Customer Centric Marketing for Ecommerce Business
Customer centricity no longer sounds ground-breaking. Put the customer first? Of course, everyone has been doing that for a long time anyway. But is that really true?
The truth is: We are still a long way from the fact that all providers work completely customer-centred. Many companies, especially in the area of e-commerce, have realized in recent years that customers and their needs must not be dealt with marginally, but rather brought more into focus. However, there are often still worlds between this insight and consistent implementation.
Customer centricity affects the entire company
First of all, it must be clear: Customer centricity affects the entire company. From the product itself to the user-friendliness of an ecommerce store to customer service. Marketing is only part of it. An important one, however – and today’s possibilities for automated data-based marketing offer unimagined potential. If you want future success, you should take advantage of it. Companies that are following this path and want to reorganize their marketing should orient themselves on the following five points:
1. Break down data silos with the Single Customer View
Today, customer centric marketing only works with the right database. Valuable customer data should not be indifferent data silos and thus difficult to access for the marketing department, but rather should be managed in a customer data platform that provides a real single customer view. Customer data platform should also be scalable and flexible, and data must be brought together, analysed and, for example, enriched with predictions in real time.
If the data silo problem not resolved, all further steps are very tedious. The all-round view of the user is absolutely essential. Accordingly, companies should definitely look for a technology partner who enables the consolidation of all data in real time into a single, manageable view. And ideally not only that, but it should also offer the option to track and use customer behaviour across all channels. In this way, highly detailed customer segments and campaigns can be created.
2. Omnichannel Marketing – the right way
If a single customer view is given, the most important basis for “real” omnichannel marketing is created. Offline and online data from all relevant channels are merged and can be used to address customers. In the end, the goal should be to be able to run campaigns fully automatically across all touchpoints. The technology solution required for this, as well as the human resources. Initially mean additional financial and time expenditure, which usually pays for itself very quickly. The new possibilities allow many new, exciting use cases which, if properly planned, quickly lead to a positive ROI. It is also important, that the marketing teams in companies work closely together and stop looking at each channel for themselves. The channels have to match content and the appropriate tonality are recorded – very individually, but still perfectly coordinated.
Instagram must be used differently than email, and WhatsApp differently from a mobile push. Last but not least, an important factor for the success of omnichannel marketing is the use of AI predictions to precisely analyse the success of every touchpoint along the customer journey and optimize it for future measures in real time. Good marketing automation tools should do this and be able to adapt to different requirements instead of just offering predefined models. Which one fits best has to be decided individually based on various criteria such as the available data.
3. Personalize without scaring the user
Users and customers want to be addressed with content that suits them. Who offers the right thing at the right time? That can be a challenge, but it is absolutely feasible with modern marketing methods. Committed marketers nowadays have to be more careful not to personalize so much that the user feels observed and followed by advertising, as this can also be perceived as negative.
If, for example, a customer is targeted with a banner with their name on the first visit to a website, this goes far too far for most – while addressing them personally in an email is a problem for very few. In principle, personalization should be geared towards offering the customer the best possible customer journey and making offers at the right point that fit exactly. In the best case, the customer is being addressed personally – The customer simply thinks: “This ecommerce store has exactly what I need for me now!”
4. Customer Lifecycle Management
It should actually be clear: It’s never just about winning new customers, but also about maintaining existing customer relationships. Customer lifecycle management is the keyword: Existing customers and even former customers should always have a positive brand experience. This means that the customer is regularly addressed with relevant content and offers even when not planning to buy. For example, an ecommerce store can offer helpful tips or other services after purchasing a product. This prevents churn and significantly increases customer lifetime value.
Customer lifecycle management takes place in different phases for which different measures are available:
- Activation of ecommerce, visitors who have not yet bought anything: e-mail marketing, campaign for newsletter registration, retargeting on Google or Facebook.
- Retaining existing customers by collecting feedback, offering vouchers for reviews or advertising to friends, or reminder functions for articles that are currently not available
- For promising existing customers who are price sensitive: offer package deals or free express delivery
- For loyal customers who also spend more often: Exclusive access to new products, gift vouchers and personal service contact, if necessary
- Former good customers who haven’t bought anything for a long time: exclusive offers, reactivation newsletters and retargeting on social media channels
If the single customer view already described exists for each (potential) customer, such campaigns can be run completely automatically with the help of a Customer data platform with comprehensive marketing functionalities. A / B testing is also important here to be able to repeatedly check the effectiveness of all measures and to continuously optimize campaigns.
5. Data protection has priority
With all the possibilities of modern marketing automation: putting the customer at the centre also means using data responsibly. It is now old hat, and yet many e-commerce companies are still unsure of what exactly they have to do. The following applies here: solutions have to be tailored to the individual company, there is no silver bullet. A provider of a customer data platform should definitely also be a good technology partner and provide advice – if this is the case, marketers really don’t have to worry. And user trust also remains intact.
What exactly customer proximity means, what works best on the marketing side – that depends on many factors and varies depending on the company. The basic idea of customer centric marketing, however, has enormous potential to make ecommerce companies even more successful – and implementation is not that difficult.
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