Phillip Jackson, the host of Future Commerce podcast and Chief Commerce Officer at Rightpoint returns to Pitstop to catch Lucas up on his recent research into consumer behaviour and projected buying habits.
The only way to truly, fully capitalize on your customer base, regardless of the product offered, is to understand them. Only after examining and analyzing customer buying habits and behaviour patterns can you begin to directly and specifically adapt to their needs.
Thankfully, Phillip Jackson has been doing just that, digging deep into the data to determine how consumers are currently shopping, and how they're likely to shop in the future
Seekers Vs Stockers
There are essentially two kinds of customers, explains Jackson.
- Stockers: Consumers who find brands and products they trust, and loyally return to purchase those same products at a fairly predictable and consistent rate for years.
- Seekers: "Disloyal" shoppers who enjoy the novelty of discovering new brands and products, who are much less likely to return for repeat business on a consistent or predictable basis
No matter what you do, no matter how you sell your product, customers will behave as either one or the other, you'll never have a customer base made of just Stockers, or have to worry about relying on the random and chaotic Seekers.
That means that the most important and influential thing you can do to make a sale to either group is to give them the best initial sales interaction. Luckily, there are some important trends fr you to know about that will help you make the most out of your first impression and chances to score a buyer.
Customers love e-commerce. Despite the naysayers and prophets of doom, customer appreciation for online shopping has never been higher, and their spending habits show this. Rather than going to market occasionally, modern shoppers are always buying or browsing, often from the palm of their hand. This means there is practically no down-time for e-commerce brands, customers will always be encountering your shop for the first time, giving you lots of chances to get it right.
Most First Impressions Already Are Positive. 94% of polled shoppers said they had a positive impression of e-commerce and buying their favourite products online. That means the vast majority of the industry is doing exactly what they need to for customer satisfaction and retention. Follow the trends you see from other brands, and you'll be golden.
Shoppers Only Expect To Buy More And Be More Satisfied. Contrary to expectation coming out of the pandemic crisis, customer confidence is high, and while brick and mortar stores are opening back up, most responding shopper still expect to do even more of their buying online in the near future, due entirely to the shopping experience itself.
How do I capitalize on these projections?
Jackson says that to get the most out of your already excited and energized customers, you have to consider the three things every consumer is looking for, and make sure your service provides each accordingly.
- Convenience - 79% of responses said that online shopping was the best way to shop. people want to shop online, and the more you can offer them, the better
- Variety - 81% of affluent shoppers, those who can afford any brand or variation of a product they want, prefer choice and a wide selection
- Consistency - 70% of shoppers said they were looking specifically and only at online goods, with the intention to only buy from online retailers for the foreseeable future
Consider how your business could meet these behaviour patterns and shopping expectations, and consider how others brands don't. If you can provide any, or all, of the three to a sector of customer who isn't being catered to, then you've found your money-maker.
Fight Your Fear of Friction
Chief Commerce Officer at Rightpoint and host of Future Commerce podcast, Phillip Jackson, joins Lucas and Pitstop one more time to talk about how you can gain customer traction with good friction, and avoid getting burned by bad friction
Typically, any business be it online or offline seeks to deliver their service in the most efficient way possible, getting the customer in, getting them their order, and getting them out so you can repeat the cycle at a high rate. Anything that got in the way, or slowed down this process, is called "friction", and it's the big bad F-word of the commercial world.
Contrary to this widely held belief though, not all business related friction is bad. That's what Phillip Jackson found out when he and Rightpoint set out to study customer behaviour and buying habits.
Good Friction Vs Bad Friction
There are two types of business friction, generally defined as Good Friction and Bad Friction.
- Good Friction - Something in the buying process that allows a customer to engage further with your brand a product, without interrupting their purchasing of the product
- Bad Friction - Something in the buying process that slows the process without adding any value to the customer in return, creating "speedbumps" between them and completing their purchase
"How do I tell good friction from bad?"
Where friction is placed in the shopping process is a good indicator, and knowing how shoppers approach your customer support experience is the best way to determine if you've applied too much or too little friction.
The vast majority of post-purchase customers contact service for two reasons:
- Delivery questions
- Return questions
There's a smaller but potentially helpful third reason though;
3. Can you help me with more information?
Whereas any interruption that addresses the first two before checkout will be seen as bad friction, slowing the process to provide unwanted annoyance, one that provides the details of the third (accounting for around a third itself of all customers) before the customer either checks out, or has to return themselves to ask the detailed extra questions, is good friction, helping them to make a better purchase and have a better overall experience.
Examples of Customer Experience Design Centric Friction
Pop-up assistants, preferred by almost 30% of all customers, are an excellent example of how to use good friction, and how it could result in bad friction.
- If a customer arrives at your store, and is unsure what to get, a pop-up assistant, like an in-store assistant, can be very helpful in pointing in the right direction. It is a form of friction, because you have interrupted their shopping flow, but it's good friction because it has actually accelerated their buying experience, delivered through a positive brand engagement. This means that the shopper not only has what they want faster, but now trust your company a little more.
- If however the pop-up needlessly interrupts someone going through the checkout, product in cart with their shopping experience nearly finished, this previously good example breaks bad. The customer has now been slowed unnecessarily, and will carry a negative association not only with your product, but with the feature itself.
Another good use of these chat features, which can be either automated or human-driven, is to offer customers ways that they could fix any problems they have themselves while waiting for escalation, empowering them to feel responsible for their own good outcome with your product and brand, with even less needed interaction or engagement.
The happier the customer is, the better their customer experience through either applied good friction or a noted lack of bad friction, the more likely they'll return to buy again.
- Tags: Customer Behaviour