Companies seem to have understood the importance of a digital strategy to strengthen their businesses, however, it is typically assumed that this only involves managing social media and developing a website.
In this edition, Jenny Pérez provides us with some ideas on customer acquisition, retention, and brand loyalty. This is a little sneak peak of what is to come at her workshop at the ALAFAVE Congress. Jenny is a marketing and e-commerce specialist, with more than 17 years of experience developing digital strategies for brands such as Estée Lauder in the beauty division and HSBC Group in the finance department.
How can a traditional market such are candles innovate digitally?
My recommendation would be to start with having the best user experience possible on your website. As a consumer, how easy is it for me to navigate the site, find candles that are suitable for my needs and preferences, how seamless was my checkout experience, how great is your customer service if I’m having any issues finding a product or placing my order.
Once this foundation is set, we can layer on innovative marketing channels, products, and services.
What type of strategies do you suggest?
Leverage your online store to launch new, exclusive products for a limited period of time to create buzz and excitement and gain positive reviews even before the product hits the shelves. Pre-seed your products with online industry leaders and content creators that can get the word out about your new products before they launch.
How can we avoid direct competition between the traditional and digital sales?
I have found that in more conservative industries that are more brick & mortar focused, this might sometimes create tension with your retail partners. When pre-launching or launching an online-only exclusive, it always helps to provide some sort of exclusivity to your retail partner to ensure they don’t feel like they’ve been left out of your strategy. For example, you might launch a new amber & sage candle that comes in brown glass packaging online but also create an exclusive green package that’s only available at your offline retailers.
What is the difference between consumers who purchase online vs in store shoppers?
Studies have shown time and time again that omnichannel consumers are also more valuable: according to Harvard Business Review, omnichannel customers spend an average of 4% more in store and 10% more online vs. single-channel customers. Studies have also shown time and time again that omnichannel consumers are also more valuable: according to Harvard Business Review, omnichannel customers spend an average of 4% more in store and 10% more online vs. single-channel customers.
How expensive is it to acquire digital customers?
It is much more expensive to acquire a brand-new customer than retaining an existing customer. Studies estimate this can cost between 5 to 20 times more, depending on the industry, and consulting firm Bain & Company estimates that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your profits by 25% or more. This is because a return customer’s lifetime value (how much they spend with your brand over the course of their relationship with you) is much higher than new customers, and they also tend to be much better brand advocates that will refer your brand to other prospective customers.
How can we retain digital consumers in this age of less brand loyalty?
Email is one of the most powerful and least expensive tactics to retain the consumer.
There are many ways to do this:
- Build a strong welcome series to introduce your first-time buyers to your brand’s unique value propositions.
- Create an email series to cross-sell the most relevant products based on previous browsing or purchase behavior.
- Launch a strong promotion to win back your inactive customers who haven’t returned in 9-12 months.
- Launch a replenishment series that reminds your customers when it’s time to re-order their favorites.
- Create a birthday or anniversary program and provide exclusive offers as a thank you for being loyal to the brand.
How can we excel amongst all the competitors in the digital world?
I think the most important thing you can do to differentiate yourself is to focus on storytelling that is authentic to your brand. In order to do this, it’s important that you’re clear on what your brand pillars are–what do you represent (and what do you want to shy away from), what is the tone of your brand voice (e.g. are you cheeky and playful, serious and direct), what is the unique value proposition for your products vs. everyone else’s? Additionally, it’s important to be clear about who your target consumer is–what are their preferences, their tastes, their shopping habits.
What should the candle manufacturers’ focus on in the near future?
A focus on sustainability and social impact: With the advancement of technology, customers are more informed than ever, and they are interested in supporting brands that are having a positive impact in the world. Consumers are looking for brands that are sourcing clean ingredients, have sustainable packaging, and are invested in making a positive environmental impact. In order to win over today’s consumer, it’s incredibly important for brands to have clear sustainability goals and messaging.A world without “cookies”:
A “cookie-less” world: For years, brands have been using third-party “cookies” to track site visitors and collect data that helps target the right ads to the right audiences. However, regulations have been rapidly changing in this space with companies like Apple blocking third party cookies due to consumer privacy concerns. This makes first party (company owned) data much more important for building a strong acquisition and retention strategy.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and automation have continued to accelerate this year, with the rise of technologies which are helping automate both internal processes and external consumer facing content. Machine learning, also powers chatbots to provide on-site customer service during off-hours, or to help support a lean customer service team. There are many approachable ways we can leverage AI to complement our digital strategy to increase efficiency and with the rise of tools like ChatGPT, the sky is the limit.
Please tell us what your presentation at the congress will consist of?
During my session I will cover digital marketing and ecommerce best practices to take your business to the next level. Topics will include:
- How to adapt your digital strategy to align with the latest consumer and industry trends of 2023.
- The marketing funnel, including tactics to generate traffic and impulse brand awareness, drive consideration, and increase your conversion rate, with a special focus on paid media, email marketing, and social media channels.
- How to leverage your data to create a winning CRM strategy that retains your customers and builds long term brand love. Now that we’re entering a “cookie-less” world, your first party data becomes that much more important in this channel.
- The most appropriate tools and guides to inspire, educate, and convert. These include elements like scent finders and educational imagery that simulate the experience of speaking to a brand expert in store, ingredient galleries, and gift finders that help consumers navigate your assortment during key gifting occasions.
- I’ll also provide concrete best-in-class examples of product launch campaigns in the scent and candle industry.
I am very excited to participate in this congress, I look forward to answering all the attendees’ questions.