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In my experience working with hundreds of retail marketing managers and owners, there seems to be persistent reservations about moving sales from bricks-and-mortar stores to online, and generally the hesitation is centered around not wanting to lose the customer experience and personal touch associated with a brand. However, the reality is that consumers are looking for the best price, variety, and convenience from brands.
The latest figures from the National Australia Bank’s online retail sales index indicate that Australians spent $14.3 billion shopping on the Internet from September 2012 to September 2013.
So what if I told you that email marketing done right can be your digital sales assistant and help you boost your online sales this Christmas? While many retailers are using email campaigns to some capacity, there are very few that are actually reviewing the skills of their best in-store sales assistants and translating them online.
So let’s have a look at some of the characteristics of great retail sales assistants:
1. They WELCOME SHOPPERS, greeting them and encouraging them to browse.
A good email welcome program can do just that. We recommend sending a series of welcome emails to new subscribers to make them feel valued, beginning as soon as they sign up. This also provides a great chance to add an incentive to engage customers and drive quick conversions based on their stated, browsed product interest. It’s a welcome that makes the customer feel unique.
2. They UNDERSTAND CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS by asking them what they’re interested in or why they’re purchasing.
An email preference center can accomplish the same thing. And based on recent studies conducted by Lyris, allowing customers to state their preferences and shopping interests can increase engagement by over 35%. This also means that your digital sales assistant can start segmenting your customers based on these preferences, and just like a live retail sales assistant, provide timely information that is relevant to each customer.
3. They SELL, by providing helpful product suggestions that are relevant based on the customer’s in-store browsing behavior and leveraging cross-sell opportunities for products relevant to the purchase.
Your digital sales assistant can do exactly this and more. By monitoring browsed pages and products, past purchase history of the customer, or even abandoned shopping carts, you can offer promotions and specials through email that are specifically related to the customer. This can result in an increase in sales conversion of 30% or more, and multiple upsell opportunities.
4. They BUILD LOYALTY through engagement with customers that drives repeat purchases.
We all love going back to stores where we’re acquainted with the sales assistant and know the service is going to be unique. So how do you convert that to online sales? You do it through a good loyalty platform that not only rewards shoppers, but communicates to them personally and provides refer-a-friend incentives. Your digital sales assistant can replicate all that by enabling you to engage with your customers through personalized communications based on who they are, what attributes you know about them, and their past purchase history, browser behavior, and level of loyalty. Every customer wants to feel unique, and your digital sales assistant can help you deliver that experience.
Try a few of these techniques and notice the difference to your online sales revenue! If you need more information about how the Lyris email and behavioral re-targeting platform can be your digital sales assistant, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You’ll find contact information for all our global offices here.