Thursday, 23 July 2015

"Is just the Product enough?" Strengthening the back end technology to attract customers.

"My brand is in my hand", is the new saying of the customers across the globe. Today all the top brands are easily available in the digital world. Moreover with the prices falling and demand rising of smartphones, the customer has his desired brand literally in his hands and is in true sense the reigning KING of the digital world.

The brands have two big challenges ahead in the online world. One is to lure the customers to keep coming back and buying from their website and prove their loyalty. Second is to attract more and more potential new customers to visit their websites and hence be a part of it. 

In today's crowded industry, marketers are constantly looking for innovative ways to make themselves stand out. With technological advancements soaring high, it’s becoming important for a company to be present in the market wherever the customers are going. Very soon, presence across a large number of online platforms will become THE norm rather than a distinguishing factor for businesses. 

Given the speed at which new online engagement channels and digital businesses are hitting the market every day, a greater need has emerged for the businesses to take a step back and critically re-evaluate their strategies to make a mark in the field. In order to keep pace with the industry, businesses today have to take into consideration several features like:-

1. Innovation in technology and services - Advancement of technology in the field of online shopping plays a positive role to build trust among customers in multi-dimensional issues like ease of use of technology, confidence in payment transactions, service satisfaction and to gain social admiration.

2. Provision of better quality engagement for consumers - An engaged customer is a hitched customer. A number of provisions like proactive chat solutions to help monitor customer behaviour and target customers who
were prospective buyers, but have left the website without making a purchase,  is a sure shot hit amongst online
brands  

3. Consumer behaviour to compete with other brands - Online shopping has made consumers more effective and efficient in their shopping behaviour and has driven businesses to a new level, forcing many to make the necessary adjustments and changes to reach the new market of knowledgeable consumers.

Marketers need to know that consumers these days gravitate more towards the brands that provide plethora of benefits like Convenience, Experience, Relevance or Value. Generation Y is more concerned about the comfort, engagement and services offered rather than simply the product.

Nowadays most of the online websites have taken the role of a market-place that provides different brands on one single platform. 

For instance - Customers may get the same Puma shoes, on Amazon, Yebhi, Jabong etc. With the same quality of product with the same price tag, the choice of retailer will depend on the service as well as the ease with which the customers are able to search and get the desired product. They will end up choosing the one that gives them an easy access in order to save time and effort.

A variety of smart back end tools and advances in digital technologies, are thus streamlining the shopping experience of the customers right from attracting them to the website to comfortably providing easy options to pay and look for more and more products and services. Some of the noteworthy back end tools & services are :- 

1. Device Independence - As more and more new devices are coming up, online channels are tuning themselves to adjust to each such device to have a wide customer base.

2. Platform Independence - Many brands today are available on multiple platforms, hence helping the customer in selecting the best platform that is in their comfort zone of shopping.

3. Customer database - With customers filling multiple forms online and searching for a product or service, the online platforms are getting humongous customer database which they need to plough back into showing more relevant view of their website to the customer keeping his preferences, needs etc. in mind 

4. Catchy and Jazzy Ads - The businesses are now coming up with more and more innovative ad styles online, thus grabbing the eyeballs of new customers.

5. Displaying and Filtering Products - Online platforms have their own digital tools to help customers discover and filter products as per their needs.

6. Payment Options - Right from COD to cheques to debit cards to net banking, payment options are becoming more and more easy to enable swift transactions.

7. Delivery time - The “Just-in-Time” supply chain management solutions help the right product to reach the right  customer at the right time.

All these are critical to keep up with ever-changing customer demands and to keep the customers as comfortable as possible and pamper them without being physically present to do the same.

In markets where customer retention is the key, a competitive edge in operational tools can mean the difference between repeat business and lost opportunities. Customers have more choices than ever and they will migrate to where they uncover best customer service. They will not only react quickly to online engagements but will also network instantaneously with other like-minded consumers regarding their research and experiences with products. They will talk about that brand and will make it famous.

Yes, people talk about brands.

Its time you make them talk about yours!

Engaging directly with your customers, their family, friends, friends' friends and giving them the best possible experience of online shopping while integrating all the magical tools of back end technology to pamper them will surely yield healthier results.

So targeting your next customer with a well designed front-end store, make sure to have strong back-end processes .