Power Equipment Australasia

MARKETING • 4 5% of brick-and-mortar buyers check online reviews before buying – Business to Community • 5 0% of Consumers Expect to Buy Online and Be Able to Pick Up In-Store – Ibotta • 3 9% of consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if the online store does not provide physical store inventory information – Business to Community • 7 1% of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience – Google • 5 6% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and 34% who have used their mobile device to research products while in a store – Business to Community Given some of the stats above, it is apparent that in-store moments matter to customers, whether they’re stand alone or supplemented by a digital concept. The reason why the hybrid experience was deemed better than online or traditional experiences is mainly about convenience. Customers aren’t necessarily looking for a specific shopping experience. Instead, they are looking for the best overall shopping experience for their wants and needs. Customers today demand shopping experiences that are simple, lack any friction, and can cater to their preferences and timeline. The emotional response to the shopping experience is another important factor. Less friction, more personalisation, and better convenience will satisfy consumers, and a positive emotional response increases brand affiliation and sales results. Deloitte Insights report on the 2022 Top Marketing Trends says that to help businesses elevate their hybrid experiences, they must consider expanding choices, integrating feedback, and investing in the technological infrastructure that can bring these design principles to life. Three areas of elevating the hybrid experience include the following : INCREASE CHOICE THROUGH GREATER PERSONALISATION We discussed the topic of personalisation at length in the last issue however in the context of elevating the hybrid experience, this is particularly important when bringing younger audiences to your brand and business. In Deloitte’s global survey of 11,500 individuals, younger generations are seen to be gravitating to emerging channels—making purchases through social media, voice assistants, and virtual reality headsets—more often than older generations. In fact audiences from the age of 18-25 are twice as likely to make a purchase via social media vs those 46+ years old. At STIHL we are also seeing a younger audience emerging and engaging with the brand primarily through online channels. These trends must be harnessed and brought into the customer experience driving them into stores or converting online. USE RAPID CUSTOMER FEEDBACK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT BETTER LOOKS LIKE While investment in hybrid starts with offering freedom of choice, gathering feedback helps refine those options. Analysing behavioral data, apart from getting inputs for tailoring experiences, also helps brands directly understand from users what they wish existed. By incorporating surveys and feedback mechanisms at different points of the customer journey, and more closely assessing which metrics are your ‘moments of truth’, then you are able to implement some of the initiatives which enhance the experience. While not all can be implemented at once, you can plot the improvements over a burst of several months so that you are constantly evolving your offer in line with how customers wish they were served. BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR INCREASED COHESION Building a hybrid experience also requires the infrastructure to ensure every touchpoint of the customer experience is cohesive. The way I like to approach this for STIHL is to think about every step the consumer will pass through from initial research to final purchase and beyond, and then we tailor every touchpoint according to the shopper behaviours of our core customers. To do this effectively, we’ve needed to rebuild our digital ecosystem infrastructure to ensure we can effectively cater to all of the touchpoints per our customer preferences. This also enables us to capture the customer behaviour trends at each touchpoint and analyse it for continuous improvement and quality across all platforms. This is vital to create a true omnichannel experience which we know customers are now asking for. However while systems and infrastructure play a vital role in delivering hybrid, it all still starts and ends with humans. While we tailor our brand experiences to meet customer needs and empower them with choices, brands can ensure they are on the right path to enhancing the experience, even before they hardwire their systems. At the end of the day it is us humans who must take the lead to engineer the optimal consumer path to purchase and elevate the hybrid experience, with the data and analysis of the human behaviours we observe. Jo Katsos, Marketing Director, STIHL Australia JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 25