A lot of processes involved in our typical, day to day living have experienced a change as of late. The internet, globalization, and general advancements in technology have developed new ways for us to do things that have always been fairly basic to the ways in which we go about life. The ability to design your home through companies and software such as Room Sketcher and others allows you to design spaces in your home virtually and without going to a furnishing store or lifting and moving heavy furniture. Fitiquette is one of many online clothing retailers that designs virtual mannequins to fit your proportions and suggest clothing options based on the mannequin’s physique, diminishing the need for brick-and-mortar clothing stores. Heck, Amazon has even gone so far as to enable scheduled deliveries of groceries to your home, possibly the primary physical shopping experience we as consumers undergo.
However, while these are exciting new uses of technology, the majority of total retail sales are still made by brick-and-mortar stores at 94%, according to research by eMarketer (Forbes). All reasons for this center around one major consideration. We are all humans and the core of all interaction, a basis on which business is grounded, is rooted in interpersonal means of communicating with others. To maintain deep contact has grown in obsolescence and to quickly spout out sales has taken the forefront. Although efficiency may have taken a leap, it has sacrificed the communicative backing to retail sales. That does not have to be the case however. With certain technologies, ones that Rave Retailer boasts, you are able to maintain efficiency without eighty-sixing personal relationships.
Your Google search has been submitted for a relative search, your rankings and listings have come up, and you decide to click on one of the provided options. Within the first 15-30 seconds of your visit, you are being asked for your email address in some way shape or form. The intention of this is, first and foremost, to establish a business owner to potential client connection. As it has been stated, the ability to maintain contacts when conducting business solely digitally, either as a buyer or seller, can be limited, however, email is the best way to keep in touch. The degree of effective communication that this allows can parallel that of what can be relayed between buyer and seller in person, and oftentimes go beyond that, and all with great efficiency.
When you first get that pop-up on a website asking you to join a business’s email list, there is, oftentimes, something else noteworthy in the text, an incentive of sorts. This is an attempt to found a line of accommodation from buyer and seller. “Sign up today and get 15% off of your first order” for instance. Right off the bat, this business is aiming to fulfill a need of yours and make a effort through a digital medium to achieve a personal satisfaction out of a buyer. Once initial contact is made and progressed in time, emailing can be used in making personal messages to individual or grouped clients with specific needs, marketing similar or complementary items to those they have purchased in the past and even throw in additional discounting or perks based on the degree of support this buyer has given a business, furthering your personal edge with your customers.
Sometimes, upon first encounter, the requests for emails can seem pestering or prodding. One way to alleviate that and have instant trust in a new buyer is through being seen as an authority in your field.
Blogging is a great way to achieve a perceived sense of authority from your customers. Think of it from the perspective of a hypothetical situation. Let’s say you have two friends (chances are you have more, but for sake of this scenario, we’ll just focus on the two). Friend one claims to be a skilled skier, as does friend two, and they are both willing to teach you to ski one-on-one. In talks on skiing, friend one does not have much to say, however, friend two has a lot of insightful information, knowledge of terminology and technologies in the field, and gives ample and detailed direction pulled from many different avenues. You will believe that friend two, with his extensive spoken knowledge and referral to other skiing resources, will be your go to with aiding you in becoming a better skier.
The same goes for the implementation of a blog. In so doing, you give more in-depth, cross-referenced information about topics within your field. The fact that you are speaking out on such topics displays transparency in your thoughts and approaches and the thoughts and those of other businesses in the industry, and will ultimately give your brand more credibility. Credibility leads to trust, and trust is a personal quality in business relations that is primary. Having a blog and giving your followers or to-be followers maximum information in their search to best understand the market and their perception of you within it.
Furthermore, to have a blog means to have a platform upon which you can openly write about your brand. You can do this however you see fit and really get creative. Take the opportunity to place extra attention on developing a voice, personality, persona, and really give your readers a personal adherence to your business.
Once people have started to read your blog, they will feel personally attracted to your brand, your mission, and your work in the industry. Upon this, they will want to express their loyalty to you. Digitally speaking, one of the best indicators of loyalty is to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your favorite brands. It is kind of the equivalent to you wearing that sweater with the classic Nike Swoosh or Adidas Stripes. ‘Liking’ your brand’s page is a personal step in the right direction. Now, anything you have to market on social media will be seen by your following and the gap between brand and buyer or follower closes.
Another great personal feature of social media is the fact that it can act as a secondary hub for your media. Facebook, namely, is a great platform to store videos, pictures, and much more, all of which gives great personal insight into the brands being followed. On the follower end of things, users are able to share material that you put on your pages. Given the opportunity to share content in this fashion, an interpersonal element is in the mix, where folks are able to create a buzz and conversations between other followers and the brand in discussion. This gives people a feeling of personal involvement with a brand that most digital practices may not provide.
A final way to gain a personal edge from a digital platform is to give your customers or followers the opportunity to deliver feedback. A customer review portal is a great mode of communicating thoughts from buyer to seller and vice versa. One of the major goals of conducting business is to progress. When your primary mission is to satisfy the needs of customers, who better to ask for feedback than the people buying and using your products and putting them through the wringer. This gives businesses direct insights into what they can be doing better or are doing well.
Concurrently, this arrangement makes customers feel more connected to the businesses from which they purchases products. They feel as though they have a voice when they are given the option to give their feedback. In turn, this impresses upon buyers the feeling of personal connection and affiliation with the brands they support. To simply buy from a brand is one thing, but to feel as though you have an opportunity to participate in the progression of that brand and their work speaks volumes to your customer base. Furthermore, this establishes a mutual understanding of ‘help me help you’. A synergy is formed where buyers continue to have new needs within their market, a seller accommodates that, and the buyer and seller together consider ways to move the industry forward with improvements, and customer reviews are a great way to uphold that line of communication.
In conclusion, the digital progression of e-commerce has been great for business and has improved the efficiency for all processes involved as well as strengthening the important SEO all in one fell swoop. While it has made for great improvements, some may feel concern that it will diminish the sense of personality and interpersonal exchange between buyer and seller. The difference lies in the implementation of the proper features that will uphold that efficiency and SEO all while giving buyers and sellers the means to communicate freely and maintain the relational backbone of we conduct business in the first place. To learn more about these features and how to integrate them into your digital business strategy, Contact Rave Retailer today!