While nothing can beat face-to-face client interactions, there’s a really strong case for using digital tools and channels to communicate with shoppers.
For starters, using things such as email, social networking, or even SMS permits you to remain in contact with your customers even if they are not physically in your shop. And given the current retail landscape, doing so is more significant than ever.
Regularly touching base with shoppers retains your brand top of mind, and makes it possible to generate traffic and sales both online and offline.
To that end, it is important to have several tools on your client communications arsenal, and you will need to sharpen them frequently.
Here are a few tips about how to do precisely that.
1. Set a regular customer communications program
One of the keys to a successful client comms strategy would be to socialize with your shoppers on a regular basis. Instead of a hectic program where you get in touch when you feel like it, make it a point to have a consistent schedule for your messages.
Decide how frequently you want to communicate with your clients, create a calendar for your posts and messages, and implement consistently.
Concerning messaging frequency, the perfect answer depends upon your audience in addition to the communication channel you are using. Here are a few best practices:
- Mail — At least once a week, but test sending emails more frequently to see how your readers react.
With social media, things are not as straightforward, as your posting frequency and program ought to be tailored to every network. CoSchedule did some research on how often to post on social networks and recommended the following:
- Facebook — 1 post daily
- Instagram — 1-2 posts per day
- Twitter — 15 tweets daily
- Pinterest — 11 pins daily
- LinkedIn — 1 post daily
2. Have a healthy mixture of articles to share
Posting the exact sort of content will get old fast. So, diversify the kinds of posts and messages which you publish. Your calendar should have a wholesome mixture of various content bits to prevent audience fatigue.
Here are some of the types of messages to put out there:
This is a common one in retail and for good reason. Promotions are a proven method to improve sales. Promotions can raise your conversion rates by up to 3150% (not a typo)!
So if you are running offers in your organization, make certain to inform your audience. The very best kinds of promotions are those that are timely in addition to relevant to your clients’ needs.
Run provides which are tied to a specific season or vacation (Mother’s Day, back-to-school, etc.). Or even better, create offers which are specifically tailored to each customer.
One company that does this well is the personal care manufacturer Mountain Madness Soap Co. , which sends distinct email advertising streams based on each client’s behavior. As an example, completely new customers receive a different message and give from present shoppers who haven’t purchased anything a while.
Mountain Madness’ effort to personalize their client communications has paid off tremendously. According to the company, 60 percent of the shoppers wind up buying again and they have generated thousands of dollars in earnings from their campaigns.
Educational, inspiring, or entertaining content
Promotional messages are excellent, but make certain to balance out things with content which is not too sales-y. Your articles should go beyond”BUY NOW” messages, and rather add value to your clients’ lives.
That value can come in the kind of education, entertainment, inspiration. Here is a cool example from Nike, which does all the above.
In the message below, you will see that there’s a bit about gratitude to inspire readers, and Nike also shares workout videos and neighborhood post to instruct and amuse the brand’s audience.
Put the spotlight on your clients by re-sharing their articles. Invite them to send videos or photos of your products in actions and with their consent, share their posts with your readers and social networking audience.
The skin care brand Curology does so nicely. Curology regularly shares before and after pictures of its clients, to offer social evidence that its products work.
3. Use multiple communication channels
We speak about”omnichannel retail” a long time. It may be a mouthful, but it is only a fancy way of saying that retailers need to have a strong presence online and offline, and that your physical and electronic stores can”speak” to each other.
The notion of omnichannel can, to some degree, be applied to client communications. In precisely the exact same way that you are using many channels or tools to sell, you also need to use different platforms to receive your message across.
And for brands, the best communication channels are:
- Your Site
Your client communications strategy should incorporate a combination of the above.
The more conventional methods — such as in-store talks with partners and telephone conversations — are amazing for relaying information in more detail and interacting with clients at a deeper level.
Your site is excellent for customers who wish to acquire information on a self-service foundation — i.e., buying things themselves or searching through your FAQs page.
Meanwhile, email and SMS function best for promotional messages and announcements.
Each communication channel has its own place. Determine which tools and methods make the most sense for your company and begin using them to stay in touch.
4. Double down on Social Networking and research new platforms
With more people staying in the home, social networking activity has skyrocketed. Based on a March 2020 poll by Statista, 44 percent of respondents globally are spending more time on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and much more.
As stated previously, you should be posting articles regularly — at least once per day, based on the social networking.
Use the ideas and examples we discussed above to ascertain which kind of content to print and how often to do it.
You might also take this opportunity to explore different platforms and channels. An extremely popular one right now — especially one of Gen Z and millennials — is TikTok. The app lately surpassed 2 billion downloads and set a record for the large number of installs in one quarter.
When the pandemic hit and states implemented lockdowns, the lingerie retailer Aerie took that as an chance to enter TikTok.
The company established its account on April 14, then launched a sponsored #AerieRealPositivity hashtag challenge. The initiative encouraged consumers to upload TikTok videos sharing what they are thankful for and utilizing the hashtag in their content. Aerie awakened with the influencer Charli D’ Amelio (who has 51.1 million followers) to spread the word.
The results were tremendous. According to Glossy:
In the two months following the challenge went Aerie earned 17,400-plus followers. There were 6,600 videos which were posted with the struggle hashtag, which collectively saw over 1.3 billion viewpoints. While the brand didn’t discuss details on the cost, sponsored TikTok hashtag challenges cost $150,000 for six days, based on Influencer Marketing Hub. The week of April 15, Aerie reported 16,000 new Instagram followers (a 1,000percent increase, compared to a typical week) and a substantial increase in visitors to the #AerieReal Life homepage, with 138,000 views in one day.
So, should you follow Aerie’s footsteps? Maybe, maybe not. The key takeaway here is that you should always explore tools and channels to attain your customers. TikTok might be the perfect platform, but maybe it is another site or app.
However, you won’t understand unless you research your choices and experiment.
5. Constantly reassure shoppers
During times of uncertainty, you want to be a voice of reassurance. If you are currently trading, always remind your customers about the measures which you are taking to keep everybody healthy and safe.
If you are not open, use this opportunity to craft a solid communication for how you’ll guarantee customers and get them to shop at your company when you reopen. Much of the exact principles above apply.
Enforce the correct policies to protect your staff and clients, and communicate these policies using both physical methods (in-store signage, PA announcements, reminders from the straff) and electronic channels (email, SMS, social networking, website/blog).
6. Do not just talk — listen
We discussed speaking to your clients quite a bit in this guide, but we would be remiss if we did not bring up the power of listening.
Therefore, as you’re crafting your articles posting messages, make sure you balance things out by listening to your viewers.
Pay attention to the messages and comments that you are getting, in addition to the things they’re posting by themselves. What are the trending issues in your community? What’s the general sentiment of your audience?
The answers to these questions will shed light on insights that can inform not only your messaging, but your product choices also. If you are trying to determine what to stock up on, listening to your audience is among the best things you can do.
Communicating with your audience is something that:
- You should do always; and
- constantly improve.
In an extremely competitive and crowded retail landscape, your messages will need to be relevant, and they need to be delivered at the perfect time, using the ideal platform.
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