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How implementing a digital customer experience strategy could boost online sales

Having a robust digital customer experience strategy is crucial to keeping up with consumer expectations. In 2019, most consumers are social, mobile, and looking for technology that will make their shopping experiences more convenient, informed, affordable, and rewarding. 

Many marketers predict that in the near future, “digital customer experience” will no longer be a buzzword but rather this type of customer experience “will be so deeply entrenched in a company’s product, process, and culture that it will be synonymous with the brand, and represent the only way to do business.” 

What Is a Digital Customer Experience Strategy?

Currently, the term “digital customer experience” is used to describe the sum of digital interactions between customer and company and the resulting impression that the customer takes away from it. A digital brand interaction can be experienced on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. It includes company websites, social media platforms, and mobile apps. Researching a product online, using a mobile app to find a store’s nearest location, or searching for tech support information on a smartphone are all examples of the digital customer experience.

In devising a strategy, businesses will want to mature six key areas of customer experience:

  • reachability
  • service convenience
  • purchase convenience
  • personalization
  • simplicity and ease of use
  • channel flexibility

A perfectly mature strategy will result in:

  • the brand driving the consumer’s channel preferences
  • proactive customer service that anticipates the consumer’s needs
  • proactive sales that deliver benefits a customer previously didn’t know they needed 
  • individual personalization that makes each customer feel valued and rewarded
  • humanified design that matches a customer’s lifestyle
  • seamless cross-channel journeys, all linked to avoid redundant data entry

Retailers must continue to improve their websites and mobile apps to showcase their products in a way that makes shoppers comfortable with buying products they haven’t seen in person. In fact, many mobile apps are combing the in-store and online shopping experiences, allowing users to go back and forth between the physical realm and the virtual world as it suits their needs. 

How Mobile Shopping Apps Contribute to the Digital Customer Experience

Shopkick is one of the leading mobile apps enabling retail brands to provide a better digital customer experience. With the aforementioned goals of a successful digital customer experience strategy in mind, we can see how a mobile app like Shopkick can contribute:

  • Reachability: Reachability refers to a consumer’s preferred mode of contact. Shopkickers check in with the app as they’d check their social media accounts or the weather. Sixty-two percent of Millennial shoppers prefer apps to mobile websites due to speed, easier navigation, and saved payment information.
  • Service convenience: Service convenience measures how easy it is for shoppers to be fully served digitally. Whether shopping in-store or online, Shopkickers can apply reward points to their app account. 
  • Purchase convenience: The purchase process should be seamless. Shopkick helps direct shoppers to key product locations in-store to take users on the most logical path to checkout. 
  • Personalization: Customers want to be recognized as individuals. Shopkick’s brand partners can deliver personalized messages to consumers upon checking into the app or walking into a store, putting their brand top-of-mind throughout the purchase journey.
  • Simplicity and ease of use: Shopkickers don’t have to get to know their way around each brand partner’s unique mobile app. All they need to know is how to use Shopkick. From there, they can interact with multiple participating brands at once.
  • Channel flexibility: Customers like a seamless transition between channels. Shopkick allows companies to use their brand colors, fonts, images, and messages the same way they would on social media, their main website, or in stores for a cohesive user experience.

developing a digital customer experience strategyShopkick users are rewarded for walking into stores, interacting with products at-shelf, and making purchases both in-store and through the app. Even shoppers who are not accustomed to buying products online may feel at-ease making a purchase through the Shopkick app, which they know and trust. Creating a great digital customer experience increases sales in more ways than one. 

10 Ways a Great Digital Customer Experience Strategy Boosts Online Sales

A well-planned digital customer experience strategy leads to a seamless online experience. Customers who have a favorable digital experience are more likely to:

  1. recommend your brand to family and friends through social networks
  2. give your product or service a favorable review, which will attract new prospects
  3. browse in-store, but complete purchases online for convenience sake
  4. complete transactions quicker, as obstacles in the purchase process are alleviated
  5. respond to upselling and cross-selling efforts when you offer personalized solutions
  6. have issues or concerns addressed quickly and efficiently to maintain positivity
  7. get answers to their questions in real-time to sway purchase decisions
  8. use discount codes that make an immediate purchase eight times more likely
  9. understand how their needs can be met by your products and services
  10. return to your brand time and time again for the same easygoing experience

In today’s digital age, a retailer’s longevity will not only depend on its ability to create enhanced experiences for customers but its unique take on how to keep them coming back.

Creating a Digital Customer Experience That Boosts Online Sales

Today’s retail customer experience is a complex blend of digital and in-person interactions. In 2017, 71% of consumers began their shopping experience on a digital platform. That number has since increased to 87%. Because most customers are interacting with brands through online touchpoints first, it’s crucial that a brand’s app or online store functions as quickly and conveniently as possible. Improving site speeds, cart progressions, and direct-to-purchase funnels on social media will significantly improve the user experience for the vast majority of customers.

Creating a rewarding digital customer experience to boost online sales and retain customers doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

Creating a rewarding digital customer experience to boost online sales and retain customers doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Integrated mobile app partnerships are trending among enterprises big and small. These partnerships are attractive because they expose companies to a broader market and allow them to leverage preexisting shopper data. Such partnerships leave all the technical aspects and governance to the third-party provider, freeing up brands to focus on developing engaging content and creative promotion strategies. The upfront investment for brands is greatly decreased, while the rewards increase.

Even if you do decide to develop your own dedicated mobile app, partnering with an app like Shopkick is a worthwhile endeavor because it presents another opportunity to make a brand impression on shoppers. Consumers can engage with your brand on their channel of choice, whether it’s through your website, a sales associate in your store, your dedicated app, or the Shopkick app. As your brand message resonates across all these different channels, shoppers become more loyal, more comfortable buying from you, and more likely to tell a friend about the great experience they had. 

Interested in implementing a digital customer experience strategy for your brand? Consider enhancing your mobile shopping experience with the most innovative shopping app on the market. Our partners use Shopkick to reward consumers for engaging with their products, resulting in increased brand loyalty and overall market share. Check out their success stories or contact us to get in on the action.

Image courtesy of Syda Productions