How Does Conversational Marketing Help Me Grow an Ecommerce Brand?

Posted by Emily Mayer on July 25, 2022

A person on a laptop interacting through conversational marketing.

Have you ever been “wowed” by a personalized experience? Perhaps it was a seamless flight because your loyalty earned you access to an exclusive lounge, or stopping into a coffee shop where you didn’t even have to ask for your regular order—they just knew and had it ready.

The art of the personalized experience relies on the innate human desire for relationships; there is power in connection. How does your online business foster an experience like that? If you want to grow your ecommerce business, you need to use 1:1 conversational marketing.

How can my ecommerce business use 1:1 marketing?

What Is 1:1 Marketing?

71% of customers expect a level of personalization throughout the marketing process. One-to-one marketing is personalization taken further. Formation, Inc., breaks down marketing personalization into three stages:

  1. Macro-segmentation. At the most basic level, your business personalizes ads by incorporating a visitor’s name and segmenting by basic demographics.
  2. Segmentation. At this stage, your business segments by consumer lifestyle, interests, attitudes, purchase behavior, search behavior, and buyer stage.
  3. 1:1 personalization. At the third level, your business personalizes its marketing collateral by creating different promotions and relevant content for every consumer.

Don’t wait until the point of sale to engage your customer in the conversation. Conversational marketing is a whole-funnel process that impacts every phase of the buyer’s journey. It keeps customers engaged, effectively moving them through the buyer’s journey from awareness to consideration to decision. Every interaction allows for another degree of personalization until you reach the final sale—and beyond.

The three stages of marketing personalization: macro-segmentation, segmentation and 1:1 personalization.

Why Ecommerce Businesses Should Use 1:1 Marketing

As an ecommerce retailer, your goal is to make the entire shopping experience delightful. With higher customer satisfaction, you’re more likely to gain new customers from personal recommendations.

Customers who enjoy the entire buying process are more likely to become repeat customers. 78% of consumers are more likely to repurchase after receiving personalized efforts, and getting customers to purchase again is more cost-effective than targeting new ones. Use 1:1 marketing to create a more efficient sales cycle. You can segment customers to focus on the most valuable ones, then upsell and cross-sell.

How Can My Ecommerce Business Use 1:1 Marketing?

Real-life conversations aren’t siloed—you don’t talk to your best friend or spouse only on the phone or only in-person. Your marketing and sales channels shouldn’t be siloed either. The best marketing plan for an ecommerce business is an omnichannel, 1:1 personalization strategy.

Real-life conversations aren't siloed, so your marketing and sales channels shouldn't be either.

Wondering where to focus? The top 3 personalization aspects for consumers purchasing from a brand for the first time are easy online or physical store navigation, relevant recommendations, and tailored messages.

  1. Navigation. To provide easy ecommerce store navigation, design with the user experience in mind. Your header and top navigation must be simple and well organized. Make it easy for customers to search by creating a search bar that allows for exact product type, feature, abbreviation, and non-product search. Minimize form fields for consumers when they check out; aim for 7–9 clicks between adding to the cart and final purchase.
  2. Recommendations. Use your website to personalize product recommendations in a dedicated section or suggest products in an email campaign. This encourages customers to make repeat purchases or return to an abandoned website session. You can also use individualized offers to share personalized recommendations for products that consumers have previously explored or are predicted to enjoy. This can be triggered by joining a loyalty program or signing up for communications.
  3. Messages. You can also rely on a CRM platform to keep track of the conversations your team has with a customer. This provides context to keep the natural conversation flowing, even if different members of your team are interacting with the consumer. Limited with time and budget? Ensure that you’re using personalization tokens based on properties stored in your CRM. We also recommend turning to a chatbot for live chat solutions. Chatbots pop up after a visitor has been on your webpage for a certain amount of time.

Another important focus is social media. It’s one of the fastest growing methods to connect with your customers. For starters, be sure to interact with comments on your posts and like and reply on customer brand-related content. To reach 1:1 personalization, go a step further and DM customers who tag you in posts or make a purchase through a social platform. This makes the customer feel valued, creating a more favorable impression of your brand.

Worried your customers won’t share their data? Ask users for personalized data. One method is to capture a visitor’s mobile number and email on your website through forms or gated content. Sending a personalized 1:1 message to consumers can keep them interested in your business. Analytics software like Google Analytics will also assist in uncovering demographics plus provide purchasing and browsing information you can use for further personalization.

Start a Conversation

1:1 conversations are the most authentic way to create relationships with customers, and ecommerce brands can market more effectively by talking to their customers in this way.

Looking for help growing your ecommerce business? Let’s start a conversation.

Topics: personalized marketing, customer relationships, conversational marketing, 1:1 Marketing

Emily Mayer

Written by Emily Mayer

Emily Mayer is a Strategy Intern for Icon, exploring her passion for thinking critically to uncover marketing trends. She’s entering her fourth and final year at the University of Cincinnati, studying Marketing with minors in Psychology and Business Analytics. Outside of school and work, she enjoys exploring the Cincinnati food scene and spending time outside.

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