Just Sunnies' Laura Brukner details why it was important to shift the marketing messsage from promotions to education during COVID-19.
It’s now more than a year since Australia first faced a global crisis, and while this year is starkly different to last, it’s clear that the pandemic’s effect on eCommerce is more far-reaching than a blip in time.
As retailers continue to navigate the “new normal”, the pressure of creating a seamless omnichannel experience while re-learning consumer behaviour continues to be front of mind.
During such uncertain times, consumers more than ever placed great importance on trust.
With an industry saturated with sale promotions, scrambling to fight for the new consumer through affordability, our challenge became how to provide value to customers beyond incentivised promotions.
Creating meaningful and educational content over transactional marketing
Naturally, increasing promotional marketing seemed the logical solution while the economy floundered after the arrival of COVID-19.
But we found for many consumers that the surge in promotional marketing wasn’t enticing; it was overwhelming.
Keeping the cautious consumer in mind, our solution to providing value was to create educational and meaningful content to not only restore their confidence in shopping online but to start a conversation with our customers by educating them on eye health and the importance of wearing sunglasses all year round.
While retailers providing educational content is neither new nor ground-breaking, it remains as relevant today as engaging with your customers with topics outside of why they should shop with you increases the value of not only your products but your brand.
In uncertain times, informing, as opposed to persuading, is extremely valuable in converting customers.
Advanced data-driven segmentation in email marketing
Without understanding your customers interests, delivering meaningful content is almost impossible: you have to make sure the content is relevant to them.
For example, a woman in her early 20’s won’t be interested in the different types of lenses recommended for fishing.
In the same way, a middle-aged man won’t want to find out why shield sunglasses are making a comeback.
Utilising data is invaluable in finding what keeps your customers most engaged and relevant to them at a particular point in their customer journey, just as communicating with those customers directly allows a greater understanding of their buying behaviour.
Thoroughly thought-out content and advanced segmentation in email marketing are paramount in providing a personalised shopping experience packed with meaningful information the customer will find valuable; every piece of communication to your customer should serve a purpose.
Tangible value: adapting services
Maintaining a strong customer experience, even in a crisis, requires businesses to adapt and provide services that the consumer wants without slashing product prices.
Extending services to alleviate the newfound pressures of buying online reaffirms that a seamless experience is a priority for our customers.
By offering free standard shipping, free returns and safe Click & Collect facilities while increasing communication from our customer service team across all digital channels, we built customer confidence and hopefully stronger relationships that will prevail well beyond the passing of the crisis.
Prioritising meaningful content over transactional marketing should continue to be used to forge lasting connections with customers.
In doing so, our new and strengthened relationships with our customers will hopefully continue past 2021, as they value the trustworthiness and authenticity of our online retail business.
Just Sunnies is a leading online sunglass retailer that is proudly Australian owned and operated. With the largest catalogue of sunglasses in the country, we’re committed to providing customers with high-quality eyewear and exceptional customer service. Visit us at www.justsunnies.com.au.