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7 Consumer Behaviour Trends for eCommerce: #2 “Do you even know who I am?”

“Do you even know who I am?”

By Alegria Adedeji, Senior Content Writer @Ometria 

Let’s face it: winning at retail marketing has never been as hard as it is today. Hugely competitive market conditions; skyrocketing customer acquisition costs; seemingly endless new channels and touchpoints to incorporate into your marketing strategy: the life of a marketer is certainly never straightforward.

The truth is that all of these forces and more are conspiring to create conditions that mean that marketers can’t afford to go about things in the same way as they’ve done before;simply sending more emails or offering more discounts isn’t going to cut it in a world where tech giants like Amazon, Uber and Netflix are constantly pushing the boundaries of customer service innovation and convenience.

So if all of the old competitive advantages – being the first to do free returns, or same-day delivery, or being the first to advertise on Facebook or do a flash sale – are gone, what are marketers supposed to do now?

We believe there’s only one thing left to differentiate one retail brand from another: the customer experience.

It’s pretty safe to say that we all know what a bad marketing experience looks like: having your time wasted by a stream of irrelevant marketing messages with products you’re not interested at times when you’re not in the market for buying new stuff is probably up there as the main reason people disengage, unsubscribe (either literally or emotionally) and end their relationship with you as a brand.

In order to learn more about the other end of the spectrum – creating amazing customer experiences – we decided to go to consumers themselves. We spoke to four thousand of them in our annual Consumer Census, which revealed that:

  • Nearly half (46%) of consumers open less than 10% of the emails they receive
  • 74% of consumers are “annoyed” by receiving too many emails
  • 33% of consumers would rather receive no marketing than unpersonalised messages
  • 49% of consumers feel ‘valued’ when retailers only contact them with messages relevant to their interests
  • 68% of consumers aren’t uncomfortable at the prospect of brands using AI, up from 62% in 2018. 

What we found was clear: great customer experiences are all about relevance. Consumers want to hear from retailers less, but with more meaningful marketing that reflects their tastes and shopping behaviours; they want their loyalty recognised, and they’re increasingly comfortable with brands using AI to achieve this.

But how do marketers achieve these kinds of experiences? If all of this sounds like a lot of hard work, the good news is that technology is increasingly doing the heavy lifting. The three essential elements of a future-proofed tech stack are:

• Unified customer data: marketing relevance depends entirely upon having an accurate picture of a customer – from the things they’ve bought(online and offline) to the things they’ve returned, to the emails they’ve clicked and the things they’ve browsed when they’re on your website.

• Sophisticated customer intelligence: having a whole lot of data in one place is just the beginning. It would be impossible for time-pressed marketers to gather advanced insights about individual customer behaviour – such as predicting when and what they’re next likely to purchase – in a scalable way without the help of artificial intelligence to spot patterns in customer behaviour and opportunities to optimise campaigns.

• Cross-channel marketing orchestration: it’s important not to overlook the importance of
being able to turn customer insights into real-
life marketing messages. What’s more, it’s vital
that marketers have control over the marketing messages – regardless of channel – that are sent, to ensure that the customer journey is joined up and provides a consistently great experience.

Still confused as to where to start? Check out Ometria’s guide to personalisation.