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Marketing has changed more in the past two years than it has in the past 20 years… is your company doing everything it can to keep up?

In a world of choice overload, it can be difficult for retailers to keep up with their competition but good marketing tools can certainly give a business the edge. With advances in technology, marketing has become so much more than generic white-papers and social media ads. Leading companies are ploughing millions into their marketing departments as they constantly try to find the next best campaigns and creative concepts. This also includes finding the latest AI technology for the most modern and savvy marketing initiatives. However, one thing has and will always remain the same and that is the wise words of wisdom - ‘know your audience!’

This blog post will delve into some of the newest and most innovative marketing methods out there and explain how they can help your different target groups to feel inspired and purchase your products.

"94% of companies agree that personalization is critical to current and future success." - Matizmo

A personalized customer experience is simply expected these days, especially when it comes to sending out things like birthday emails or even just emails which address the customer by their first name. Unfortunately though, this just doesn’t quite make the cut anymore and customers aren’t too impressed. According to Infosys, 31% of customers wished that their shopping experience was more personalized and only 22% were satisfied with the current situation of online shopping.

Guided Selling Technology offers a broad range of tools which can be integrated directly into your website and offer your customers a personalized advice service as well as help them to navigate your products. It's new, it's modern and it works! So let's weigh up the options out there and analyze which suit your target group best.

PERSONALIZATION TOOLS

1. Product Guides

Product Guides help your customers to make educated buying decisions as well as help you as a business to understand their needs by asking simple questions which lead them to ideal product recommendations.

Product Guides are particularly suitable to customers who are unsure about what to buy - especially when it comes to electronic products like cameras, TVs and washing machines where most people don't claim to be an expert and therefore, need a helping hand.

2. Virtual Try On Tool - Mr Spex

Opticians MrSpex demonstrate excellent personalization with their Virtual Try On Tool. They prove that even buying glasses online isn't risky business anymore. Instead of having to go into a MrSpex store, you can now try different pairs of glasses on from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a webcam or a camera phone and with the help of face recognition, you can then try on all the glasses you wish and see which suit best.

Some customers will naturally still prefer the traditional method of going to buy a pair of glasses from the store but this visual fit tool is perfect for your target groups with hectic lives and those people who just need to make a quick purchase without any hassle.

3. Color and Design Selector - Victoria's Secret

The Victoria's Secret bra collection allows you to browse different colors and designs quickly and easily. They even show the model wearing every kind of color and design which makes it super easy for customers to just flick through and decide which they prefer best.

This kind of personalization feature works well for fashionistas where those little adjustments to things like color and pattern can make a big difference.

4. Gift Finders - Douglas Beauty and Cosmetics

Gift Finders are a personalization tool suitable for everyone. They are user-friendly and built on an algorithm which provides great recommendations to all kinds of people with all kinds of preferences meaning nobody is going to be left empty-handed when they get to the checkout.

Take the above example from European Beauty and Cosmetics leader "Douglas" whose Gift Finder provides their customers with personal questions that show they care about their needs and helping them to find the perfect gift.

Chatbots - product advice in the form of a conversation... but online!

You either love or hate Siri and Alexa... the same applies to online chatbots which can be integrated into your online shop to help advise customers find their perfect product. Available as an auditory or textual bot, chatbots are designed to make you feel like you are having a conversation with a human. When customers shop in-store and don't have the energy to go looking for something themselves or need some product advice, they simply ask the nearest sales assistant. Chatbots allow online customers to quickly ask what they want too, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.

Whole Foods Supermarket uses chatbots to advise customers on recipes as well as informs them of the nearest store to go buy all the ingredients.

Chatbots are particularly suited to customers who need an answer quickly and who don't get frustrated by talking to robots.

Intelligent Reasoning

Convince your customers with individual arguments in a user-friendly language and watch your conversions increase. By simply showing your customers that you understand their needs and are transparent in what you are selling, you will see positive changes in your customer loyalty rates.

Providing your customers with intelligent reasoning is basically telling them that a product fulfills all the criteria that they want the product to have, in order for them to buy it. Intelligent Reasoning is used by Product Guides which asks the customers what their product requirements are and then leads them to an ideal match. For example, the Bose headphones state that they include world-class noise cancellation, are lightweight and comfortable to wear and also Bluetooth compatible - everything the customer asked for!


Decide on a Guided Selling Method for your online shop today.


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Retaining a loyal customer base in e-commerce can be tough business. The easy access to internet and technology means every competitor is just one click away and potentially offering a lower price. When considering the costs for e-commerce businesses, for example, costs for AdWords and Facebook ads, it can't be denied how important customer loyalty is. Guided Selling methods offer several features to improve your customer loyalty.

Guided Selling Features That Strengthen Customer Loyalty

The advisory process of Guided Selling solutions provides a positive customer experience and increases customer satisfaction. This fact alone serves as a basis for strengthened customer loyalty. However, some Guided Selling tools go above and beyond in providing features which strengthen customer loyalty significantly. These features are well integrated into the advisory process and support the creation of a solid and loyal customer base. Let's take a look at two of these features:


PDF Generator

The PDF Generator creates a PDF of the user's personalized recommendation that displays all relevant product details and individual reasoning. The PDF contains backlinks to the products' detail pages, directly to the shopping cart or the user can simply continue with the advisory process. It reminds the customers of the advantages of the recommended product and is particularly useful in combination with the lead generator.

Detailed information
verivox pdf generator

Verivox Lead Generator

Lead Generator

A Lead Generator connects the user to the sales departments and sales partners or can also be combined directly with the PDF Generator. The result is that the generated and personalized PDF can be directly sent to the customer, sales department or sales partner via email. Reminding customers of a product's advantages substantially increases repeat purchases. A great feature of Lead Generation is that Leads can be shared within the network of affiliated retailers and channel partners: e.g. if you are a brand and want to forward leads from your website to your channel partners.

Detailed information

Conclusion

Guided Selling solutions increase customer satisfaction and strengthen the customer loyalty. Additional features of Product Guides such as the Lead and PDF Generator are options worth considering. They increase the conversion rate and the likelihood of repeat purchases because by sending the customer an email or PDF, they are less likely to forget about you.

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It's that time of year again - Valentine's Day is around the corner! Customers are panicking that they've still not found that special gift for their special someone.

We all know how much of a pain gift shopping can be - whether it be for your love on Valentine's or any time of year for that matter: birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries etc. Even when you know someone well, finding a good gift can be tricky and most of the time, it's hard to even know where to begin.

This is where Online Gift Finders can really help and advise your customers. Gift Finders are an excellent tool for providing your customers with gift advice, inspiration and recommendations - both easily and successfully!

Let's take a look at the advantages of Gift Finders as well as an example of how leading online homeware store yomonda is already using them.

LOOK

Having a Gift Finder on your website is enticing for customers - they are bound to be curious and test it out. It's fun to use and provides inspiration and recommendations - particularly useful for those who struggle for gift ideas or even people who find your number of products too overwhelming to trawl through. excentos recommender logic uses an intelligent matching engine and combines your sales and marketing strategy. That is what makes the Gift Finder an invincible tool bound to increase your sales and look good in your online shop.

OBSERVE

With excentos, you can observe and track how your Gift Finder is performing, as well as monitor online consumer behaviors. Our web analytics tool collects valuable user information and buying desires which help to assist you in optimizing your marketing strategy and customer approach. Find out exactly how your customers think and which products they really love!

VALUE

Sales personalization provides great value to your customers and allows your business to create real customer relationships online. Gift Finders provide you with the opportunity to speak with your customers and not at them. Customers who experience a pleasant online shopping experience are more likely to value your business and get to the checkout.

EXPERIENCE

We all know how important user experience is when it comes to e-commerce. Gift Finders make the online shopping experience more interactive and also provide good advice and recommendations like you would receive if you went in-store and spoke to a sales assistant. Customer expectations are rising and so it's important that your business keeps up and delivers a high quality online service. After all, the customer is always right so make sure you are proactively finding new ways to keep them happy!


Love is in the air

yomonda demonstrates that love really is in the air with their excellent gift finder. It inspires and gives online shopping that extra special human touch. Check it out:

yomonda - Leading Home Furnishing Retailer

yomonda sell products which make your home more beautiful - anything from home accessories and textiles, furniture, lighting, kitchenware, garden, bath & wellness and more... They aim to offer an online shopping experience which inspires. Their Gift Finder compliments this ethos perfectly.


Step 1 - Person

By asking the customer to type the name of the person they are buying a gift for as well as their relationship - the shopping experience becomes much more intimate and personalized.


Step 2 - Occasion

Narrow down the search for your customer and allow them to discover gifts which perfectly suit certain occasions.



Step 3 - Interests

Let the customer tell you a bit more about the person they are buying a gift for. What are they interested in?

Step 4 - Style

The Gift Finder only asks questions that your customers can answer. What kind of style does the recipient have?


Step 5 - The perfect Gift

And finally, your customer is presented with clever recommendations which the recipient of the gift is bound to love.


Step 6 - More great recommendations...

For those customers feeling generous, they are also presented with several more suitable recommendations.


Help your customers find their perfect gift this Valentine's

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"Millennials want it all and they want it now." - Guven Ordun, Research Gate

Millennials, Generation Y - buzzwords which we hear all the time. The primary target group aged between 22-35 years old have certain expectations in mind when they go shopping and their demands continue to grow exponentially.

Some prevalent trends which grace this tech-savvy generation include the influence of social media, aesthetics and more recently, the importance of protecting the environment and fighting for social justice.

This blog post will look into the five main contributors in successful targeting of the millennial shopper.

  • Social Media
  • Inspirational Content Marketing
  • Digital Product Advice and Guided Selling Solutions
  • Customer Service
  • Omnichannel accessibility

1. Social Media

Source: Facebook PlayStation

Top of the list has to be social media. Generation Y spends over 2 hours on social media per day and this phenomenon is not slowing down any time soon. Social media also continues to develop as something more than networking amongst friends and has become the go-to medium for people to be inspired, shop, leave reviews, interact and share experiences.

Thousands of shops and retailers have started investing serious money in social media to attract more customers and increase sales, and why wouldn't they? Social media is the holy grail for marketers and has made the targeting of all ages, genders, personalities and demographics so much easier.

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT AND INFLUENCERS

With the rise of Instagram, millennials have proven that they are crazy for visual content and are easily influenced by what their favorite celebrities are doing, wearing, eating or where they are going on holiday.

Take for example Meghan Markle's Sarah Flint ballet flats, which were spotted online and consequently sold out minutes later. People feel good about themselves when they know that they are wearing the same shoes as an actress, sports star or influential personality and if they are die-hard fans, then they will undoubtedly flock to the shops and buy every product which they see their idol wearing; regardless of whether they can truly afford it or not.

Source: Sarah Flint https://www.sarahflint.com/

Source: Meghan Markle Style Blog http://meghanstyle.org/

There are influencers in every industry - you just have to find them. Previously, businesses would only invest in influencers with at least 500k followers but this prerequisite no longer exists and companies see value in gifting even those with smaller numbers.

Source: Instagram @tagheuer

SOCIAL MEDIA SHOPPING

Source: Instagram @uniqlo

Promoting your products via social media is an easy way to get a wide reach and directly connect with your customers. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram also have new shopping features which allow you to insert product tags and scan barcodes which link directly to the checkout page. Competitions, giveaways, coupons and vouchers are also appreciated by customers and allow them to get involved and interact with your brand on their favorite social media channel.

2. Inspirational Content Marketing

Source: Instagram @gopro

ONLINE CONTENT

Hand in hand with social media comes good quality content. Inspiring content which users love will gather support and attention from genuine followers onto your page, as well as save you some money on paid-ads. Target groups and personas are not limited to gender, demographics, lifestyle choices and income but also generation. Generation takes all factors into account and since people from the same generation have lived through the same events, experienced advances in technology together, share similar values, etc - they are an ideal target group.

Visual content should be of professional quality and written content should engage the reader, maybe teach them something new or leave a positive impression on them. Give your readers something to think about, something to discuss or simply something to make them smile.

Unfortunately, not all businesses have the budget to invest in marketing resources, however, free copyright websites such as pexels and unsplash provide a large range of professional, copyright-free images and you can find freelance content writers who charge at an hourly rate to provide you content as and when you may need it.

Content which is in vogue at the moment relates to philanthropical issues of social injustice as well as protecting the environment and discussion of ethics and sustainability.

Source: Instagram @thebodyshop

Source: Instagram @thefemalecompany

OFFLINE CONTENT:

Of course online retail is huge and vital for survival but brick and mortar businesses are still not dead and there are measures to be taken to keep them alive. For example, traditional storefronts and displays have become outdated and customers are on the search for exciting and interesting designs which provide them with more than a shopping experience. The kind of experience which is "Instagrammable". Take the example of American fashion retailer Abercrombie&Fitch who across all their stores worldwide have topless male models at the entrance for excitable customers waiting in the queues outside to get their photo taken.

Other popular and innovative in-store trends include: huge flower garlands, interactive gaming stations, in-store DJs, pop-up food stalls and in-store devices which can be linked up to the internet to provide a more fluid shopping experience for not only your customers, but your staff too.

3. Digital Product Advice & Guided Selling Solutions

Douglas Gift Finder https://bit.ly/2HBNunv

ONLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Generation Y are complaining that their online shopping experience isn't personalized enough. Customers lack good-quality advice online and in a world of choice overload, they are becoming easily frustrated and consequently leaving your shop empty-handed. Many online shops have become overcrowded with products which are difficult to navigate from the user's point of view.

Product Guides act like a virtual sales assistant who can give you advice and guide you to the right product. They do this by asking a few quick and simple questions which AI-driven Guided Selling technology uses to provide you with intelligent recommendations based on your individual needs.

OFFLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Product advisers are also useful accompaniments in-store and can aide your employees when trying to help customers find their perfect product while also giving them a better product overview. In-store Product Guides can also be used as a helping hand in your busier stores or at peak times. For example, instead of allowing customers to stand and wait to speak with the next available member of staff, they can receive advice independently with the self-sufficient Product Guide.

4. Excellent Customer Service

Source: Apple

Customers tend to expect an answer straight away, 24 hours around the clock and thanks to advances in customer service tools, this is now possible! In addition to human exchange, you can also automate your customer service with online chatbots and troubleshooting guides. Chatbots and troubleshooting guides assist your business with out of hours requests as well as deal with issues which can save your support team valuable time.

5. Omnichannel Accessibility

Generation Y are workaholics who lead fast-paced and active lifestyles. They need access to your shop on every available device they own; from desktop to mobile, watch and IPad. Not only this, but they want it to work as smoothly on their phone as it would on their laptop. Omnichannel accessibility also means that your website is in sync across all channels and your customers can conveniently access everything your website has to offer regardless of the channel they are using.

So, what are the benefits of adapting to Generation Y's needs?

  • They are the largest generation in history
  • Predicted to become huge spenders
  • All are of legal age to buy any kind of product
  • All are of working age which means they probably have the disposable income to shop, shop, shop!

Find out how your business can implement the latest and most effective customer service strategies

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