Frequent, low-friction, and personalized digital interactions are the future of CX.
The amount of digital clutter has increased for consumers. And the level of competition is higher than ever for brands. The barriers to entry for new (or legacy) brands to go DTC are lower and lower.
I think of this as providing ”marketing equity.” You want them to invest in you, what do they get in exchange? Value is always at the center of this Venn diagram.
In the age of connected technologies, your customer is always connected to something whether a smartphone, tablet, computer, TV or even RFID chips and connected applications.
This “Always Online“ mode equals opportunity for companies that can meet those customer expectations, and raise the value of those interactions, and create operational efficiencies.
What is a real world example of this?
Disney is an impressive example of using connected technologies to create wonderful experiences for their theme park visitors. Using the MagicBrand, Disney is able to let their visitors do just about everything from enter the park, to pay for food, to enter their rooms, but also it allows Disney to customize their experiences, invite them to take rides with short lines, create personal greetings wherever they may be in the park.
The modern consumer expects convenience on demand. They also expect companies to anticipate their needs, values, and ever evolving life situation.
What are the always connected strategies that brands need to consider to meet these demands and stay competitive?
In this recent Harvard Business Review special issue article, published in the Winter 2022 edition, we found 3 connected strategies in which Text to Buy can provide value.
We explore ways that brands can use Text to Buy as a digital engagement strategy to meet this always connected customer needs, get to know them better, and extend the relationship beyond selling what is on the shelf, or selling what is made aspirational through expensive advertising campaigns.
Respond to Desire
One of the primary examples here is telling Alexa to order a product that you need, and she takes care of the rest of the customer journey.
Using Text to Reorder reminders, brands can prompt customers to reorder their products on a timely basis with a low fiction, high convenience text message.
–Do you want to reorder the Spindrift Grapefruit flavor case of 24? Reply Yes to Order now.—
Or the customer can also initiate a Text to Reorder flow with a keyword “Spindrift Grapefruit”
Convenience is king and what tends to matter most to customers is conserving their energy for other aspects of their life. This provides minimal friction, flexibility and accuracy of fulfilling needs.
Digital marketing for e-commerce, traditionally, involves a promotion and a link to explore a website, category or rarely a specific product. This may work well for “browsers” who have the time and want to explore many options.
This “classic” approach is lacking for customers who are too busy to discover what they want by tedious and time consuming browsing. The more personalized and low friction the experience can be, the more likely you will see a conversion to sale.
Using product recommendations is a key capability that brands need to start utilizing through all their channels. In curated offerings you are intersecting earlier in the customer journey so you can guide and recommend.
Think selected Customer Preferences, Purchase History, recent activity and stated goals!
How can this be executed without being overwhelmed with personalization engines, data warehouses, customer touchpoints, and endless systems integration to a stack of technologies?
Think bundles, segmentation of categories, and natural product pairings that don’t require a lot of science, which can be handled using cross sell and up sell customer journeys.
We have a slight spin on this strategy. The idea here is that brands actually take control and ownership of the customer’s needs and automatically send or fulfill their needs.
We see this as possible for some brands and audiences, but perhaps this is also a rather small quadrant. A more broadly appealing relationship would provide semi-automated fulfillment.
This is where the Flexible Subscription program can fill a need for the commitment phobic consumer, the subscription fatigue, and the recession and inflation fears.
Text to Reorder reminders are powerful, low friction, low commitment opportunities for brands to increase their recurring revenue. And create more customer satisfaction.
The Anti-Subscription, Subscription is just waiting to happen. Amazon can dominate Subscribe & Save because of their dominate mass, but as new innovations syphon off Customers who don’t want to manage Subscription by logging into their account, navigating through various menus, and finally discovering the tiny “Cancel” link.