Creating a Multiplier Effect from Smaller Interactions
Just as building friendships and relationships involve numerous points of engagement, so does winning over your customers. Some people will warm up upon hello; others will take some winning over. Some people are clear and decisive; others like to weigh out their options before making commitments. There will be those that dive right into a decision to buy and others who take baby steps, also known as micro conversions, before fully saying “yes to the dress.”
Nuances and behaviours will vary but each point of contact is an opportunity to take the relationship further, and every small conversion will lead to a longer-lasting connection.
Nice to Make Your Acquaintance
“Hello, is it me you’re looking for…?” A first impression is everything, from the outside, in. Getting someone in the door via a story-driven window display allows you to further entice him or her. Once they go through the door, they are immersed in the ambiance created, the scent permeating the environment, the sound filling the room, the visual identity of the brand, the curated merchandising moments. It’s a blind date where you are putting your best foot forward and an opportunity to capture mindshare and intrigue. It’s the first micro conversion towards turning a stranger or admirer into an acquaintance.
While the encounter is still anonymous at this stage, it’s still a conversion from which a brand and retailer can establish a foundation and begin learning. It’s an insight into how this person engages. Do they stare at the window before they enter? If so, for how long? It opens the opportunity to ask the question, “Have you heard of us before?” It unveils insights into how they shop: alone, with a friend, with a family member, for themselves, for others? It adds to store behavior analysis on customer paths and points of engagement: When they enter, do they turn right or left? What zone of your store do they spend the most time in? What do they touch and feel?
The emergence of heat mapping, image recognition, and AI functionality makes this data fully accessible and ready to be leveraged for merchandising at a hyper-local level. Integrating technology to capture insights on shopper behavior also better informs sales associates and store design teams as to what is resonating most with customers and what may not be. It equips teams with the tools to make smarter, more informed merchandising decisions, more accurately curate product selection, and optimize staffing needs.
Can We Be Friends?
Now that you’ve been introduced, either through an unexpected rendezvous or a peer’s recommendation, it’s time to take the relationship to the next level. You have piqued interest, there is curiosity to learn more, and it’s a prime opportunity to absorb a little more information about each other, the novelty of the experience is establishing an “in” to share contact information and stay in touch. This is micro conversion number two, and it’s when both qualitative and quantitative learnings begin to show a multiplier effect.
Give personalized incentives for sharing an email address, invite customers to redeem rewards by texting a unique number, and share additional product information via QR codes on product tags or displays. It’s a symbiotic exchange because both customer and brand are learning about each other. It provides insights into where there’s interest to gain deeper product knowledge, it opens insights into when an incentive increases sales, and it encourages ongoing dialogue by capturing email addresses and phone numbers.
Let’s Take This to The Next Level
It’s time to commit. The seduction and education worked. The touch-feel gap has been filled. The questions have been answered. It’s time to take it home.
The key here is the make a purchase feel like a gift. The checkout experience needs to be as frictionless as possible, the packaging pristine and perhaps environmentally friendly, and the customer service impeccable. This is where the longer-term relationship kicks in because people will always remember the first and last touchpoint above all. It’s also the conversion where a brand and retailer can truly begin their path to building past a one-hit-wonder. It allows a brand to add on a service layer to an otherwise transactional experience through personalized recommendations based on purchase behavior. It’s when the opportunity to build a customer profile that is no longer anonymous but linked directly to in-store interactions—with a unified view of online and offline activities—is initiated.
Infatuation: The Ultimate Multiplier
The truest form of friendship is fandom. It’s when a brand or retailer has converted a stranger not only into a customer but into a fan. It’s when someone sees your brand as a representation of them and wants to share their admiration and discovery with friends and followers. They are organic ambassadors that want others to know what has delighted them. This authentic, user-generated content not only creates earned media and an increased Net Promoter Score but also provides insights into what your new friend is excited about and how they describe their experience.
Engagingly Ever After
Not all conversions are created equal, but each has a value beyond the transactional nature of them. There is an emotional multiplier to each level of engagement, and each micro conversion carries data from which a brand or retailer can glean insights. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to brands that recognize who they are, remember their preferences and purchase history, and offer relevant recommendations.
Every point of contact is an opportunity to learn and optimize decisions across supply chain management, forecasting consumer demand, and improving the in-store experience. Each input and improvement supports the possibility to further drive customer lifetime value.