E-commerce: Use Your Web Site to Improve the Customer Experience Across Channels
Your Web site plays a crucial role in tying together all of your marketing channels. In fact, consumers cite company Web sites and third-party retail sites as being the most influential factor in seven out of 10 product categories as a source of further learning in their decision-making processes leading to purchase, according to a recent survey by DoubleClick.
What are some ways you can leverage your Web site to increase conversions both online and off? Chris Shimojima, vice president of customer marketing at Sears Direct, shared some of his strategies on integrating the Web with your other channels in his session “Creating a Best-in-Class Online Shopping Experience for Your Customers: Excellent Customer Care Means Better Sales” at eTail 2005, held last month in Philadelphia.
¥ Create digital versions of solo mailers, inserts or space ads; then put them on your Web site and e-mail them to customers. “Eighty percent of Sears’ customers aren’t reading the newspaper, but want to be informed of our sales anyway,” said Shimojima. “Be sure to create a PDF of any circulars or insert media, and e-mail your customers with regular updates when these become available.”
¥ Mirror offers from the store or catalog on the Web. Shimojima noted price and offer parity will allow all channels to work as a unified brand and avoid the likelihood of channel conflict.
¥ Have a complete and robust product description online. “Sixty percent to 70 percent of consumers are doing research online and taking their time,” said Shimojima. Customers who come into a store or call your contact center want a sales interaction, but they also want to be informed before they take that step, he noted. As a bonus, he pointed out that this tactic also should result in fewer information-related calls to your contact center.