7 Steps to Multichannel Mastery
The traditional roles of catalog and retail stores are changing. Direct marketing is becoming the driver of Internet and retail activity. Instead of offering all products in all categories, catalogs and direct mail are attention-getters, guiding customers to the Web or a nearby retail store, where a much wider assortment can be offered.
Mastering these merchandise challenges and keeping a fresh, updated assortment will keep customers coming back.
Capturing New Names
3. Improve new customer acquisition, especially in a higher, more restrictive postal and mailing environment. Let’s face it, postal rates will probably never go down. We’ll be fortunate if increases in mailing costs can be controlled at the level of inflation.
Multichannel practitioners have a distinct advantage over any of the pure-play alternatives. Besides using traditional list-, space- and mail-related media for new customer acquisition, multichannel marketers can espouse Web technology to let customers find them — and can be very proactive about capturing customer names through their retail stores.
One advantage a company gains from a successful multichannel business is better value from its advertising dollars, which makes new customer acquisition more efficient. The goal for every multichannel marketer is to improve the advertising-to-sales ratio. Integration of new customer efforts across mail, Internet and retail leads to notable efficiency and the all-important growth of your housefile.
4. Work your customer list harder. Getting greater return from your existing customer list is always a challenge. In a true multichannel environment, an integrated customer database with transaction histories from all selling channels is critical. A recent survey by Modalis Research Technologies indicated the following:
● 90 percent of customers don’t want to be asked the same database questions through different channels;
● 73 percent of customers expect company agents (phone reps, retail sales clerks or Web correspondents) to know everything about them, especially their previous transaction history; and
● 72 percent will stop doing business with a company that demonstrates poor customer service.