In past two years the pandemic has inflicted significant changes in consumer behaviour, resulting in a huge surge in online shopping across the world. In response, while most merchants accelerated their efforts to introduce new marketing platforms, others re-visited their existing platforms to ensure they were well-equipped. These past two years have been a learning curve for businesses globally, with some hitting the mark and others falling short.

IDC projects that ecommerce spending will rise 162% by 2025 across Southeast Asia[1]. Also, according to the Global Data report, Australia’s ecommerce market is expected to reach US$70 billion by 2025.[2] So how do you elevate your marketing to provide that ultimate customer experience for your ecommerce audience? As we navigate 2022, it’s essential to ask yourself:

  • Is your technology up to scratch?
  • Do you have the right strategy in place?
  • Are you utilising the correct data to optimise both?

Here are five key things to consider while evaluating your marketing automation platform for enhanced customer experience.

1. RFM modelling

Combining Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) and persona modelling will help you deliver relevant campaigns that improve performance. The key is understanding your customers – both potential and existing. For those customers who have already started shopping with your brand, you have an armoury of historical data at your fingertips – so use it!

Recency – the time since a customer’s last purchase

Why: Use this information to target customers at the right time. If they’ve purchased with you in the previous week, maybe don’t send them that 30% discount you’re launching. Likewise, if they’ve not placed an order in the last six months, tempt them to buy with a win-back offer.

Frequency – how many times a customer has placed an order

Why: This data helps coordinate your campaigns. If your customer is a frequent low-spender, you could regularly recommend products (with a similar price tag). However, if your customer is an infrequent high-spender (let’s say they make a big order twice a year), lessen the frequency of your campaigns and catch them at the right time.

Monetary – the monetary value of customer purchases

Why: This data helps you identify your low spenders from your VIPs. You can segment based on average order value (AOV) or lifetime value. Enrol high-spenders in a loyalty program that rewards, incentivises and tempts customers with a low AOV to increase their spending.

2. Make the decision easier for customers

Ultimately, you want to make the customer’s choice easier to make. The psychology of ecommerce teaches us that excess choice can overload the consumer. Think about an overcrowded inbox. How will you stand out from the crowd?

In today’s fast-paced world, markets are maturing quickly and becoming more saturated. Time-poor consumers will find it increasingly challenging to decide on the product they need, the price they’re willing to pay, and the retailer to buy from.

This uncertainty doesn’t bode well for marketers or consumers. Retailers should let data drive their decision-making – because consumers will, sooner or later, respond to campaigns that complement their behaviours and indulge their interests.

3. Apply a holistic approach to data

Aside from purchase history, remember to continue using primary data like name, age, and location. All of this information increases the relevancy of your marketing messages.

What’s more, preferences can go a long way. Behavioural data is a sure-fire way to drive product recommendations that resonate with customers. But you can’t ignore the explicit information that a customer has handed over to you. If they say they like diffusers, sell them your best scents! If they prefer not to be contacted by email, suggest SMS as an alternative.

Once you have all of this data in one place, you’ll be able to paint a clearer picture of your customer. You can use your customer insight to create various personas and target lookalikes.

4. Make customers feel at home

We know that driving timely, relevant messages will engage, convert, and retain customers at scale. Above all, they will make a lasting impression. But it all starts with the first meeting: a well-formulated welcome series should breathe life into the customer relationship. It should set the scene and apply a standard for your broader marketing automation programs.

Welcome-program musts:

  • Set the tone of the relationship
  • Define the key benefits of signing up
  • Showcase your USPs
  • Ask customers who they are – what do they like?
  • Offer an incentive to spur the first purchase

The best way to tailor future campaigns is to leverage explicit and implicit data to maximise your message’s relevancy.

Once you have captured basic information such as date of birth, during the sign-up process, it’s time to track their web behaviour to better understand their interests and preferences. Leading up to their birthday, send them a special offer to redeem online – a standard practice. Enhance the relevancy of the message by pulling in hyper-relevant product recommendations based on the browse/ buying history to encourage the customer to shop.

They might not go on to remember what you did or said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.

5. Strive towards customer loyalty

Customer-driven experience is what every marketer should be aiming for. It sets the foundation for customer loyalty. Providing an enriched and seamless experience requires anoptimal data flow, the right technology, and an informed strategy. Consider the following customer lifecycle programs when re-platforming:

  • Welcome
  • Nurture
  • Birthday
  • Post-purchase
  • Cross-/upsell
  • Loyalty/VIP
  • Win-back/re-engagement

It’s important to have the data all in one place to make these triggered campaigns work. Technology, strategy, and data are the holy trinity of customer loyalty. Nail these elements, and you’ll be well on your way to not only increase your database but also transform customers into lifelong brand advocates.

Aparna Gray is head of marketing for Asia Pacific at dotdigital.

[1] 2C2P | IDC, 2C2P: Digital Payments To Lead 162% Growth in SEA…

[2]  Australian e-commerce market to reach US$70bn in 2025, forecasts GlobalData – GlobalData