Running business-to-consumer e-commerce is profitable and there is still a lot of growth expected as people are shifting from in-store to digital. Why? It is convenient – you don’t have to carry stuff. You can instantly check reviews of other people. It is easy to return things if something goes south. You see no crowds and lines when shopping. And you can shop even after you have had a beer or two.
But people won’t simply buy anything from anyone online, right? Satisfaction is a result of comparing expectations and experience. In other words, people are pleased when a delivery meets or exceeds their expectations. I strongly believe that one of the elements that matter to people is information. Information availability, accuracy, and relevancy.
Post-Purchase Is Also Pre-Purchase
I am skipping the obvious such as ensuring your store is mobile-friendly as we see around half of all e-commerce shopping is done using a mobile phone. I would like to focus a little on enriching peoples’ post-purchase experience. You do everything right when people are shopping. Now they hit the “Buy” button. Yep, this is not the end. People will have to get their goods. And you have an opportunity to lay the foundations of another round. To start some great customer relationships. Or develop the existing ones.
First, you should not leave people in the dark about where their order is. There are a variety of channels you can use for creating an exceptional experience. And earning some long-term loyalty. Such as emails or text messages. Text messages do the job. But emails go often straight to the trash as inboxes are overflowing. For people, it’s hard to sort through all emails and find the ones that matter to them.
Be There. On Mobile Phones.
Nowadays, people are always on their mobile phones. So why don’t you show up on their lock screen with something richer than a text message? That is a job for push notifications. The good news is that you don’t have to develop a mobile app. You don’t have to develop anything actually. You can just stick to the available platform where people spend time. The mobile wallets.
Many think that mobile wallets are just about payments. Actually, being in the hands and pockets of hundreds of millions of people, it is a service that manages various digital content from multiple brands and that enables transactions. The mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet or Google Pay do allow for the most direct form of communication without emails or text messages once people have added your piece of digital content there.
Let’s say that you will offer people a simple digital customer card for mobile wallets after they hit the “Buy” button. In an exchange for free delivery or another benefit to make it easier for them to opt-in. And that you will add push notifications as your communication channel. Push notifications are messages that pop up as a banner on a lock screen of your customer’s mobile phone reaching people who have added your digital customer card into their mobile wallet.
Texts and emails have been good methods of notifying customers. But it is time to take it a step further with your digital customer card real-time updates. The digital customer card is dynamic. The clickable links on the backside allow people – in a convenient way directly from their mobile phone – to find details of their order. Or to track the real-time transit details, make a one-click claim, or check and update their account details. And of course to call your customer support line without searching for the contact details.
And as the digital customer card is also interactive, you can notify people of status changes at a particular order. In an extremely effective way – straight on people’s lock screen. Confirm peoples’ orders to give them peace of mind. Confirm shipments to keep them up to date. Confirm deliveries to let them know the exact moment their orders hit their doorstep.
Then engage people beyond the buy. On their mobile phones. Your digital customer card plays the role of a smart bookmark to your business on people’s mobile phones now. Stored in the people’s preferred mobile wallet app, it provides ultimate convenience and minimal memory usage.
The order was made, and the package was shipped and delivered. Now it is time to ask your customers for feedback and engage them by interactive and mobilizing incentives such as special sales promotions and deals or coupons. Or some exclusive content such as sneak peeks of new products or special deals. People might also welcome the contextual product and service information. As you want people to return and buy again, right?
The push notifications and updates are what allow you to use your digital customer cards in the peoples’ mobile wallets instead of email newsletters and text messages.
Ladislav Poledna inspires readers to “Become Digital” by publishing materials about digital marketing in his Prague Monitor column and aptly named blog. He has built a career around developing successful customer relationships for the past two decades. At present, Ladislav manages the Power Solutions division of a Fortune 1000 company in Central and Eastern Europe and also oversees operations of the producer’s regional office in Prague. Recently, he co-founded a B-to-B software service company making mobile marketing affordable and easy to use. Ladislav’s philanthropic contribution consists of a long-term relationship with a charity focused on funding dreams for people with muscular dystrophy.
Mobile phones are long becoming the main “screen” in peoples’ lives. Mobile marketing is no longer an innovation but a part of important decisions. Read articles on mobile marketing to get inspired on how to connect with people where they spend a lot of their time. Become Digital.