In days of marketing gone by, how and when we saw ads were determined by major media outlets, such as TV, radio, and print. The placements were determined by aggregated data that was based on assumptions and user feedback. It was dated, not entirely accurate, and there was no way to track how each channel performed. Consumers had little to no control.
The advancement of technology has changed the way we, as marketers, need to think about reaching our audience. Consumers are now in control of the amount of information they require and how they deliver feedback. This shift in power has had a major impact on consumers buying behavior.
In this post, I’ll review ways to ensure that your conversion strategies are keeping up with your evolving customers.
Cross Channel Readiness
The idea of cross channel effectiveness is not just a tip or an idea anymore. It is a necessity. Consumers want and expect to access content, find products, and complete transactions whenever and wherever they want. According to a Retail Touchpoint Survey of Global Customers, 60% of consumers expect to see the shopping experience be carried out through multiple channels, including web, social, mobile, and physical locations.
In particular, it is important to remember the influence that mobile can have on in-store locations. A survey conducted by Harris found that 46% of shoppers have conducted searches comparing prices online while in-store. Instead of relying solely on knowledgeable sales staff and great prices, explore ways to retain the interest in your brand. For example, create a radius targeted search campaign around both your store locations targeting the products and brands you sell as well as those locations of your competitors. Messaging can be crafted to incentivise people to buy in-store, such as discounts and rewards.
Help, Don’t Hype
Consumer behavior has evolved significantly over the years. Ads may bring attention to a product, but content will capture them. Consumers have begun to continually align themselves with brands that satisfy their needs, not create “wants.” It is important to look at each stage of the sales funnel and provide the correct messaging to the correct audience. An example of an effective paid strategy could be the following.
- Search Advertising – Serve an ad that brings consumers to a generic “About’ page
- Facebook Retargeting Ad – Serve a newsfeed ad that promotes the benefits of using your product
- Display Retargeting Ad – Serve ads to users who have shown interest in your brand and bring them to the product/service page to convert
While each step has been about promoting your service or product, it has also been neutral messaging, allowing the user to conduct their own research, evaluation, and ultimately their own decision about the purchase.
Customers want to feel special. They want brands to know them. Brands that understand the potential that personalization possesses are able to provide the easiest shopping experience for their customers. By collecting behavior and purchasing behavior, and developing user personas, you are able to craft messaging that can improve engagement and even craft a new funnel.
The most simple form of personalization to begin testing is the use of dynamic retargeting ads in both Display and Facebook. By connecting your product feed to AdWords and Facebook, you can serve ads to customers who may be still in the consideration phase of the buying cycle. These ads will show them products that they have specifically viewed on your site. Rather than generic messaging and the consumer trying to remember what your brand actually sells, they can be triggered to return directly to the product page at the bottom of the funnel.
Comparison shopping is now a key step in any product or service buying cycle. It is on brands to create experiences for users that make them stand out amongst the crowd and for consumers to feel confident in the choice that they are making. For example, an ecommerce site may want to implement videos showing products in use, or multiple product views. It could also be as simple as implementing an autocomplete search function or providing relevant and recent customer reviews.
In short, the more that you can do to help the consumer make a confident decision, the more likely that your conversion rate will increase.
While it is not practical to try every new strategy that is fashionable all at once, it is important to be aware of the possibilities and make steady changes to your strategy over time. Modern consumers expect you to satisfy their needs, not create their wants. Use the data that you have to provide them with the best experience that you can.