Updated: Jun 24
What do customers value more? Price? Convenience? Experiences? Today, brands such as Apple rely on building an experience for their customers.
Apple has locations across the world carefully crafted to create a sense of community. Their experts are trained to listen and build relationships with the customers. The option to simply purchase their products online is always accessible but, customers choose the physical location because Apple has gained a level of trust in the mind of their customers.
In the world of eCommerce, customers put more value on actual experiences rather than cost, brands will have to adjust to stay relevant.
In this article, we will be exploring:
Building brand perception.
How to identify your target market
The benefits of loyalty programs
The value of customer service
Consumers crave consistency-The moment your brand is presented to a prospective customer, the customer should instantly get a sense of the brand, through your website design, packaging, messaging and content.
Once a brand has established a unique tone, customers are more inclined to align with a brand that accents their personal style, views, and values.
Using one of our clients as an example. KITH wanted to focus on not only having a great website that was optimized for conversions, but also brand loyalty and perception. They continue to maintain a strong brand following and loyalty because they created a lifestyle that appeals to their customer base.
“The time spent on creating strategic content and collaborations makes their brand stand out, it’s different. You are not just buying a hoodie or a T-shirt, there is something more behind it. It’s a feeling you get.” John Surdakoswki, CEO of Avex
Building Brand Trust
When building brand trust there are 4 key elements consumers focus on— consistency, acknowledgment, reliability, and relevance.
Consistency- As your brand grows, your loyal consumers expect a level of consistency. From content to all forms of communication with the community you’ve built. Once a brand persona is created it’s best to stay constant to avoid losing loyal consumers.
Acknowledgment- Your customers are the foundation of your business. Brands that highlight customer appreciation are substantially more successful. Simple ways brands show appreciation is a thank-you note included in packaging or events created for loyal customers.
Reliability- Customers’ needs should always be met with the same level of responsiveness each time. Brands should always have a simple form of communication, so customers can easily reach them if questions/ concerns arise.
Relevance- In the age of ad-blockers and spam folders brands should only put forth relevant content. Consumers are quick to dismiss and ignore brands when selling efforts become too aggressive. Only communicate with consumers with relevancy and purpose.
Understanding your Market
Marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. In order to build brand loyalty, this begins with understanding your target market. Who are your consumers? This will assist in optimizing your offerings accordingly. To best evaluate your target market these three measures should be taken into consideration.
When purchasing a product the value in the mind of consumers vary. Some consumers determine the value of a product by the cost minus their intended usage, for others, it’s an intangible feeling that is created.
In short, how is this product beneficial? Many consumers are looking to solve a problem when searching for a product. Is this product unique? Does it solve my problem? Understanding the benefits of your product begins with understanding your product positioning in marketing compared to your competitors.
No consumer persona will be a perfect representation of your target market. However, creating a few personas for your different consumer types will allow you to better tailor your content and brand experience to your target demographic. A painless place to start is by looking at your current customers and creating personas based on their buying habits. Social media can also be a valuable resource to better understand your customers. If this is not an option, simply divide your potential market by segment.
Geographic- Country, City, Climate, Region, Population density, Neighborhood
Behavioral- Benefits, Purchase reasoning, Brand loyalty, Product usage, Occasion
Psychographic- Social class, Lifestyle, Attitude, Values
Demographic- Age, Gender, Sexual orientation, Income, Religion, Nationality
The most successful brands continuously seek feedback to fuel business decisions. Simple tools such as Surveymonkey to create surveys are utilized by brands that vary in size to generate feedback. Other brands have a consumer review options, where customers who purchased products can share their thoughts. This can further your understanding of your market and entice new customers to purchase.
In the case of Glossier, they created a slack channel for their most devoted customers; a modern approach to receiving insight from their customers. Glossier strategically extended this form of communication which in turn became beneficial for both parties— consumers received exclusive offers to products while Glossier received real-time feedback. Glossier values customer feedback, this allows them to continue to best serve their market.
The utilization of short-form surveys is a successful tool to lean on for data. Shorter form surveys prompt quick responses, focuses on KPI goals, while businesses are able to receive large data sets for minimal cost.
Yotpo and Soko Glam (a shopify+ partner) used a highly collaborative and iterative implementation process to be sure that the final product was built specifically to cater to Soko Glam’s needs. The resulting custom-designed rewards page both complements Soko Glam’s branding and focuses on its goal of creating more repeat purchasers by beautifully showcasing their VIP perks. The page’s primary objective is to create a sense of FOMO that motivates users to reach the top levels of engagement with the brand.
Soko Glam’s program has gained heavy traction with its customer base and seen coupon redemption statistics well above the industry averages. VIP shoppers, in particular, engage heavily with the program to take advantage of the more curated, exclusive redemption options. These VIPs make redemptions 20x more often than average Soko Glam shoppers. The program has generated a 7X ROI for the brand.
“Today’s shoppers have endless choices and, as a result, they frequently move between different brands. So, in order to succeed, brands need more than a great product and unique marketing plan to stand out; they need to build an emotional connection with their shoppers and to invest in customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is more important than ever. In order to succeed, brands need to build a unique loyalty program strategy that takes into consideration key elements of brand values, user experience, and ease of use for customers. Programs need to tell the story of your brand while still nurturing and building a trusting relationship with customers — only then will customers become loyal shoppers and brand ambassadors.
Kevin Lindberg, Partnership Marketing, Yotpo
To create an efficient buying journey brands must identify the needs of their consumers, create solutions that lead to purchase, then initiate a post-purchase experience.
Thirdlove, a premium lingerie brand, filled the void of women’s needs in their category. Understanding that more than 50% of women are wearing bras that fit incorrectly, Thirdlove created a custom fit finder as well as offering half sizes. Leveraging on quality products and emotional connection to their consumers’, Thirdlove was able to quickly attract a large segment of the market.
For Generation Love, we created a customized post-purchase email by using Klaviyo. Once a purchase was delivered, their post-purchase journey was initiated. Days following, the customer will receive an email asking them about their purchase and giving the customer the option to leave a review. 60-days later the customer will receive another email recommending products that relate to their original purchase. This hinted at a sale without being forceful.
There is a direct correlation between customer service quality and sales. As buying habits shift to online retail shopping, brands will have to find new ways to translate their customer service experience. Many brands have turned to AI; utilizing chatbots for quicker response times and personalized shopping recommendations based on user preferences.
Automation in customer service is fantastic and perhaps best used to take frequent and mundane requests off of store owner’s hands, allowing them to dedicate time to unique and critical customer engagement. David Anzalone
Businesses like Gorgias were created specifically to support customer service efforts. Gorgias gives their users the option to integrate their email, social media, live chat, and phone into one platform. On this platform, businesses are further supported by offering the option to edit orders, update subscription, and adjust loyalty programs. This, in turn, increases response time and can assist any eCommerce business stay on top of their customer needs.
The adaptation of a consumer-focused approach will be more valuable moving forward to build brand loyalty this begins with you. Understanding who your customers are and what they find valuable is key. Trust is built when customer voices are heard; continuously improve your brand by listening to your customers and creating solutions.