I bought some shoes recently…..nothing new in that I hear you say but these shoes were special. Not just because I REALLY like them but because of how the people that made them treated me throughout the process.
In today’s world of market share grabbing, customer acquisition is the main focus for many retail marketing strategies. Fill the sales funnel and improve conversion rates to generate more sales, revenue, profit, etc. This is of course fundamental to any successful retailer, but with the pressure to engage and convert customers across multiple channels many retailers are forgetting to look after customers after they have brought them over the line.
In a recent survey we undertook, exploring the shopping habits in 2012 of consumers buying premium products, 24% of respondents said they would spend more money with retailers who sought to build a meaningful relationship with them, engaging with them on an ongoing basis and offering them exclusive deals, for example.
The post-sales experience is crucial in turning the customers you have sweated tears winning in the first place into the repeat customers who are highly valuable in two ways. Firstly, they spend far more with you over their lifetime but also help you fill the acquisition funnel by becoming advocates of the brand and using channels, such as social media, to talk positively about you’re their experience.
This is something we have been discussing a great deal recently and why I was DELIGHTED with my recent Clarks Originals purchase.
The Clarkes experience
I was looking for a pair of sandals for the summer that would last and I saw a picture of a pair of Clarks Originals in a magazine (yes offline marketing does still play a huge role in retail buying journeys). After going to the Clarks site and having a good look at the product I bought them and waited expectantly for their arrival.
The first tick in the box for Clarks was that within three minutes of purchase I got my confirmation of order from Clarks along with details of when my product would be delivered. Dispatch was confirmed by email one day later.
This was then followed up with a text message from Clarks updating me on my delivery date (which was earlier than expected) and giving me the option to change the date should I wish.
Not only did this constant communication make me feel secure my purchase was on the way but also helped build the anticipation of its arrival.
It duly arrived when it said it would (another big tick in the box for Clarks) but the way it was packaged and what came with it was what really made me happy.
Firstly it came in a beautiful “Clarks Originals” box. When you buy a quality item you expect it to come beautifully presented.
I opened the box with eagerness and in amongst my gorgeous shoes I also found the following.
Clarks are using the collect+ scheme to allow online shoppers to return any unsuitable purchases for free at a number of collection points across the company, for example newsagents and garages. The pain of returning items is a huge barrier to some online shoppers. Knowing that an item can be easily returned for free can be a great aid to conversion rates. In our aforementioned Premium Shopper Survey, 36% of respondents said that free delivery and returns are key indicators of a premium retail experience.
Having ticked the great delivery, packaging and free returns boxes Clarks then went on to incentivise me to start an ongoing conversation with them through their social media channels.
So I immediately found them on Facebook (great use of new timeline by the way!) and made sure I was signed up to the newsletter. I now have regular communication from them through a number of channels they can utilise to tell me about deals, offers, new stock, etc.
Also on the other side of this card was……………
Well done Clarks for using offline marketing to provide me with a real incentive to complete the ‘digital circle’ back on the site and leave a review; which I of course did and am now waiting to win that second pair of shoes.
So all in all, a brilliant experience from start to finish for me. I am telling everyone how great the shoes and Clarks are and will definitely be buying from the range again as above everything thing else they are great quality shoes too!
Clarks have really thought about the entire customer purchase journey by engaging at every stage and providing the best possible post-sales experience for their customers to retain them as loyal repeat purchasers. I look forward to the next newsletter from them and keeping up to date with their Facebook feed.
Well done Clarks.