I am often amazed by this age of the internet that we are living in. I can pay bills while taking a walk in the park, and find a great nearby pub with just a few swipes and tabs. I book my off-shore holidays online and browse through reviews, blogs and price comparison sites for purchasing almost anything. Some even have their entire route to work automatically planned for them based on traffic. Indeed, we live in an era where technology is finally starting to do some thinking for us and we like to express our thoughts on social media and get popular among the digital crowd.
Whether consumers make a direct purchase online or just access the web for brand and product awareness, there’s no doubt that the web is a primary source most consumers access to make a purchase decision. In today’s world of crowdsourcing, and wildfire proliferation of mobile devices, information is always available and the internet is present in all aspects of our lives. This means that now more than ever before, customers are empowered to make a well-informed purchase decision.
Our mindset as consumers has completely changed our buying journey. It also means there are more options, features and online sources than we can handle. As an avid online purchaser I often find myself browsing through never-ending product lister page shopping I can finally find something that suits me, and I often find myself frustrated and just abandon my cart. This leads to one of the key concepts of persuasion that also applies to eBusiness; ‘Hick’s Law’. Hick’s law states that a wide choice is not always a good thing and increasing the number of choices will increase the time for a customer to make a purchase decision. For this reason, simple flows that will suggest products to the customers that they are more likely to purchase based on their purchase or view history, is always preferred. Perfecting such algorithms is key in the future of successful ecommerce sites.
This means, that it’s time for digital Marketers to evolve and catch up with these tools, identify the steps in the customer journey, and recognise where customers are in their buying journey.
We live in a world where customers are empowered more than ever before and the overall customer experience would ultimately be key for the customer to make a purchase decision. Also due to the increased competition and options that trading online brings along, customer loyalty is even more difficult to win and keep.
By knowing their customers, digital marketers will be able to target useful relevant content and products when customers are receptive to it. This is the concept of context marketing, the ace up the sleeve of today’s marketers.
Understanding what triggers the first step in the customer journey and the switch from one step to another, from awareness to interest and then to conversion, will allow businesses to identify the context of every customer and thus figure out their context marketing strategy.
The concept of context marketing will allow you to effectively manage and own your customer journey and thus experience.
The infrastructure and tools for context marketing already provide an array of options to make a well informed purchase decision, and these options are on the increase. Some examples are;
- Ratings and reviews
- Mobile experience and mobile apps
- Mobile marketing
- Internet of things
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Geo-location data
Since the tools and platforms for making it happen are already widely available, it is possible to understand each customer to such an extent that one can genuinely market in context. To actually implement such a strategy one needs to have the right mindset of a context market visionary that is;
- Able to identify and understand customers including the steps in their customer journey.
- Make sense out of the customers’ behaviour including past purchases, interactions with your business, habits and product views.
- Identify relevant content and products for each customer and plan such content accordingly- ‘Content management excellence’. This may include targeting newsletters and marketing content to the right customers.
- Be willing to focus on the right mindset even if this goes against what’s customary in your organisation.
- Keep your business case in mind throughout the process.
- Use the right dimensions (such as geographic location, gender, language) and metrics (such as page views and average time and site) to analyse and deliver realistic results.
- Make sure all your steps are integrated.
The only chance to truly differentiate your business in this day in age lies in the value you bring to the overall customer experience. You can bet that your website users and customers are constantly assessing whether you’re worth it. They want to purchase from those smart, savvy businesses who bring novel ideas, insights and value they deem beneficial to help them to ultimately make the purchase decision. With so much choice available out there, the simpler you make such a flow the better. But most of all, test the little changes you make and analyse the results to see what works specifically for your business.
Feel free to contact KPMG Crimsonwing for a consultancy session re how we can help you target useful content using some of the readily available online solutions.