Here, an SMS beep. There, a WhatsApp ping. Here, an email alert. There, the phone rings. On average, we receive 80 to 200 notifications every day! From different tools and channels.
For Shopify stores, it’s a must to have multichannel marketing strategies. Because customers have different preferences for how they’d like brands to communicate with them.
Here’s an illustration that shows consumer preference for different communication channels:
In 2022, as more brands take a plunge into the digital world by taking their businesses online, the race to reach and connect with consumers is set to get tougher.
And so, to make sure your messages get heard and read by your customers, you’ll have to take a multichannel marketing approach for your Shopify store.
We’ll tell you how.
10 channels to use to reach out to your Shopify store customers
1. Social media
Social media is one channel that has gone stronger year-after-year. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, have become key in eCommerce customers’ journeys.
ECommerce marketing teams, too, find it easier to use social media platforms for customer support, instead of relying on special customer support teams.
Consumers are increasingly using social media to discover products. And so, they expect brands to receive customer support through these platforms as well.
For example, say a customer discovered a bag on your Instagram page that they like. They have some questions regarding its size and material. The easiest next step for them to take is to send you a direct message with their questions. Right?
However, many online stores are still lagging behind. They find it hard to combine their existing customer support systems with their social media channels. If you’re one of these brands, you’re missing out on the following:
- A wider reach of audience – your existing followers are your influencers as well
- Lead generation opportunities – both organic and paid marketing
- Engage your customers where they spend most of their time – an average person spends between two to three hours a day on social media
With the above advantages, it’s worth prioritising social media platforms as channels to communicate with your customers. Isn’t it?
2. Self-service options
When asked if they expect brands to have an online self-service support portal, 88% of consumers globally, said yes. Self-service is going to be a key part of customer service in 2022.
This means, it’s not always necessary to have a human representative for customer interaction. At times, depending on the questions that customers have, a self-service channel could be sufficient.
For example, say a customer shopping on your site has simple queries regarding the shipping status. If your different tools are integrated on your site, a self-service tool can easily answer such questions within a matter of seconds.
Having a self-service chatbot or an FAQs page can help in many ways:
- It saves you resources or allows your employees to work on more important matters
- It saves you time, money and energy – a good self-service channel can be much cheaper than hiring people
- A self-service channel can function 24/7
- Customers feel empowered when they’re able to solve their queries on their own
- The channel can ensure clear, consistent messaging – this is something that customers like
So, in 2022, don’t ignore live chat, interactive voice response (IVR), auto SMS systems, social media chats, etc. Don’t focus only on live agents. Provide both experiences to your customers.
3. Channels that support instant response
A fast response time is one of the top attributes of good customer experience. Customers expect everything in real-time. The world of eCommerce functions in the “instant”.
In 2022, it’s high time you adapt to this need of customers. With advanced technology and tools, it really isn’t hard to do so. All you need to do is find the best automation tool that integrates well with your online store.
Some of the channels that support instant responses are WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, live chat, phone, among others. Make these a part of multichannel marketing for your Shopify store.
4. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has been key for eCommerce businesses. Paid ads on channels such as Google Search, social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among others, have seen a rise.
It’s 2022, PPC is here to stay and it’s going to evolve. Even though the online advertisement space is crowded, you cannot afford to ignore it.
Now, you might already have PPC in your marketing plan, but in 2022, the need is to take a new approach.
Here are two new approaches:
- Customers might be facing ad fatigue, but you can counter it by increasing your ad spend. Yes, you read it right, increase your ad spend. The idea is to reach out to more and fresh audiences. The more people will see your ads, the more the chances of conversions.
- Up until now, most online brands had been focusing on algorithm-pleasing content, which would garner audience attention. Now, it’s time to focus on quality content! Algorithms are evolving – by prioritizing content that clients like. Hence, put in more effort to provide informative and helpful content such as blogs and articles in this year’s PPC campaigns.
No matter the number of new channels that have emerged in the last couple of years, email continues to be the king. In 2021, email accounted for 19.8% of transactions, just behind paid search.
However, email marketing has evolved, too. From the kind of campaigns to the kind of content – there’s a lot more you can do with email now that you could not do earlier.
Here are some ways in which you can use email:
- Share more user-generated content in your emails
- Integrate other channels with email as much as possible
- Create email drip campaigns
- Use email for different campaigns such as cart and browser abandonment, post-purchase, etc.
- Include multimedia such as video in your emails
6. Web push notifications
People have short attention spans and lesser patience. More than 50% of your site visitors will leave the site if it takes more than three seconds to load!
Keeping site visitors engaged, or to re-engage them is extremely challenging. This is where web push notifications can help you.
Here’s how push notifications can help you:
- Generate engagement
- Re-engage and retain site visitors/customers
- Increase conversion rates
- Target the right customers and site visitors
- Help track site visitor behavior
- Use it for different campaigns such as restock alert or pre-orders
Push notifications for web and mobile can be the winning strategy that your Shopify site needs this year. Well-thought, relevant messages and timely notifications through push notifications can enhance your marketing results.
Today, WhatsApp has become one of the most preferred communication tools for people across the world. Not only personal messaging, even businesses have successfully used WhatsApp in recent years.
And why not? It has a 99% open rate!
Here’s what you can do with a WhatsApp strategy for your Shopify store:
- Send broadcast and promotional messages
- Recover abandoned carts
- Transactionals messages all along the customers’ journey
- Upsell and cross-sell
- Run remarketing and retargeting campaigns
- Improve sales for back-in-stock products
We heard WhatsApp is now going to make it easy for customers to fill their shopping carts from the app itself. Amazing!
8. Live Chat
Unlike a brick and mortar store, where you can walk up to a salesperson and ask questions, an online store doesn’t provide this luxury. When shoppers browse your site, they might have many questions. And you can’t leave them scrambling for information.
The solution – live chat!
It’s almost like a salesperson replying to their questions. Only difference, it’s online. At times, they’d be interacting with a bot, which has been fed with automated answers. At times, they’d be real humans responding to shoppers.
Here are some ways to get live chat right on your Shopify store:
- Keep your language human and friendly. Don’t treat customers like robots by chatting in a robotic tone
- Track your site visitors’ behavior. Then pop-up a live chat with a targeted message
- Offer deals and discounts while they’re browsing products, in real-time
- Customize your chat messages by sharing product recommendations based on their browsing behavior
It has one of the highest open rates – 98% to be precise – and so, you cannot afford to ignore SMS in your eCommerce marketing strategy.
Customers have different preferences for communicating with brands. And SMS is one the top ranking in the list of channels.
- SMS is one of the fastest and instantaneous channels
- It has a high open rate
- It is a personal channel
- Customers can read messages on the go
- It gives them an option to message back
- It’s short and sweet
The best thing – you can use SMS for just about any marketing campaign for your Shopify store. May it be restock alerts, pre-order updates, sale and discounts, special offers, flash sales, new customer welcome message, etc. You can easily send text messages.
10. Phone call
Marketing and communication is all about building relationships with customers. And building relationships involves emotions. And most importantly, a human touch.
One channel that can bring you closer to your goal of providing a human experience to your shoppers is the good old phone call.
A phone call to the customer, where they get to talk to an actual person can provide a customer experience that is beyond scripted, automated messages. It helps you:
- Add warmth to your communication
- Release shoppers’ anxiety and doubts
- Nudge and entice shoppers to make purchases
- Build stronger relationships
For example, if your customer has a complaint regarding their order delivery, the best thing to do would be to pick up the phone and talk to them. Apologize and pacify them. Take control of the situation before they write a bad review about you. Isn’t it?
Putting it all together
To put together this list for you, we tried out each of these channels for Shopify back in stock campaigns. We enabled restock alerts on multiple channels, and saw each channel has its own positives and advantages.
To get your Shopify store marketing strategy right, you must consider having all or at least some of these communication channels in your plan.