalisation trends to enhance engagement.
For instance, ecommerce companies are increasingly using AI to enable customers to virtually try on outfits, glasses, cosmetics and more for a personalised shopping experience. According to Technavio, the global AI-based personalisation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.45% between 2022 and 2027.
As these trends continue to shape customer expectations and experiences, brands should keep their teams and tech stacks up to date to rise above the competition, earn customer loyalty and achieve scale.
Future-proofing the business with the right marketing tactics is critical for long-term success, according to Kaul of Karix. “Ecommerce brands should use scalable technologies to transform their assets into fantastic cost-benefit ratios,” she said.