Mirror mirror on the wall,
Can you tell the realities of D2C at all?
There are two kinds of D2C stores: stores that die in the 4th page of a strategy deck. And stores that get customers to come back not because they have to, but because they want to.
Competitive choices, 50% discounts, and attention spans of a puppy* are causing your customers to fill their carts but not buy and take it home. Sounds like a millennial's love life, eh?
And to top this, your ads flood your customers and not convert them. Talk about burning your budget.
I know, it's PAINFUL.
So, what can you do as a brand to win over a customer’s love and loyalty?
When I floated this question around at a recent D2C event, everyone I spoke to kept throwing around the term “Personalization” like it came out of a Pez dispenser.
But what does it mean? And how can it help you win more sales?!
Personalization: Because humans love to connect
Essentially, adding whatever humanity is left into the brand and its communication. Of course, driving sales is the ultimate goal. But getting a customer to that stage requires constant persuasion (without being pushy, tacky and cheeky) and listening to what they want.
Conversational commerce gives you the opportunity to connect at a personal level through messaging apps (like WhatsApp). It also allows you to focus on every step of the customer journey:
- When they get to know you for the first time: Create a subscriber list. Pop-ups on website to collect phone numbers.
- When they're aware of you, but haven't purchased from you: Retarget them. Send out communication based on checkout, cart or product abandonment.
- Post-purchase communication and retention: After purchase information and customer engagement.
Let’s dive in and understand how to activate these.
Phase 1: When they get to know you for the first time - Create a WhatsApp subscriber list
Only ~10% of your website visitors reach the checkout stage. Heartbreaking, isn’t it?
How can you change this sad reality?
Relying solely on customers to place an order and retarget them in case of checkout abandonment makes brands miss out on the lion’s share of potential customers.
Maybe, the customers are waiting for your welcome call. Brands should focus on creating a personal connection from the beginning of the journey with pop-ups and help gain more WhatsApp subscribers. Now that’s a strategy for the real world!
Following are the 3 most commonly used pop-up styles:
Simple chat widget
Static visual pop-up
Gamified, spin the wheel pop-up
Gamify it! Nothing better than a game for shopping.
While static pop-ups have a 6% opt-in rate, industry benchmarks place gamified pop-ups (such as the spinning wheel shown above) at 15%. So, what are you waiting for?
Phase 2: When they're aware of you, but haven't purchased from you - Retargeting
Well, we all have some or the other sort of abandonment issues (ooooh below the belly-belt) and so do brands. With the ever-so-fleeting attention span of digital users, brands are frustrated with high cart abandonment rates (a research by Baymard Institute puts this number at a whopping 69.99%). Worse yet is the cart abandonment rate on mobile devices that's at staggering ~85.65%.
All that browsing and no action. How boring! Some say, Tinder gives better results but okay.
This could be turned into an opportunity with just a gentle reminder.
These users added something to their cart and dropped off, which could be due to umpteen reasons such as simply looking out for better deals. Recognizing the reason can help brands “catch up” with lost prospects more effectively.
If they forgot their carts, remind them. Or maybe even give them an added incentive to go through with the purchase:
- Exclusive discount codes for the order if they complete the purchase within a certain time.
- Coupons for future purchases that's time sensitive.
It is not always words which can do the magic, sometimes numbers cast a spell too.
The focal point of retargeting is to analyze the data.
Turn high bounce rates into money making machine by understanding why people drop off and bring them back.
Phase 3: Post-purchase communication and retention - Retention Marketing
Never say Goodbye
Post-purchase communication enjoys the highest open rates (~60%). Interesting, right? Customers want to know the status of their order, and at that moment you have their maximum attention. Personalizing this communication in subtle ways can help build rapport and make them feel important.
Suggestions which can work the magic:
- Upsell - Because two is better than one: Show complementary products together which can promote more sales. People like to shop in bulk. It’s never like you can stop at a bat without buying a complementary ball with it.
- Delivery is always on us: Introduce supplemental services, such as free delivery and free services after sales. The connection should be long term, not just end at purchase. This is where you win hearts and customer loyalty.
- Cross Sell - Don’t just stop at one: Create product bundles and buy-more-save-more opportunities.
What is great if you can offer a bundle or a full pack at much less of a price. This can also promote trying out new products for the customers.
- We are all about rewards: Launch a reward system for each purchase. And what people love more than free stuff? It is a promise of a reward which makes them keep coming back for more rewards and freebies.
Remember — your customers aren’t idiots. Unless you have a solid product, an attractive offer, and the ability to communicate to them at the right time, any trick you pull out of your hat would just be like adding lipstick to a pig.
But if you have your basics in place, these simple tricks should help you make your customers trust you and help you make more sales.
* No puppies or other animals were harmed during the making of this post.