Cross-channel marketing report reveals email marketing is still the O.G.
Customer-centricity and personalization remain key to ecommerce success, as does responsible marketing.
Dotdigital today launched, ‘The future of cross-channel marketing’ report, covering trends and insights across four main areas: consumer psychology, brand awareness, the decision buying process and customer loyalty. The report details how the adoption of different marketing channels and tools has changed over time, reveals the gap between consumer expectations and experiences, and provides essential strategies to help retailers’ future-proof their businesses, while navigating the unpredictable COVID-19 landscape.
The report highlights critical data points relating to the Australian shopper’s customer journey:
- Preferred marketing channels for communications
- Factors contributing to unsubscribe rates and cart abandonment
- Expectations around personalization in marketing communications vs. reality
- Importance of brand values
- The significance of loyalty and how shoppers like to be rewarded for it
Email beats social and SMS as most influential channel
Today, marketers have various choices with an increasing option of channels and tools at their disposal. However, email largely remains the preferred channel to cater to tailor-made experiences. While email is the most influential marketing channel (69%) shaping customers’ purchase decisions, results also show that 70% of people surveyed note they are likely to unsubscribe if they get too many emails. Social media marketing and SMS follow closely behind email as influencing purchasing decisions.
Brands need to understand exactly how their audiences want to be marketed to. The importance of email should be taken seriously, but brands should still consider alternative channels to reach more consumers.
Why consumers abandon cart
The cost of shipping is the highest contributor to cart abandonment. When asked about the top reason that leads consumers to abandon an online shopping cart, 57% listed higher shipping costs that were not visible from the outset. Retailers need to ensure that not only is their cost of shipping reasonable and as expected by shoppers, but that it is clearly visible. Communication and transparency are key.
Get personal with your customers
Australian shoppers feel brands have a long way to go when it comes to personalization, and there is room for improvement. According to the report, more than half the people surveyed say that their marketing communications are somewhat personalized, and one-third think their emails are not personalized at all!
“Customer satisfaction is paramount, and there is no doubt that consumers with increased brand engagement reflect higher brand loyalty. Therefore, brands need to learn and understand the consumer psychology behind shopping behavior and brand loyalty to create a more balanced approach to their marketing communications,” said Aparna Gray, APAC Head of Marketing at Dotdigital.
Live chat is important for conversion
Shoppers would like to see more in-person assistance via live chat options on retailer websites. The majority (56%) use it to ask for advice. It is therefore an important tool in the purchase and conversion process, and something retailers need to consider.
Be clear on brand values
Brand values play a crucial role for customers during a purchasing decision. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of Australian shoppers think brands are not doing enough to showcase what they stand for. Thirty percent of consumers surveyed take a brand’s stance on sustainability into consideration when making a purchase decision.
“Sustainability is more than just a buzzword and shoppers increasingly make purchase decisions based on the positive social, economic, and environmental impact of a brand. This shift in consumer behavior should drive marketers to look at the sustainability of their own practices,” said Aparna. “At Dotdigital, we take our sustainability efforts very seriously and are proud to be the first carbon-neutral, ISO 14001 certified marketing automation platform in the world.”
Loyalty for a price
A loyalty program undoubtedly is an excellent way for brands to build stronger and lifelong brand advocates. But, do customers receive expected perks? Results show that almost all shoppers (94%) want rewards/discounts for their loyalty. It’s evident that a reciprocal relationship is valued, and brands should keep that in consideration when launching a loyalty program.
A little help from our friends
An overwhelming 72% of consumers say that reviews are key to the decision-making process when purchasing products or engaging with brands. Word-of-mouth was the second most important factor in the decision to purchase, with 79% of those surveyed likely to recommend a preferred brand to others.
A positive customer experience is not only about a single customer journey. It’s about the ripple effect of customers telling their friends, family, and co-workers. Furthermore, if brands do not encourage product or service reviews, now is the time to rethink that strategy and incorporate product reviews into the marketing mix.
“With changing dynamics, a highly competitive market and savvy customers, retailers must effectively harness all channels and revisit their marketing strategy to strengthen communications,” said Aparna. “We’ve produced a report to get our finger on the pulse of Australian consumer purchasing habits, to ensure we are helping our clients deliver the ultimate customer experience – delivering the right message through the right channel, at the right time and to the right person.”
To understand the changing nature of Australian shoppers and for detailed insights into key trends, download the full report: The future of cross-channel marketing.