Loyalty Connect: Connecting to convert

As part of our Loyalty Connect event we held a number of panels exploring the latest trends in ecommerce and customer loyalty. We brought experts and keynote speakers together to virtually share the trends set to build your customers’ loyalty and elevate your retention rates in 2022. 

In this second panel, we spoke to representatives from Justuno, ShipBob, and Attentive about connecting with customers to get them to better convert. We explored how to better connect your customers’ experiences across every touchpoint using your existing customers and advanced customization. 

Not got time to watch? We’ve summarized the key points in the rest of the article.

1. What has been the best experience you’ve had with a brand? 

One that stands out is Wine Insiders, an online wine retailer. They’re an Attentive customer and they’re really great with how they go about personalizing their messaging. They were hands-on and were proactive in finding out whether their customers wanted to re-purchase. 

Another stand-out brand was Donegal Pens. They are a pen company that sells personalized and engraved wooden pens. What was really impressive about their service was that they seem to be in constant contact with their customers. They were able to create an experience that was authentic and their reach-out was done in such a personalized way. 

Justuno works with a fantastic brand called The Longhairs. During Black Friday they had an on-site promotion where if you made a purchase they would send you a free product. If you have long hair it’s definitely a brand you should check out. 

2. What’s the first thing brands should do with zero and first-party data to help increase conversions? 

Zero-party data has definitely been a buzzword within the community in the past year. To make the most of this data you have to go back to the basics. Don’t just collect data for the sake of it. Instead, try to have a clear strategy about the data you need and how you’re going to use that data. 

With first-party data on SMS make sure you have your automations dialed in so that you can recognize the intent, or actions, of a subscriber. 

With zero-party data, you need to understand how it can help you increase conversions. What are you asking? How can you tailor messaging to suit your customers’ responses?

The most foundational part of first-party data is how to collect it. Your existing customers are going to be a lot easier to retain than those new ones. So really target them, collect information through ESP and integrate this info. 

3. A question from the audience: “Over the last six months I’ve waited four or more weeks for several packages that were supposed to arrive in a few days. Do you think integrations with ShipBob, like SMS and loyalty, will help to alleviate these issues?”

A great question. It’s really key to keep customers informed at every step of the process. We love to get an instant confirmation via SMS when we checkout, or confirmation when it is shipped. This helps to reduce anxiety. 

Traditionally this is done by email but leveraging SMS, for example, is another great way of having that pushed to you. Sometimes in logistics businesses things do go wrong and packages do get delayed. 

So, being informed every single step of the way is a great way of removing customer anxiety and enables customers to accommodate for delays. Indeed, Attentive ran a large study that showed that over 97% of consumers want transactional updates about their orders. 

4. More customers are prioritizing brands based on customer experience, not just low prices. What’s one thing retailers can do to meet these changing priorities? 

Conversational commerce is something that we are really bullish on. Build one-to-one relationships with a channel like SMS. For example, customer support over SMS. If customers have questions about sizing, having the ability to converse with a brand is foundational to building a good experience. 

For example, integrating with a platform like Gorgias will help brands deliver real-time feedback and an authentic customer experience over SMS. We’ve found that when you start getting customers to reply back and forth to these kinds of messages they spend on average 31% more versus those who don’t. Creating these sorts of conversations allows businesses to unlock a lot of opportunities. 

Brand identity is also huge. Can you quickly show that your brand has a story? For example, is your brand female-owned? Do you contribute to specific causes or charities? What inspired the founders to start the business? These are the kinds of things that create a great experience for visitors to your website. A strong brand story is something that customers will remember. 

5. What is the main thing that retailers should be doing to ensure that they’re still providing a consistent brand experience?

One of the best examples of consistency is subscription services. There’s nothing more consistent than sending a product to somebody every single month and having a regular dialogue with subscribed customers. Subscription models have baked inconsistency in. 

The question is, how do you emulate this constant communication and delivery outside of the subscription model?

Well, there are a few different strategies. If a customer hadn’t visited your website for three months you could send them an SMS. Or if you notice customers are buying products that are similar you could imitate subscription models to help you move towards a consistency model. 

You should also focus on how you can use data smartly to inform the post-purchase experience. Transactional post-purchase emails and texts are valuable to customers and will help to create a consistent brand experience. 

6. What is the best way for brands to use personalization post-purchase to keep customers converting? 

It all starts from the beginning of their journey. You need to gather your customer’s point of contact and understand their preferred point of contact (email, SMS). Then you can start to personalize that message based on the items they add to their cart and the items they purchase. 

You should also make people aware that when you purchase with that brand you can get something in return. Loyalty programs are the key tool with this kind of strategy. They help to build trust with your brand and encourage repeat purchases.

7. Do you have a favorite example of a brand using multiple data resources to create consistent and personalized experiences? 

That’s a tricky question. A lot of those data resources are internal. While a specific brand doesn’t come to mind, I do love user-generated content (UGC), especially when it drives traffic. Peer group pressure and social affirmation are so important and will help with your conversion rate. When the community gets involved, sings your praises, and creates content for you then you will be able to create a consistent brand experience. 

To learn more about connecting with customers in order to get them to better convert, download the 2022 trends ebook

2022 Trends ebook: 10 trends shaping the ecommerce loyalty landscape