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Marketing is a game of data; how many people receive a campaign, how many of those people engage with it, and how many people are converted by it. With almost all marketing channels, a significant percentage of people will receive your advertising, and never engage with it. Often they won’t even read your primary message, offer or slogan. We all receive emails that we delete without opening and there’s a reason for this. We are all busy.
However, there is one marketing channel that has a 100% open rate, and most businesses forget about it. This channel is the purchase experience.
Delivering On Expectation
If you are delivering your goods, then you have already done the hard work and won that initial order. That is no mean feat and often, the process of finding new customers will take up the vast majority of your time and budget. However, converting that new customer into a returning customer is the lifeblood of sustainable growth.
As eCommerce has developed, logistics and marketing have become ever more symbiotic. A great example of this is Amazon and their meteoric success. Amazon mastered a ‘functional’ purchase experience, offering 100% reliable next-day delivery. The ‘purchase experience’ with Amazon is not flashy, but when you want something fast, there is only one site you’ll trust. Once you have had that next-day delivery once, it becomes extraordinarily easy to login and use Amazon again for anything and everything you want. The experience of this is so effortless and stress-free that all anxieties are squashed. It is a universal rule that humans are impatient and want things instantly. Amazon made fast delivery their modus operandi and thus became the world’s largest eCommerce company.
However, there are other ways to make the delivery experience exceptional. If you sell on Amazon then you have to use their packaging, and you are not allowed to insert flyers or any marketing materials. This is because Amazon wants customers to return and order again directly from them, not the merchant. If you are a small/medium sized eCommerce company, that should be a huge flashing beacon of opportunity. Amazon has blatantly understood the power of packaging and parcel inserts, and thus stopped merchants using these tools to gain their own brand loyalty. To flip this, packaging and parcel inserts are clearly powerful, and making the purchase experience more bespoke is a great way to differentiate yourself from the eCommerce behemoths, thus giving customers a reason to come back to you.
Think of a parcel insert as an e-shot with a 100% open rate. This is a great chance to build your brand and communicate your USP’s to your customer. You also have several advantages here, as the customer will be experiencing the joy that comes with receiving a delivery and unboxing your goods. It is crucial that you have a high-quality print to transform this excitement into brand loyalty.
Much like with email marketing, automation has opened up a world of opportunity with parcel inserts. Slippy is a great example of this, as they allow you to print personalised parcel inserts in real time. For instance, if a customer orders a black leather chair, you could create a flow that showcases cushions that compliment the sofa with a unique discount coupon. Sending more relevant parcel inserts means the messaging is far more likely to strike a chord with your customer. We have a team of expert designers who create visually-striking prints and data-driven marketers who help you to create automated flows which are right for your business.
Alternatively, there is still merit to a standard parcel insert that changes at least quarterly and contains an offer. Once again, finding the right offer to entice a second purchase, and having an eye-catching on-brand design remains crucial. Either way, every single parcel you send should contain a parcel insert.
The Element Of Surprise: Delight Your Customer.
Once you have the basics right, your purchase experience will be prompt, bespoke and crucially, deliver key marketing messages to encourage repeat purchases. However, we think you should go one step further, by giving your customer something to talk about.
Robert Cialdini, an American psychologist, wrote a seminal book in eCommerce theory in which he detailed the 7 key pillars of influence. Amazon is just one example of a business that achieved success by putting some of these into practice. The first of the seven is reciprocity, and the theory is that humans have evolved the need to repay a debt. This is the theory behind the success of free samples and it remains incredibly powerful.
You can use this to your advantage by putting a free gift in some packages as a random act of kindness, by offering to fit a part for an existing customer to thank them for their loyalty etc. Small, unexpected acts of kindness generate an obligation in all of us to repay a debt. This will lead to repeat purchases and brand loyalty. Furthermore, you can also add in a referral slip asking your customers to spread the word about your service. If you have done the above correctly, then they will be delighted and feel an obligation to repay the generosity by spreading their wonderful experience ordering from your company..
Every business is unique and different elements of this strategy will work for different businesses. However, it is a universal truth that delighting your existing customers is a good idea.
Ultimately, the cost of delivering a purchase experience that delights and builds customer loyalty is invariably cheaper than the cost of finding and converting a brand new customer. For any business looking to scale, you should ensure your customer retention strategy is finely tuned before you scale your new customer acquisition. The ideal ‘purchase experience’ will look very different for each and every brand, but getting it right is a vital foundation to sustainable eCommerce growth.
We are experts in creating an omnichannel digital marketing strategy which covers both new customer acquisition and existing customer retention. This is the formula for sustainable eCommerce growth. If you would be interested in adding any of our digital marketing services to your retainer or receiving a free marketing audit, then get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org