Optimizing retail touchpoints for elevated customer journeys
Retail and eCommerce businesses have shifted in recent years to accommodate the rise of digitalization. Customers demand digital and user-friendly interactions with little tolerance for pain points. In fact, 86% of customers will leave after two bad experiences with a brand.
As successful as your product might be, it comes down to the quality of interactions you provide. Every interaction contributes to the customer’s impression of your brand and the overall experience they have while shopping with you.
Each touchpoint matters. The key is to identify and optimize them to meet the expectations of a digital world. In turn, you can boost conversions and improve your bottom line.
What is a customer touchpoint?
A customer touchpoint is an interaction between a customer and your brand that influences their perception of you. This can be anything from seeing an advertisement to speaking with customer support or downloading your app.
These touchpoints are mapped out throughout the customer journey and provide insight into how customers interact with your business. Each touchpoint offers retailers a chance to impress and satisfy customers, improving their overall experience.
Examples of retail touchpoints
Touchpoints exist in every stage of the customer journey. From pre-purchase to post-purchase, every interaction will determine if customers feel satisfied enough to purchase from you again.
Map out all the interactions customers have with your brand to determine if those touchpoints add value to the relationship or have developed into pain points.
Here are some typical touchpoints for retail:
|Social media post||Making and account||Re-engagement campaigns|
|Advertisements||Website or app browsing||Promotions|
|Online reviews||Checkout process||Billing|
|Returns and exchanges|
How to identify touchpoints in retail
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and find every point of contact they have with your brand. You can use feedback surveys and reviews to determine the emotions associated with each touchpoint and find pain points you didn’t know existed.
The eCommerce retailer found that Facebook ads and generalized email campaigns resulted in low return on advertising spend (ROAC). These touchpoints were not adding value to their potential and existing customers, which meant their bottom line was suffering.
By identifying the touchpoints that had a low impact on their customer relationship, Petpetgo could optimize them to boost satisfaction, ROAC, and overall experience. They doubled their purchasing frequency and reduced advertising spending by 10%.
How did they do it? With a combination of personalization and omnichannel solutions, the retailer started sending relevant content and promotions to the right customers at the right time.
5 messaging techniques to improve retail touchpoints
Relevant messaging plays a huge role in the success of transforming touchpoints into seamless experiences, much like in Petpetgo’s case.
Here are some messaging essentials to ensure you make the most of every interaction:
1. Focus on omnichannel and timely communication
These days, omnichannel communication is a must. The bottom line is that customers demand that their interactions with you to be as smooth as possible and expect seamlessly connected and convenient communication.
of customers blame bad customer service experiences on having to repeat their problem multiple times
Omnichannel communication allows you to connect with customers on the channels they prefer to use and enables you to unify customer data. Use information such as open times and rates to determine when to send messages and on what channels. Customers are more likely to engage with your content if they receive it at a convenient time for them.
2. Make your communication contextual and behavior-based
Offering a cohesive customer messaging experience comes down to knowing individual customer preferences based on their specific actions and behavior and anticipating their needs at any given time.
Make your communication touchpoints behavior or event-driven, and always have something relevant to say to your customers. A personal touch is also the perfect way to re-engage customers who may be on the fence, seem disengaged, or have shown any periods of inactivity. What’s more, compelling, personalized offers and incentives get attention and stand out above all other types of generic digital noise.
3. Be conversational
Ultimately, customers respond best to human-to-human communication, which is at the heart of conversational and meaningful interactions. But artificial intelligence and digital apps play a major role in enabling brands to achieve a conversational customer journey.
Using seamless CRM, customer service integrations, chatbots and a range of messaging apps allows instant, interactive, and more personable communication between brands and customers – a recipe for customer satisfaction and overall better touchpoints.
4. Make sure your messages fit the style of the channel
When messaging customers via apps like Viber and WhatsApp, you need to fit in with the other messages they will receive on those channels. Most of their contacts are likely family and friends, so if you send a formal business message or a flashy advertisement, it could be seen as invasive and spammy and get ignored.
In today’s climate, you must be prepared to interact with your customers how, where, and whenever they choose. If you keep your communication strategy conversational and natural, sending relevant and personalized messages at the right moment, you’re sure to see better results.
Leverage the likes of mobile app messages, chat apps, and RCS to embed clickable buttons that ensure customers can reply easily and quickly. If you want your customers to participate in touchpoints, you need to make it as easy and painless as possible for them to comply.
5. Always add value
Great customer messaging touchpoints always add value. When you have a customer’s contact details, don’t take advantage of that to send a stream of ads or reminders to visit your website.
Your messages should offer something that makes your customer’s life easier and happier.
Where possible, always give your customers options – people love the freedom to choose. Provide helpful and exciting content customized to suit their interests and preferences.
Tactics to improve touchpoints
Learning where and how to apply these essentials can make or break your touchpoints. But they allow you to optimize your interactions and improve the overall experience.
Of course, there are some touchpoints that you can’t directly optimize, such as word of mouth or customer reviews. But with time and determination, customer satisfaction scores will go up, leading to better experiences and more positive reviews.
Let’s break down ways to optimize important retail touchpoints throughout the customer journey to improve experiences:
During purchase touchpoints
Create customer-centric retail touchpoints
Touchpoints occur throughout the entire customer journey. Once you learn what customers want from your brand, you can optimize or even create great experiences through every touchpoint. By following these tips and practicing proactive outreach, you can create memorable experiences for your customers, with their needs center focused. You will build painless touchpoints and strong relationships that keep them coming back for more.
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