How Brands Can Engage with Customers After Checkout

March 21, 2018 – Marketing Land

 

You develop a relationship with a customer during their path to purchase, but do you lose track of them after they buy? Contributor Davor Sutija offers tips to keep the conversation going.

Display advertisements, coupons, shopper samples and in-store promotions are some of the more traditional approaches marketers have taken when trying to catch a shopper’s attention and influence his or her purchasing decision. Today, some forward-thinking brands are investing in new technologies like image recognition and augmented reality (AR) to build omnichannel retail experiences that target the mobile-first, tech-savvy consumer.

The challenge for brands arises, however, when that customer leaves the physical confines of the store. The 1-to-1 conversation related to a particular purchase essentially ends, as the means to engage directly with consumers post-purchase — during a product’s consumption phase — are basically non-existent. A brand’s ability to accompany the consumer throughout the entire customer journey ends as well.

But that’s beginning to change. A 2017 poll from WBR Digital and Narvar found that 90 percent of the more than 100 retailers surveyed recognize that post-purchase interactions are the gateway to better brand perception, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Marketers are keen to find technologies that help extend the consumer dialogue beyond the retail setting, and it’s no surprise that they’re setting their sights on mobile solutions.

Extend the consumer dialogue from the store to the home

We’ve established that, beyond physical products, today’s consumers want experiences when they shop. That’s why much of the current industry conversation around the “retail apocalypse” and how to get consumers into the store has focused on creating a unique and memorable shopping experience.

But experiences aren’t forged in a single moment. A product purchase is just the beginning, and the customer journey doesn’t end when a shopper swipes his or her credit card. The full experience continues through the interactions a consumer has when using, applying or consuming a particular product. For example, if a shopper buys a new bottle of olive oil, that experience — and their perception of the brand — will be driven primarily by the quality and taste of the product.

During the consumption phase, he or she may decide to visit the brand’s website to get additional product info, search for recipes or share images and stories through social media. Or they may not. The point is, brands have very little direct influence on the customer experience once that individual buys the olive oil and leaves the store.

As a result, brands should be looking for new ways to extend the consumer dialogue post-purchase and delight their customers after a product is taken home. And the rules here are pretty similar to that of a good friendship: If you can enrich or improve a customer’s life based on their experience with your product, their loyalty will grow, and they’re likely to come back for more.

 

Read the full article here.