Think of any purchase you made recently – booking a holiday, buying a fashion piece, electronic goods, essentially anything that results in you parting with your hard earned cash and you’ll see there is a buying journey you will of embarked upon. Maybe you like to start online, or in a bricks and mortar store, or perhaps by asking your social network for recommendations. No matter how you look at it, there is more than likely going to be a digital touch point somewhere in the journey. Senior Account Manager, Simon Bhattacharjee investigates a little deeper…

You’ve probably already read our article on Micro Moments, and therefore know the importance of applying the right time, right place approach but as a digital brand, the way you choose to shape your customer journey is where you can really set yourself apart allowing you to form long lasting and profitable relationships with your customers. Deloitte’s digital team identified in a comprehensive study that over two-thirds of all purchases are now influenced by digital, and therefore highlighting the importance of dedicating time to making sure that numerous areas of your business are digital centric. We know that this can be tough, so to keep it simple here is 4 key areas of focus that I feel that you need to be incorporating into your digital plan in the next 12 months.

These key areas will ensure that you are taking advantage of this customer evolution:

Why digital is integral to your whole business

1# Know your customer

Sounds simple enough, sure, but setting this out in the right fashion will allow you to not only innovate the ways you engage and meet your customer, but also give you a solid base of how they already interact your campaigns. Ultimately understanding their worth to your business now, and in the future, and can help justify their acquisition and nurturing. With an aim of being able to identify the higher AOV customer, those with higher lifetime value, brand advocates and even those who are costing too much to serve, you can really fine tune and enhance your channel focus, resulting in better profit.

2# Take the time to analyse

So many decisions can be made based on a gut feeling or previous experience and these are really valuable assets, but making an assumption can cut your profit fast as well. Making sure you have a robust data set, scope for multi-channel attribution and a particular focus on being able to measure every change you make, allows you to prove (or disprove) the hypothesis and therefore act on it promptly. Having this function is pivotal to tying the whole experience together for your customer and really tests if you know what works well and why. It will also stand you in good stead when it comes back to budget time – your stats can never lie.

3# Personalise your approach

All the knowledge you have gathered about your customers allows you to really start a program of engagement that sets you aside from the rest. Some basics you want to engage in are, communications on their preferred platform, that are in sync with their buying patterns, which are relevant to their group and demographic. Finally, engage in some cheeky upselling to reinforce what you already know is right up their street. However, when things start to be really interesting is when you consider the speed of tech advancement and the options this presents you in the future.

Most users of digital platforms already expect to have personalised content, which is relevant to them, based on their location and segmentation. A great example illustrating how tech companies are embracing this is Fijitsu, they already taking it one step further by rolling out in AU/NZ, giving users the option to interact live with users via their mobile as they engage with items in a retail environment.  Fujitsu use the platform to trigger specific content messages as the customer moves through the store and also suggest related products to match a customer’s previous purchase.

You might not be looking this far down the line yet, but the pace of the current evolution means you need to looking for fresh ideas and getting on board now. Use what you know to create a journey that feels very individual to that customer and you can be building a future long term brand advocate.

4# Play to your strengths

Chances are you already have some unique factors you haven’t leveraged yet. Place yourself in the shoes of your customer and start to think honestly. Would you visit the website, check out the product and then purchase immediately? Would you complete the purchase online or offline? Would you shop around for alternatives? Would you be won over by personal touches?

Digital has impacted modern culture in a big way, it has became almost instinct now, that tells you never to accept the first price that you see online. The vast depth and array of information available means that you can’t always win every battle but it’s important that you look at the wider experience to win over the customer. You may have the best delivery options, real specialist knowledge on the product, and a loyal set of reviewers who would recommend your product, so don’t waste this key opportunity and shout about it.

The building blocks are simple, but followed with the right process of continued enthusiasm that embraces your customer needs across all channels, it can give you more than just sales, but longevity and sales, that magic mix that provides brand success. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the topic, give us a shout over on Twitter @silverbean or in the comments box below.