This is a guest post by Brian Laney, originally featured on the AlertTech blog.
Do you know what you need to do to create lifelong customers? Want to know what retail technology industry leaders are using to help maximize their profits and build customer loyalty?
Smart retailers are always looking for ways to increase profits. These 10 strategies will help you stop leaving money on the table.
1) Don’t Narrow the User’s Shopping Experience
Customers regularly interact with businesses through multiple channels. You want your customers to be able to browse your website from whatever device they choose. Give customers the seamless experience they desire by allowing them to connect to your site from different devices without losing all of their saved data.
2) Don’t Let Customers Leave Their Items Behind
More than half of all shoppers end up leaving items in their cart and forget about them. One of the simplest things you can do is to send them an automated message letting them know that they have items waiting for them. To provide an extra incentive for them to return, offer a discount if they complete their purchase now – or a coupon they can use next time they shop with you.
3) Customize Your Emails
Sending out bulk, unpersonalized email is a waste of time. Customers want customized information that pertains specifically to them. Make sure the email you send is personalized and up-to-date. Otherwise, you are not going to see results from your efforts.
4) Make a Helpful Recommendation
If you want to turn browsers into buyers, provide your customers with recommendations about items you think they’d like, based on both what they’re viewing and on their past purchases. Using an automated recommendation tool can save you much time and effort when trying to maximize profits and upsell.
5) Don’t Just Recommend Any Old Product
Think about it: when a customer browses through the pages on your website, you are gaining insight into the types of things they want and like. Why depend on what the crowds want when you can figure out exactly what your individual customers want? Giving customers what they want will help to increase profit and gain customers.
6) Stop Messing with Generic Transactional Emails
Transactional emails like receipts and shipping notifications aren’t always looked at from a marketing perspective. They are typically viewed as being necessary to your business operation.
Many retailers have their IT department deliver a generic email from their platform. Stop overlooking the importance of this touch point. Use this opportunity to re-engage your customers after they make their initial purchase on your site with additional product recommendations.
7) Drive Engagement Using the Power of Social Media
For most people, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are platforms where they can chat with family and friends, post pictures and gossip about everything going on in their lives. How can you leverage social media for your business?
- Provide regular updates on your branded social media platforms
- Add email opt-in forms offering premium content
8) Leverage Your Mobile Channels
Almost all of the mobile devices sold today can connect to the Internet and receive SMS messages. Did you know that almost half of all individuals who go into a store never end up making a purchase before they leave? Are you overlooking the power of the mobile device?
SMS text messaging allows your customers to sign up for your messaging via text message getting their permission to add their phone number to your list. A list of permission-based subscribers is highly effective for many reasons… – Brian Hongiman
It’s about time you turn to your mobile device and start re-engaging your customers once they are no longer in your store. Offer an SMS opt-in at your location that promises a discount or other promotion. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain customers and increase revenue.
9) Deliver Your Emails the Right Way
Various factors can cause your emails not to be delivered properly. If your emails aren’t getting through to your customers, you are losing out on revenue. Are you sending out emails in the hopes that they are getting where they need to be?
To continue building a solid email base, you need to maintain a positive relationship with a good internet service provider (ISP). Make sure you send emails that are engaging and relevant to your current customer base, so they are not marked as spam.
10) Segmentation and Automation Practices are Important
Proper automation tools can help you do far more with a lot less. They can help you to:
- Collect data incrementally so customers are not overwhelmed with long forms.
- Automate your email campaigns based on customer lifecycle.
- Utilize data about your customer’s purchase history to personalize the email and web browsing experience.
- Segment your customer database so that you only send targeted relevant promotions to each based on age, gender, location and other demographics or preferences.
- Promote events that are in the customer’s area.
- Upsell and cross-sell.
Using the 10 tips and tools above, you can maximize profits and build a loyal customer base. Investing in the right retail technology tools and strategies will boost your profits and save you money in the long run.