What makes a customer buy from a multi-brand retailer when they could often get the same item directly from the brand that creates it? After all, the direct-to-consumer brand usually delivers to the customer’s doorstep, for the same price that they might pay at a multi-brand retailer. A wide range of factors play into such a decision, but if there’s one big answer it’s added value.
Buying direct from the brands they love — or from third-party online retailers like Amazon, which accounts for nearly half of all e-commerce purchases all by itself — can feel easy and convenient, but the buying experiences that DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands can’t match what multi-brand retailers have to offer.
When a customer goes to a store, or shops on-line, to pick up something they already know they want, they have the chance of being exposed to new brands they may never have found otherwise. Think how many of your favorite brands and products were discovered entirely by accident while you were looking for something else.
This added value is what makes customers choose multi-brand retailers even when they have the option to buy directly from a brand. Finding a way to capture that same experience in your email campaigns is key to engaging customers in a new way that will keep them coming back for more.
Create an enticing customer experience — with a little help from data.
When you’re looking for ways to strengthen the engagement of your email marketing campaign, start by reexamining what it is that you can give the customer that they can’t get anywhere else — not even by shopping directly from their favorite brands. That expertly curated experience is what you’re really selling, not any one particular product. After all, customers could get the same product elsewhere, often with a comparable price and similar convenience.
When you factor an e-commerce giant like Amazon into the mix, competing on price or convenience becomes a risky proposition, at best. You run the risk of undervaluing your brand by dropping the price too much, and there’s only so many places you can slash shipping costs or improve speed. One or two-day delivery right to their door is about as fast and convenient as it is ever going to get.
But DTC brands and retail giants can’t offer customers the same curated experience that you can. All it takes is the right data — and the willingness to use it in new and creative ways.
Curate new experiences rather than reinforcing old ones.
Data can be used to help curate and personalize customer experiences in many ways. One of the easiest is to simply show customers products similar to ones that they have already purchased. Not only is this an easy way for many email marketers to go, but it also feels safe. After all, if the customer already bought something like this once, you already know they like it, right?
The problem is that most of the time customers aren’t, in fact, buying the same thing over and over again. You probably know someone who bought an engagement ring or a new car, only to find themselves bombarded with Facebook ads and other marketing attempts trying to sell them more engagement rings and other new cars. But of course, they didn’t need another one of either. They had made their purchase, they were done. All of that advertising was worse than a waste; it was an annoyance.
What’s more, showing your customers the same brands over and over again leads the customer to seeing you as nothing more than a supplier — and if that’s all you are, what’s to stop them from “swimming upstream” and buying directly from the brands that they already know they love?
The answer to both of these problems is to change the way you use data. Instead of reinforcing past behaviors, use data to curate future ones. Don’t show customers products that you already know they love; use the data you have to find products that they will love, but that they don’t know about yet. In this way, you become more than a supplier. You become a trusted tastemaker; someone the customer comes to not just to shop, but to know what to shop for.
Anticipate the evolution of your customers’ tastes and provide email content that energizes them.
Easier said than done, right? That’s where data comes in. Coherent Path can help you to use data that you already have to hyper-personalize your email marketing campaigns, so customers see not only content that’s relevant to their interests, but content that will stimulate interests they didn’t even know they had.
This is the advantage you already have over DTC wholesalers. You already know your customers, and you can use that data to create a journey of personalized shopping discovery that helps your customers get to know themselves better. Let’s see an online wholesaler compete with that.