The rapid growth of D2C brands should not come as a surprise given the current market circumstances. But it is important to know how to not just establish a digital presence, but ways to maintain the growth as well.
The greatest advantage traditional brick and mortar models had were the tight-knit relationships they had with their audience. Face to face interactions and building a community was the strength of these businesses. The need for real human interaction has been a key challenge for the new age D2C brands need to focus on customer loyalty to stand out in the crowd.
Modern day technologies have drastically shaped the various industries such as aviation, healthcare, education and more. It is time for digital businesses to take the leap and leverage tech stack for more than a website and mobile optimisation. Customer retention is a crucial part of the business, as it increases profitability, higher customer lifetime value(CLTV), decreases customer churn rate(CCR), while providing brand awareness and strength.
Integration of AI, ML, AR, Blockchain can provide a number of benefits such as:
- Automating routine tasks can help in reducing cost,
- Fixing poor customer service and experience,
- Data can help fix the gaps and reduce spray and pray approach,
- Better marketing strategies with data-backed decisions.
The brands have for long leveraged technology for various other purposes such as enabling mobile payments, linking social media, content optimisation, SEO, SEM, and more. Let’s dive deep into how more can be done with modern day tech.
- Personalisation is the key
One of the greatest advantages of D2C is customer engagement and hyper-personalisation they offer to their customers. According to a survey by Acquia, 82% of customers want greater personalization globally. The same survey also revealed that 78% of consumers agree that they will be more loyal to brands that understand them.
This is where new technologies come into play. Integrating IoT, blockchain can process the consumer data in a faster and more accurate way. Once you understand your customers better and their pain points, it can help you build a better customer retention strategy. Give them personalised recommendations, offer better search results, make sure to stay in touch with new offers and emails depending on their buying habits. Take more data backed decisions so that your customer feels more valued, appreciated and turn them into repeat customers.
- Enhance your tech stack
There are a number of tools, plugins, softwares and platforms available in the market today to gather data, provide efficient customer services etc. Even social media is a vital tool, and often brands only focus on it for marketing purposes but there’s more to it. For instance, Xbox added a dedicated Twitter account in 2010 to provide customer service. Xbox’s Elite Tweet Fleet has posted 2 million+ support tweets, and with a team of 27 experts the team interacts with their customers on a regular basis.
This is the power of using the right tools at the right place. Implementing various AI and ML- based technologies can take this a notch higher. For instance, AI-bots can deliver customer service efficiently. Not just this, they can also work on multiple clientele at the same time, eliminating the need to hire a big team. Instead, the same cost can be implemented elsewhere.
- Take care of security and safety
We have talked a lot about big data, predictive analytics, and tools that help you analyse and store customer data. Yes, you need to do all these things to increase your customer retention rate but one has to take data security seriously while doing so. Technology is a double-edged sword, and data breaches are becoming a serious threat. It is a must to ensure transparency about the data being collected, the ways it is being used and the discretion.
- Deep dive into AI
If you are hesitant about adopting new technology and tools, it is better to invest in ones that have already proved their potential. AI has been widely used to improve consumer service and experience, directly impacting the retention rates as well. With human like intelligence, AI can help businesses in various ways such as:
- Relevant product recommendations
- Calculate shipping costs depending on the customer location accurately and faster
- Taking care of availability of the products
- Personalized newsletters, emails etc.
These solutions can collect and process the data to build strategy, improve engagement, and so much more. Surely, these cannot replace human force but will allow the employees to rather focus on other important tasks.
- Use AR to provide in-store experiences
Due to the quarantine, customers are missing out on in-store shopping and AR is your friend to combat this challenge. Giants such as IKEA, Sephora, Lacoste have been using AR integrated apps to give their users a personalized and immersive shopping experience.
Another excellent example is Lenskart, which has used this technology seamlessly. The company was one of the first companies to enter the AR space, the website and app both use the ‘3D try on’ feature which can help you decide the frame you want to buy. Caratlane, is another brand which provides this feature to try on jewelry you wish to purchase. AR has helped these companies grow exponentially in previous years even in segments such as eyewear and jewelry, something that customers prefer to buy in store.