In an era of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, speaking of digital hugs don’t seem very out of trend. But, the concept has to be taken out the context of devices and digital realities and applied to the marketing, acquisition and retention strategy of your eCommerce website.
In this case, a digital hug is about idealising the customer experience by improving the interaction with them in every touchpoint, offering a relevant communication based on their context, time and needs. Personalisation as its best!
The digital hug is the utopic customer journey where the user receives relevant and contextual messages on time, even anticipating their preferences and needs. It’s about refining the data and insights to a point where the interaction with them becomes natural and fluid. In return, the customer will react to any brand’s action positively by purchasing, engaging and referring other people.
The customer journey: a digital path
The digital customer journey refers to the process of any client while visiting your eCommerce website: from browsing to purchasing. The best experience for a customer is when a brand is capable of identifying its state on that journey to deliver relevant messages. Here is when automation takes place: it uses your data and insights to identify the “where”, “what”, “when” and “how” of your customers to adapt your communications accordingly.
An average customer journey has four stages:
- Browsing. The prospective buyer has just begun their journey. During this stage, the customer isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for yet — the good news is, you’ve at least piqued their curiosity.
- Build a cart. Ahh, the customer has found what they were looking for! However, they must still weigh their options — it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’ll move on to the next stage: purchase.
- Purchase. The final stage. The customer has committed to making a purchase… whether a first-time or repeat transaction. Now the question is how to turn this customer into a returning/loyal customer.
- Post-purchase. The majority of customers are “one and done,” and it’s harder to acquire than retain. So this stage is all about inspiring further purchases — ideally with some good digital hugging!
When and where you should give a virtual hug
Did you know that 97% of your visitors are not going to buy anything for your eCommerce website and almost 70% are going to abandon their cart before purchasing? But don’t be afraid, this information is not to discourage you. Knowledge is power, and by knowing the behaviour and expectations of your visitors, you can deliver the right message, to the right person and at the right time.
Personalisation is one thing, and the digital hug is a step further in the personalisation strategy. It’s taking things to a new level where your customer feels connected to your brand, understood and welcome. Your strategy must take into consideration five steps: acquisition, conversion, growth, retention and win-back. These are five opportunities to go beyond and deliver the right message.
- Acquisition includes all the traffic from advertising, referrals and social media.
- Conversion focuses on driving purchases with marketing communications, push notifications and retargeting campaigns.
- Growth includes building customer relationships, and inspiring existing customers to spend more and buy more frequently, including sending transactional emails.
- Retention strategies include tactics like “back in stock” and “price drop.” Promotional emails and loyalty program.
- Win-back is for inactive customers by creating special offers and promotions to try to get their attention again.