This year’s ERT Turning Point Live! conference, sponsored by Electrical Safety First and hosted by ERT magazine Editor, Jack Cheeseman (pictured above, far right), was an invaluable source of information on how to meet the opportunities and challenges facing the electrical retail industry.
This is part two of our exclusive full review of the sessions from the day…
In today’s highly competitive environment, electrical retailers who cannot be found online may not be considered when the consumer makes a purchasing. It’s becoming more of a necessity to adopt an omni-channel approach to retail and to create a digital marketing strategy.
Discussing how retailers can take their websites to the next level and use digital marketing techniques to help, at Turning Point Live! this year Matt Renaut, Managing Director of Dacombes of Wimborne, Emma Louise Smith, Director of Moxie Business Marketing, Neil Rogers, CEO of Digital NRG, and ERT Editor, Jack Cheeseman (all pictured above), took to the stage.
Q: What are consumers looking for in a retailer’s website that’s a bit different these days?
Neil Rogers: A positive customer experience is essential – you want to make the shopping process frictionless. Are your products in stock and readily available? Do you have a straightforward checkout process? You’ll find a lot of people will exit your website if they can’t complete their transaction process.
Figures show that online transactions are increasing rapidly, however people may be researching their purchases online but still preferring to buy offline. For example, they might have questions about installation or delivery and want to speak to someone in-store.
Emma Louise Smith: The whole customer journey is extremely important, from the minute they land on your site it has to be smooth with positive reinforcement – perhaps a nice customer review. Employ marketing tactics like the ‘scarcity’ tactic – “three people have bought this product within the last hour” – what’s going to encourage them to click the button and buy now?
Q: Matt, what online marketing tactics to you employ?
Matt Renaut: In the last couple of years we’ve been increasing our digital marketing. We use Google Adwords and google shopping in the local area; it can be expensive if you want to be at the top, but this really helps the customer journey and encourages them to visit our site and then hopefully our store.
It’s a learning process and trial and error. The beauty with online marketing is that everything is measurable – you can see who’s clicking and where – it’s perfect to get the information you need and to make sure it’s working.
NR: We’re seeing at the moment that even the most successful people online are using data and information from that website visitor to re-target and re-market towards them.
Collecting customer data is key. Use Google Tag Manager to build up information on your audiences; if someone looks at a washing machine, you’ve got that data, you can track them and you can re-target them with specialised messages.
ELS: You can also make things more automated throughout the whole customer journey, like when a customer’s product warranty is due, an automatic email teasing customers back in will keep you at the forefront of their mind. It’s another avenue of the marketing mix you can employ.
ELS: For retailers I would strongly suggest using Facebook over anything else – it owns 65 per cent of the market share of social media channels in the UK. It also owns Instagram and that’s fast becoming a channel to watch. On top of that, Facebook and Instagram give you options to have your own shop feed and to tag products into your posts.
The engagement you get because you tag products in a Facebook post works so much better than any kind of advert diverting people to a website to buy there. Once you’ve got your shop feed integrated, you’ve got a seamless in-app experience for people to buy.
MR: Also, influencers are becoming more important on social media now, too. These people have got thousands of followers who will instantly see what you’re doing simply because someone they follow on social media is posting pictures and writing about it. They can talk about the experience they had in your store and it’s instant marketing, but a new, modern way of doing it.
NR: This is a great example of user-generated content – getting other people to promote you is better than doing it yourself sometimes. It’s a new and very easy form of effective marketing.
ELS: Reviews are infinitely more important today and the more retailers can do to integrate them into their website and other online channels, and the more you can have on there to reinforce your message and credibility, the better.
Customer reviews always influence consumers’ buying choices; in fact, a recent survey said that 85 per cent of people trust online reviews more than what retailers say about a product themselves.
Q: Matt, how do you encourage your customers to leave reviews?
MR: We’re with Trustpilot and as soon as we’ve delivered a customer’s product we send out an email asking for a review while it’s still fresh in their minds. If too much time passes after delivery, the impetus is gone. We also run a competition for customers, so if they take the time to write a review they can win a product from us – that’s really good for local business.
Read part one of the Turning Point Live! coverage here.