Taking an omni-channel approach to the customer journey
Picture this: Elizabeth is shopping for women’s knit sweaters at her favorite department store. After giving the clerk her email and opting in for offers and updates, she leaves the store with two new sweaters. Two days later, she receives an email with the following subject line:
“Men’s T-Shirts: Buy one, get one, today only!”
She deletes the email before opening it, already knowing it has no relevance to her. The next day, she scrolls through boots on the department store’s website but doesn’t add any to her digital cart. Later that afternoon, she receives another email with the subject line:
“Last Chance for 20% off our Fall Purse Collection”
Frustrated by the number of emails and lack of relevance, Elizabeth unsubscribes from the mailing list.
When it comes to customer data collection, email addresses are often the first point of direct contact the enterprise is given to their customers. Once emails are entered into the system, which can be collected both in person by the sales associate or remotely at the online checkout, information such as the customer’s name, birthday, and mailing address can be used to create an individualized profile that can be accessed down the line. When paired with AI, these data points can multiply to foster highly personalized customer experiences. If proven valuable, consumers will then consider opting in for further communication, ranging from joining loyalty programs to downloading mobile apps to enabling location-tracking.
Yet, nearly half of consumers feel they receive too many emails from brands, making them more likely to not engage in additional outreach channels, and to opt-out of emails altogether. Ensuring customers continue to participate actively with enterprises, therefore, comes down to the ability to drive value throughout the customer journey and across channels.
Let’s take another look at the situation above and see how the retailer can improve the customer journey by taking an omni-channel approach, starting first with email personalization.
#1: The loyalty program
On a particularly chilly day later that month, Elizabeth’s app displays a prominent advertisement for women’s winter coats. She begins browsing, adding a couple of jackets to her cart, all in size M. After five clicks, the department store pushes an in-app notification that says:
“Elizabeth, did you know loyalty members receive free shipping?”
Happy about the added value she receives from the loyalty program, she decides to continue browsing, but ultimately becomes distracted before she can complete the purchase.
Mobile apps are a popular channel for customer engagement, with 194 billion mobile apps downloaded in 2018, up from 143.7 billion in 2016. With these apps, enterprises have a 2-hour, 55-minute window—the average time an adult in the U.S. spends on a smartphone—to serve up relevant content that will captivate the consumer. Intelligent apps can then go one step further, catering content not only to the customer’s location and weather-based data collected via location tracking, but to the customer’s unique preferences based on the channel of engagement, browsing patterns, and real-time activity.
#2: The frictionless omni-channel transaction
A few days later, Elizabeth is doing some holiday shopping on her laptop with the same department store. Aware that she placed a few jackets in her mobile cart, the homepage displays a prominent ad for women’s outerwear. Reminded about the coats, Elizabeth clicks her cart to check if she can access her coats on her laptop. Pleased, she sees the coats are still in her cart.
73% of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. As such, it is integral for enterprises to ensure seamless experiences regardless of which channel a consumer interacts on. Equally important, data from one channel should carry over from one channel to the next, allowing for frictionless engagements regardless of if consumers interact on the web, app, chatbot, social, and more.
#3: The urgency message
As Elizabeth continues to scroll through winter apparel, a pop up appears displaying one of the coats in her cart:
“Hurry, Elizabeth! Only three left in your size.”
Urged to make the purchase before it’s too late, Elizabeth decides to complete the transaction, applying the $5 coupon she earned from signing up for the department store’s loyalty app and adding a matching hat and scarf she noticed was featured on the homepage.
Capturing the final sale often comes down to an enterprises’ ability to recognize the right outreach effort to incentivize action. However, the message delivered and the effectiveness of the outreach vary based on consumer’s individual preferences, ranging from messages that speak to product confidence (e.g. 12 people have purchased this item today!) to price confidence (e.g. Access an exclusive coupon for 10% off) to sense of urgency (e.g. Only 4 left in stock!) to convenience (e.g. Order now for free shipping!). Convincing on-the-fence consumers to take action, therefore, depends on an enterprise’s ability to send the right message and/or offer at the right time.
Enabling 1:1 Personalization across Every Channel
With AI-powered marketing solutions, enterprises today can unleash the value of their consumer data to chart personalized customer journeys at every interaction. At Session AI, we’re making these capabilities possible. Through our in-session marketing platform, we empower enterprises to personalize customer journeys using real-time, historical, and contextual data across every channel. Contact Session AI today to discover how our solution can harness insightful customer data for greater relevance and convenience.