Personalization is a significant factor in engaging customers in retail.
Having someone at the door to greet consumers is a big part of that, but that’s a practice that’s fallen out of favor over the years as brands struggle to serve a growing number of consumers. While these individuals only communicate with the customers for a few moments, it’s clear that this personalized interaction works in building customer goodwill and retention.
Walmart famously retired their door greeter positions in 2012 due to costs, but elected to bring them back in 2016 following complaints of poor services. This change of heart underlines the key issue with door greetings; an unclear return on investment. It’s expensive to staff the front door—but it could be just as costly if retailers alienate consumers who don’t feel appreciated. In today’s digital age, video greetings can be used as powerful marketing strategies to connect with consumers at the door while also eliminating the high overhead.
Door Greeting Is Evolving, Not Disappearing
In the past, door greeters served a critical purpose, not just in helping customers feel welcome, but in deterring theft. These individuals served a dual purpose in that they helped guide customers to products in the store and also assisted loss control. The timing of these greetings—set for the beginning and end of a consumer shopping trip—solidified a more positive brand impression and offered the consumer one last opportunity to get help before leaving a store frustrated.
Over the years, technology evolved and replaced many of the functions door greeters once held. Delivery and curbside pickup apps reduced volume at the front door. Improved cameras and door alarms assisted loss control in deterring theft. Mobile apps acted as digital shopping assistants, eliminating the need for a greeter’s guidance. However, none of that completely replaced the personalized interaction that greeters can offer. Some stores, including Walmart, are finding ways to evolve the role of greeters to improve the customer experience while staying cost effective. Others are looking to technology to enhance their customer engagements.
This is a strategy several non-profit organizations have turned to when looking to increase donations and participation in fundraising events. The YMCA was one such organization. The company sent out a year-end video in 2017 to all its donors which included personalized video content centered on how their contributions were changing their communities. This campaign gained a 76.4% click-through rate, with 80% of viewers completing the video in full. The nonprofit saw such high engagement for a number of reasons, including:
- Leveraging video: Video is a proven converter. Its strong potential is especially evident in first interactions, as placing a video on a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 80%.
- Sharing consumer-centric content: One critical part of the YMCA’s campaign success is that the videos were catered to each specific viewer. The consumers were greeted by name and received information about how their donation helped their individual community.
- Avoiding the hard sell: The video from the YMCA to its donors was not one that requested donations or ended in a sales pitch. It was one thanking the consumers for their past contributions, and showing them how those donations were used responsibly. The message established trust in the nonprofit, which encouraged consumers to contribute again.
Video greetings are useful to replace traditional door greeters, but only when used prudently. Video requires a method of delivery, and the cost of these campaigns can be quite high if retailers don’t choose platforms carefully. Often, third-party apps can offer the scalability needed to make a video greeting campaign a success.
Using Video Marketing in Third-Party Apps for Engaging Consumers in Retail
Brands and retailers will find two barriers in trying to implement a video marketing campaign as a greeting tool. Both these barriers stem from the method of delivery. Setting up in-store displays and creating content that can be delivered via consumers’ smartphones can be costly. Plus, using consumer smartphones as a method of delivery is something that requires permission, which some consumers may not be willing to give.
This is where shopping apps, like Shopkick, can help. Consumers download the app to earn kicks, or rewards points, for interacting with items in the store. In exchange for these incentives, users agree to receive video messages and other advertisements from brands throughout their shopping journey, for example, upon walking into a store or after scanning an item. Apps like Shopkick can deliver video greetings and marketing messages via a scalable system with an active consumer-base.
While the standard store greeting has changed over the years, it’s still a critical part of engaging customers in retail by making them feel appreciated.
While the standard store greeting has changed over the years, it’s still a critical part of engaging customers in retail by making them feel appreciated. Technology offers a method of providing this engagement, without the high expense of hiring additional staff. Mobile apps can help to deliver video greetings to consumers while they’re in the shopping aisle, which can build customer sales and retention.
Image courtesy of Odua Images