[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’re always trying to better the consumer experience — obviously for the shoppers perusing different websites, but also for our clients as well. While we’d love to say PERQ is an expert at everything, realistically, we’re not. No one is, really.
We’re not a jack of all trades, but rather, experts at providing the best online consumer experiences possible: sleek, interactive and more importantly, helpful. That’s what we do and that’s exactly what we’ve come to be known for.
Now, we realize that we can’t personally provide every feature imaginable in our product — but there’s software out there that can fill in those gaps and make the experience more complete for everyone.
Sure, you could attempt to create a new CRM or create a new financing tool, but those things are already being done extremely well by other companies. Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, consider partnering with organizations that have similar goals in mind and who can provide “best in breed” for the gaps trying to be filled.
How do we know this is a viable option? Because we’ve personally discovered that developing partnerships has been instrumental in how we’re able to fill in gaps for ourselves and for consumers.
For example, PERQ’s Online Guided Shopping Solution recently partnered with Who’s Up, a full featured retail ‘up system’ and CRM (customer relationship management) tool catered to the furnishings industry.
Not only does our product become more valuable for our customers (the furniture stores) because of the addition of these features, but their product is being leveraged and that ultimately helps our clients to succeed. Everyone wins!
One thing to keep in mind is that your company and the partnering company don’t have to be the only ones who benefit. Consumers can benefit just as much from various partnerships.
If the goal (for both companies) is to identify and solve a customer pain point, that makes the partnership all the more valuable. One great example is how we leverage Yelp API for our multifamily experiences.
As you probably already know, Yelp is a site that publishes crowdsourced reviews and ratings for restaurants, retailers, grocery stores and other business establishments. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that consumers are able to make the best decisions based on the crowd-sourced information that’s available to them.
If you’ve ever searched for a place to live, chances are good that you’ve found yourself on Yelp or any other review site to get a solid grasp of all the great things your future neighborhood has to offer. Practically world-wide, Yelp is synonymous with reliable ratings and reviews. Why would we even make any sort of attempt to replicate this type of service when a one already exists?
Yelp is already a trusted source for millions of people. That being said, Yelp’s API has been integrated into aspects of PERQ’s Online Guided Leasing Solution. When future renters are looking for an apartment, they’re looking at the amenities of the surrounding neighborhood.
By “partnering” with Yelp, we’re helping multifamily properties assist prospective renters with their ongoing research. It’s a win-win for both parties. Yelp wins because their services are being utilized and they’re helping consumers with their research, and WE win because we’re helping our multifamily properties help future customers with THEIR research.
“When future renters are looking for an apartment, they’re looking at the amenities of the surrounding neighborhood.”
There are so many SaaS organizations that want to be able to say “we do it all” — but that just isn’t realistic. When you spread yourself too thin, with a variety of different goals, you end up producing mediocre products instead of one really amazing product.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
One thing I’ve found quite eye opening over the last few months is that a lot of retailers (across numerous verticals) believe customers who are on their website are “ready to buy now.” The bold reality is that 50% of customers AREN’T.
In fact, customers who are still shopping around actually visit your store’s website more frequently before they determine that they’re ready to make a purchase. Consumers are coming and going from your website. New data suggests that sessions and frequency increase as those consumers continue to conduct research.
Long story short, your consumers (when researching) are all over the place. As they continue to visit your website, leave and visit again, they’re cycling through various parts of the standard purchasing funnel.
It’s very rarely a seamless “top of the funnel” to “bottom of the funnel” journey. Consumers might go back up the research phase after just encountering the consideration phase and then back down again. This is especially true for shoppers who are about to make a large purchase or investment.
Consumer shopping behavior can be unpredictable
Because consumer shopping behavior can be quite unpredictable at times, it’s incredibly important to listen to what they’re saying through the actions they take on your website. How long has it been since they visited your website? Did they stay a long time? Have these consumers been visiting far more frequently than usual? These are important questions to address, because they provide more insight than you would think.
Consumers can’t, and often won’t, speak to us directly, so we need to guess their wants and needs based on the data you can collect online. I’m not talking about a name, phone number and email address.
Instead, you can use your website to leverage the power of interactive software, coupled with artificial intelligence (or A.I.) to make the best marketing and consumer outreach decisions. Interactive software, like PERQ’s Online Guided Shopping Solution, can help align the best experience to each individual consumer’s actions.
Obviously, this can be a tad frustrating when you take into consideration the number of consumers who DO linger on your website without making a purchase. If they’re in the research phase, and they’ve gone through multiple experiences, how do you target them in a way that isn’t aggressive and allows the consumer to have the freedom to browse? Email nurture can help.
Email nurture is when your store “nurtures” its relationship with specific consumers who have indicated that they’re potentially going to purchase, but who are still on the fence with other stores as well.
For those consumers who have gone through different stages of the shopping funnel (and your website), email nurture might be a great way to hook them back in and really solidify that relationship. Just like A.I., email nurture is about giving consumers the right message, at the right place and at the right time. In this case, however, the outreach is even more catered based on the data collected through the interactive experiences.
“Email nurture is about giving consumers the right message, at the right place and at the right time.”
For example, if a customer who’s already went through the “new customer welcome” experience and through a “What’s Your Design Style?” assessment, it’s clear that they’re already engaged with your store. However, they might still look at their other options. In order to push them toward a purchase, your store wants to keep those consumers as engaged as humanly possible. You want them to come BACK to your website and ultimately, step foot into your physical store.
With the last step being a “design consultation,” it’s clear that they’re already somewhat invested in your store. A relationship has been forged, but you don’t want to come off too strong. A good way to continue engaging those consumers is by sending an email that advertises a possible next step based on the information they provided.
One good email to send out (in this case) would be “we see you just completed a design consultation, so you have a good idea of what style of furniture is suitable for your home. Why not come to the store to see the furniture selections in person?”
Use Consumer Behavior Data to Pay More Attention to Needs
By catering to a consumer’s specific needs, you stand a better chance of getting that online visitor to revisit your website, schedule an appointment and come into your store.
Taking the time to listen to your consumers can and will have a HUGE impact on your relationship with them. Even if you don’t know precisely what their next steps are going to be, you can make educated guesses based on their previous actions and their current behavior on your website. The information these consumers provide you (from the website) will help your store to guide them toward their next purchasing decision.