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The rules and best practices of customer engagement continue to evolve with each quarter. With marked increases in social media usage and the prospect of web3/the metaverse and more immersive forms of digital communication, firms are testing the new rules of modernizing customer engagement.
In our most recent webinar, “Modernizing Customer Engagement Like A Jedi Master,” our experts from WW, KEEN, Home Chef and GiftNow discussed how their teams are shifting their current digital strategy to create deeper engagements with their customers.
What we learned:
- Modernize Your Customer Engagement
- Social Commerce and the Metaverse
- Lowest Common Denominator vs Customer Journeys
Read on to explore the full webinar recap, or watch the recording below:
- Anna Brian Lee, VP, Global Member Marketing at WW
- Dana Schwartz, SVP, Global Direct to Consumer & Digital at KEEN
- Benita Johnson, Sr Gift Card Manager at Home Chef
- John Grech, Chief Commercial Officer at GiftNow
- Moderated by Scott Silverman, Co-Founder at CommerceNext
Time To Modernize Your Customer Engagement Strategies and Goals
Optimization consists of more than streamlining your “Add to Cart” CTA. While getting those “add to cart” clicks is still the end game for ecommerce businesses, companies are now targeting indicators and results at earlier stages in the customer funnel, starting at discovery. This is because of increasing awareness among marketers that customer experience, customer acquisition, and customer service are all major (and perhaps, equal) contributors to customer lifetime value. Not only are companies attempting to acquire more customers, but they are also positioning their digital efforts to level up CLTV.
Customers and customer engagement look different today than they once did. Rising social consciousness in addition to the pandemic forcibly introducing all consumers to the digital world changed customer journeys. While some might say that the customer is distracted, they’re at the same time really narrative-driven. Consequently, it’s more important than ever to meet the customer in the right place at the right time with the right message to kick off longer and more profitable customer journeys.
Modernizing Like Keen
In response to the shifting landscape of customer expectations, Keen spoke about how they have adapted their internal model to accommodate the hyper-customer-centric approach they believe is most effective. Keen went from a traditional ecommerce model and restructured to a team with divisions based on fan/customer segments. While Keen acknowledges there are limitations to this approach, they believe “prioritizing the fan” (identifying specific customer archetypes) privileges is the best use of their data and insights. This creates blurriness in who gets involved at which part of the funnel but it enables greater connectivity in how they work.
Modernizing For Metaverse
Does the metaverse live up to the hype? In a Coresight study, almost half of consumers surveyed had not heard of the metaverse. Additionally, despite the popularity of gaming, only one-third of those gamers shop virtually. This paints a less than optimistic picture of the economic impact of the metaverse in its present state. When online shoppers were polled 43% reported that they make purchases through social media while 3% and 15% reported buying NFT’s and spending on in-game items respectively.
While consumers take their time finding the Metaverse, Keen Footwear hired a consultant to cover some metaverse teams and help the team gain exposure to ideas and strategies for the future.
Social commerce, however, has a much more bullish future. Social media platform-driven ecommerce is estimated to become a $1.2 trillion global market by 2025 and account for 16.7% of total ecommerce spending. Chat apps are additionally growing as an extension of this trend and are measured under the umbrella of social commerce as well.
Still, companies are venturing into the metaverse. During the pandemic, WW successfully maintained engagement with its members, recreating their in-person classes online and bringing in new customers while operating virtually. Pleasantly though, WW has experienced a worthwhile conversion rate from this digital service to their brick and mortar memberships.
To learn more about the expansion of the metaverse and social commerce, download our free report on 2022 Consumer Trends: Metaverse & Social Commerce
Speaking to the Lowest Common Denominator vs Addressing the Entire Customer’s Journey
John Grech, Chief Commercial Officer at GiftNow, noted there are going to be moments where contextual events create the inspiration to purchase (i.e. gifting) instead of using the lowest common denominator as a way of attracting customers. In order to create the best experience and aptly serve each customer, your business needs to be aware of who is coming to your business and why. Building a conception of each customer’s journey is more pivotal to marketing strategy than ever.
During the pandemic, the gifting economy experienced an unprecedented increase in volume. Distanced from one another, people are showing appreciation and love for one another through gifts in a period where quality time was less of an option. Interestingly, we’re seeing this trend continue.
Customer Journey Conception In Action: Florist on Mother’s Day
Grech used the example of a florist to demonstrate the concept of the ideal customer journey. An approach driven by the lowest common denominator would employ messaging that focuses on the general utility of flowers. A customer journey-centric model, meanwhile, would emphasize the psychological benefits the flowers would provide when selling to a decorator or the show of gratitude the flowers represent in the case of a Mother’s Day gift.
Not only should a brand’s social posts meet the customer where they are on their journey but the website should also be built for each possible “journey type.” A site may be a great resource and of interest to mothers—but what about other customer journeys? Is it a great site for sons, daughters and other customer segments looking for gifts for their mothers?
This webinar highlighted the importance of being ready for the advent of the metaverse while putting the present excitement about it into perspective. However you’re reaching customers, through whatever channel, it’s all tied to the ever-present need for brands to get more specific with their customers. This is the era of standing out, and that’s only possible if brands are identifying who is engaging with them, where, and why, so they can offer the most positive experiences possible.