The secret weapon is customer retention
By Dave Dabbah
India is now a global leader in the number of apps installed and used per month. Undoubtedly, the pandemic triggered the massive digitisation that the country is currently witnessing. But it has catapulted India into becoming a leading mobile-first consumer economy. Marketers witnessed the emergence of ‘connected customers’ — consumers who prefer to interact with brands through digital means such as apps and websites.
When daily life returns to pre-pandemic ways, many customers may continue to connect with brands digitally or may choose to go back to offline experiences. This begs the question: what about brands that are now completely digital?
It’s critical that marketers think of retaining these newfound customers by revisiting their mobile marketing strategy. This is not only from a higher sales lens, but also from a customer service and satisfaction perspective. Undoubtedly, apps have emerged as the single most important platform for individuals and businesses, and continue to be the primary way people connect for work, entertainment, productivity and socialising.
Particularly after the pandemic, it will be integral for e-commerce to have a retention-first strategy. Assessing the Indian funnel of businesses, engagement is going to get more difficult: the modern consumer is no longer a single-channel user; driving customer interest is inevitable. However, e-commerce brands also need to tackle customer retention head on, by examining what hyper-connected customers expect, how they react to certain marketing initiatives, and, most importantly, what your business can do to unlock higher retention rates and revenue growth.
The right approach
When discussing effective strategies, an omnichannel presence tops the list. Customers are vocal about what they want: they expect brands to know who they are, what they want, and how they want to be communicated with. If a brand is able to communicate with customers on the channels they prefer, and is able to give them a seamless and consistent experience, they’re on the right track. Companies with a robust omnichannel strategy retain an average 89% of customers, compared to the average retention rate of 39%.
Second in line is personalised customer interactions. For example, preference-based recommendations are only going to be more popular in the future, whether it is an update about a new product/ service, a quick link to re-order, a price drop on a recent addition to cart, or promotion of flash sales.
But, in order to get this right, marketers need to understand user-specific details by looking beyond mere demographics to understand psychographics and intent — their interests and the values they hold dear. The need of the hour is to study their behaviours and how they prefer to interact with a brand. This is a virtuous cycle: the longer you can keep your customer, the better you know them and the more value you provide.
The third strategy is expressing gratitude for deeper engagement. Expressing empathy goes a long way. Surprise updates, VIP access to exclusive products, thank you messages and birthday/ anniversary coupon codes may seem slightly old school, but if executed well, there is still a lot this tactic has to offer.
In summary, it’s imperative to devise a strategy that shows marketers understand the customer’s values throughout their life cycle with the brand, and treat them with transparency.
To step up and stay ahead of the competitive edge, marketers must turn customer analysis into action in a way that empowers them to foresee trends and act. After gauging the data, mobile marketing tools help businesses gather meaningful insights into the primary causes of churn, and predict which customers are at risk. More in-depth understanding leads to meaningful customer relationships, strengthened loyalty, and frequent app visits.
The author is CMO, CleverTap