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Using emotion to connect in online retail

Blog
31st January 2020

Author: Kellyann McCafferty,

Title: Account Director

Webhelp’s latest Disruptor Series Whitepaper, highlights why, in 2020, it will be absolutely crucial that brands create deep and lasting emotional connections with customers. For the launch of our latest Whitepaper, ‘Emotion’, Kellyann McCafferty, Webhelp Account Director, looks at how emotion can strongly influence customers’ ability to bond with brands, especially in the retail and ecommerce sectors.

 

So, how do you succeed in online retail?

The focus of a successful sales strategy, for many companies, will be firmly on brand reputation and visibility, price comparison, search engine optimization and streamlining the customer journey. With the overriding goal of getting the customer to the ecommerce purchase point.

It’s hard to deny that these are all fundamental steps, which we do very well at Webhelp. However, our experience tells us that, often brands do not concentrate enough on how their customers feel, through-out the whole cycle, and especially at the end of the journey.

This failure is the online equivalent of chauffeuring your customer to a grand restaurant, with a stunning red carpet entrance but ignoring their needs and giving sloppy service, once you’ve got them inside!

 Marketing author Lindsay Kwan hits the nail right on the head, for industry blog platform Widerfunnel, saying:

“An emotionally resonant customer experience involves more than an e-commerce strategy that solves a problem or incorporates a marketing funnel that is easy to navigate… …are your customers landing on your e-commerce site and thinking this brand really gets me?”

I would agree that this is a huge (but avoidable!) pitfall for brands, especially those who rely on one time metrics like conversion rates and click through numbers, and then find their customers leaving hastily through the virtual back door!

Instead, we help our clients to use their data and insight to create predictive models, establishing the right touch-points for emotionally enriched customer relationships.

To stay with the restaurant analogy, we look after their customers from start to finish, we remember their birthdays (with a discount voucher), we take their coats, hand them that complementary glass of prosecco and ask if they’d like their favorite dish or to look at the new menu… and wave them off at the door, with the incentive to come back for a free dessert next time!

Good service at all levels is everything – and forms the emotional connection that can make the difference in your customer experience.

As Webhelp’s YouGov backed research from our new Whitepaper shows – when taken overall, customer experience was the top source of emotional connection with brands.

HBR.org

The paper shares expert industry insight on how emotion can have a huge impact on customer loyalty, share of wallet and recommendations, which is so important for retail – as David Turner, CEO, Webhelp UK India & South Africa explains:

“If we look specifically at research from the retail sector, it has been shown that customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are far more valuable. To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, it is obvious that brands must cultivate an emotional connection with their customers.”

Emotion has the possibility to dramatically increase a customer’s lifetime value, as connected customers are more loyal, satisfied, and ready to buy more!

The Harvard Business Review states that emotionally engaged customers are at least three times more likely to recommend your product or service. They are three times more likely to re-purchase, and that (as their diagram shows) fully connected customers are up to 52% more valuable!

And, when we look closely at the market sectors that that UK customers are most likely to form emotional connections with, Webhelp data (as illustrated below) shows that ecommerce leads the way, with online sectors like Clothing, Grocery, Technology and Beauty coming out on top.

Ecommerce is booming with a growth forecast of 16% of all global sales in 2020, and brands that don’t strongly connect with consumers in this area, risk being rapidly left behind.

But the good news is, Webhelp has the right people, experience and insight to leverage emotion to create positive behavioural change and human connections with your customers, to insure they stay loyally connected to your brand. Read on to find out more.

In case you haven’t registered yet, sign up to receive fresh insights and invitations to exec events with our Webhelp Disruptor Series campaign https://www.go.webhelp.com/disruptorseries.


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