Keeping up with customer expectations can be tricky, especially at the rate of change in technology. To innovate above and beyond customer expectations is something few retailers can do (without a large team and deep pockets). This year at WBR’s eTail East, ecommerce leaders will be sharing their strategies on how to get to know your customer, build loyalty, and delight the connected consumer. To give you a sneak peek of what to expect at this year’s Innovation Summit, we sat down with speakers Claire Lin from Newegg, Kelley Mitchell Price from IHG, and Peter McLachlan from Mobify.
Director of Marketing & Merchandising
Mobify: How is customer engagement evolving for Newegg? Is it dependent on your promotional strategy?
Claire: Currently engagement is not heavily dependent on our promotional strategy, however we do leverage our promotional calendar to maximize the engagement with our content. We find that creating content that fits in with our promotional schedule allows us to give customers a unique experience with the product which helps to increase conversions. A large part of our customer engagement comes with creating content about key interests from new products.
Mobify: What kind of marketing communication channels do you use?
Claire: We use a variety of marketing channels such as social, email, on-site campaigns, community events, and more. Each channel is used differently to cater a specific type of message. It’s very important for us to curate our communication and channels – we have seen great success with email due to the customer segmentation we have in place and curated promotional offers that fall into line with the customer interests. We pair these promotions with relevant content, allowing us to deliver a targeted combination of content and commerce directly to our customers when it is most relevant.
Mobify: What are some of the other ways you are promoting loyalty within your customer base?
Claire: We have a rewards program in place (EggPoints) that allows customers to take advantage of promotions, encouraging them to frequently purchase. Additionally, we have our Newegg Premier program. These customers have a much higher AOV than regular customers, and they purchase more frequently.
Kelley Mitchell Price
Global Director of Digital Experiences
Mobify: Why does IHG want to work beyond omnichannel?
Kelley: Beyond omni-channel, we see a fully connected travel experience for our customers, connected by mobile. The better we can know our customers, the better we can serve them, regardless of where or how they choose to do business with us.
Mobify: What are people looking for in their digital experiences?
Kelley: Simplicity, high quality, and transparency.
There is so much confusion in the travel space that shoppers have a hard time figuring out what is real. Is this really the lowest price? Is this hotel really like the photos? We find that our customers are researchers – they’ll look multiple places for information and triangulate the data to form an opinion. And once they do, it’s very difficult for us to change that opinion.
As the brand, we think we can do a better job of delivering what our customers want than resellers. But that means that we must have the best content, and be the expert on our hotels. We have to be available for them, any time, any way.
Mobify: How do you get the customer to feel like they are interacting with one brand across channels?
Kelley: To be honest, we still have work to do. We have so many different customer types with different travel needs that it’s not realistic to design for one customer. Different aspects of our experience are tailored towards those most likely to use.
For digital, we have global interaction design standards, and we’ve moved to a component-based architecture so that customers don’t have to learn how each brand’s digital experience works. These standards are extensions of our hotel experience and the overall brand perception we want guests to have.
Mobify: What’s the persona you are thinking of when crafting IHG’s customer experience.
I’m thinking of the on-the-go traveler who has better things to do than worry about their hotel. I think, if this person were a guest in my home, how would I treat them? I find that emotional resonance, and I design from that place.
Chief Product Officer
Mobify: How have retailer’s mobile strategies shifted, say, from 2 years ago?
Peter: There’s recognition now that mobile is an important part of marketing and ecommerce revenue. What still hasn’t happened is widespread recognition that mobile is the most important part of marketing and that it will soon overtake other channels in revenue as new payment technologies and better performing progressive web applications become commonplace.
Mobify: What is causing the shift in customer expectations?
Peter: Rapid advances in consumer technology as well as tremendous disruptive leadership from companies such as Amazon and Uber.
Mobify: How can retailers keep up with the pace of innovation?
Peter: When you implement ecommerce, you don’t propose building the servers yourself or writing an eCommerce platform from scratch. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your front-end technology, starting with mobile?
You need to be efficient, but Mobile is strategic, and most businesses will want to be able to have direct access and control over it in-house. Mobile platforms empower your team to work from a higher point of departure, but make sure your development teams have the ability to own changes and incremental improvements. Platforms like Mobify provide engagement and customer experience already integrated out of the box, but fully customizable with developer tools that your team can use.
If you are interested in learning more about the Innovation Summit on August 15th, check out the agenda.