8-second race: How retailers can connect with fast-moving customers
Photo source: iStock.com
ByJeff Hassemer, chief strategy officer, Alterian
In recent years, the window of opportunity for retail marketers to know, reach, convert and engage their customers has dropped to just eight seconds. The key to reaching them is to create an adaptive customer experience — one that combines consumer transactional data with real-time context — to supersede channels and anticipate their individual needs with the right message no matter where they interact.
Here is an overview of the essential steps to create an adaptive customer experience, one for each of the eight seconds marketers must seize before the customer is gone:
1. Context: The first thing a customer or prospect will notice when they interact with a brand is how well the brand understands them as an individual. If the connection isn't relevant, the other seven seconds won't matter — they’ll likely abandon the journey.
2. Relevancy: From a marketer's perspective, the way to ensure content is most relevant to a recipient is by analyzing customer data and making sure critical data repositories are connected.
3. Personalization: Once the data reveals that a particular message will be relevant to the interaction, marketers must take relevancy one step further and personalize the content to create an individual experience in the moment.
4 Experience: By this stage, the customer is likely engaged with the brand and is now looking for a reason to extend their interaction beyond the first four seconds.
5. Motivation: Assuming that the brand's offer is relevant and personal, what will motivate the customer to stay tuned in? Customers are not only motivated by price-based incentives; they need other reasons, such as exclusivity or loyalty programs, to keep engaging with brands.
6. Reputation: Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to improve brand reputation. Unfortunately, many interactions are designed for short-term profit, often at the expense of the brand, which threatens long-term profitability.
7. Channel: Next, customers will choose the channel they want to use to engage with the brand. It's important to enable and optimize multi-device and multichannel interactions because so many customer journeys are non-linear.
8. Control: Customers are in control — they can tune in or tune out at the click of a button. They expect value in return for their interactions and for sharing their information. Meanwhile, marketers need to understand and respect the fact that users appreciate their privacy; it is a balancing act that must be mastered.
Retailers have no choice but to compete in the 8-second race for customers' attention and connection. It's the only clear route today’s retail marketer can take to effectively capture consumers' brief attention span as they speed through the overwhelming quantity of content and offers available on every channel.
Topics: Consumer Behavior, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Digital Merchandising, Marketing, Merchandising, Mobile Retail, Omnichannel / Multichannel, Online Retailing, Retail - Analytics, Retail - General, Shopper Marketing