The best brands are those that not only offer great products but also go above and beyond to deliver a great customer experience (CX). Everything from website responsiveness to personalised offers and timely support plays a role in whether customers choose you. So why would your promotional campaigns be any different?
The success of your promotions hinges on them being relevant, enticing and easy to use. This means delivering not only a great customer experience, but a fantastic Promotion Experience (EX) — which we’ll get into later!
If you want to learn how to improve the online customer experience for your promotions, this article is exactly what you’re looking for. To make online customers respond to your promotions, you need to provide a smooth and engaging shopping experience around these promotions. Doing this helps drive conversions and delight customers.
Let’s look at the importance of delivering a great customer experience and how brands can more effectively do that with promotions.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is a term widely used in the business world — and for good reason. Simply put, it’s the impression that customers get from your brand across all the touchpoints of the customer journey, from browsing your website to buying your products and requesting support.
As you can imagine, what customers think of your brand and how they feel about it greatly impact your bottom line. Creating a pleasant shopping experience — one that surpasses expectations and has no hiccups — can be as important as the quality of your product.
Why is customer experience important?
Can you remember the last time you were left hanging after calling a customer service number? That must have been a terrible experience. You probably don’t want to deal again with a company that allows that sort of situation to happen.
But customer experience isn’t limited to the responsiveness of customer service. It’s present every time a customer interacts with your brand and involves:
- Providing a quality service or product
- Aligning experiences across all channels, including retail, mobile, app, web, and social media, etc., and ensuring easy navigation and good design
- Delivering personalised communication
- Offering timely and relevant promotions, offers and recommendations
- Providing excellent customer service when customers have queries or problems
- Ensuring delivery and returns are straightforward and free
It's the easy, straightforward, and frictionless delivery of services across all touchpoints that prevent customers from getting frustrated, stuck, and worst-case — abandoning a brand altogether.
Think about a brand you tried to buy from or engage with, that was just too hard to do. The website didn't work on mobile, or they didn't offer your preferred payment method, or their sign-up process was confusing. Because of these setbacks, that brand lost you and countless other customers.
Ultimately, businesses must deliver great customer experiences in order to acquire and retain customers. It has to be part of everything you deliver — and it’s not the singular solution for achieving targets, it is a foundational principle for success that should be designed into everything you do, helping to meet key business outcomes.
How to deliver a good customer experience
Delivering a good customer experience is all about understanding and connecting with your customers. Here are a few ways to improve the online customer experience:
- Ensure your website’s UI is user-friendly
- Use browsing and purchase history to show every customer the offers that are most relevant to them
- Provide prompt and helpful online customer service
- Reward loyal customers with special deals
- Gather and implement customer feedback
When it comes to promotions, it is true that you can still drive conversions even if you don’t have the best user experience or highly personalised offers. But you won’t unlock their full potential until you implement the principles that make great CX, like responsiveness, personalisation, and empathy.
Pack a punch with promotions
Promotions play an important role in online shopping and can supercharge conversions, customer retention, customer lifetime value, and more. The key to achieving all of that is to make the experience around promotions frictionless and delightful, at every stage of the promotional journey — from discovery to purchase.
We call this combination of promotion and customer experience ‘Promotion EX’. It means creating a frictionless journey where customers can easily discover offers that speak to them and redeem their codes by following clear messaging.
When you implement Promotion EX successfully, you will start achieving results far beyond what standard discounts can do.
Hitting business objectives with Promotion EX
Embracing Promotion EX will help you improve the results of several business objectives. By providing a seamless, end-to-end promotional journey, you will improve the online customer experience and drive bigger and better customer outcomes.
Let’s take a look at the business objectives you can achieve with Promotion EX:
1. Identifying customer segment opportunities to drive awareness and acquisition
Whilst most advertisers can create and distribute promotions across paid channels and on site, getting targeted with the audiences you’re trying to attract requires a more sophisticated approach.
It starts with being able to offer exclusive promotions to key segments, especially when you’re looking to work with closed-group publishers such as key-worker or employee benefits platforms. Depending on the scale of your programme, manually managing all of your partners and promotions can be a nightmare. Tapping into a platform that has existing integrations with all the major, global publishers can save you precious time, and provides a more seamless experience for customers.
To really accelerate your campaigns, providing bespoke, curated activation of promotions on your site delivers a great customer experience, with co-branded messaging that calls out the promotion and the unique code. This messaging stays with the customer throughout their journey and into the basket, which drives conversion beyond incremental gains to supercharged conversions.
2. Dynamic promotions aligned to trading conditions
Customers have different wants and needs, so it’s vital to show them personalised offers based on their purchase history, expressed interests, and behaviour. That’s what it means to have dynamic promotions.
But dynamic promotions should also be used to drive key trading objectives too — based on availability, new product launches, departure dates and so on. Delivering timely promotions that respond to changing trading conditions and targets is both a data and validation-led requirement, but also about presenting and messaging promotions in the best way to engage customers.
Whether that’s creating promotional pop-ups based on customers hitting the right search criteria, or banners that are advertising the latest deals, combining the power of advanced promotions with great onsite experiences is at the heart of Promotion EX, and the approach that drives bigger and better outcomes.
3. On-site incentives based on visitor search behaviour and basket contents
Taking advantage of what visitors search for and add to their baskets is a great way to increase conversions. By analysing customer behaviour in real-time and offering promotions for specific products a customer is already considering but hasn’t purchased yet provides the customer with a timely incentive and a great, personalised experience. The incentive is often the final nudge they need to convert.
4. Driving repeat purchase
Securing the first purchase is one thing, but getting customers to make that second, third, fourth purchase is key to driving LTV and often more profitable than customer acquisition. With a Promotion Management Platform, you can leverage more engaging promotional formats that help you say something different and drive actions sooner, such as mystery discounts or promotions that increase in value with usage.
Taking this one step further, there’s so much more you can do to create amazing digital experiences that give customers the VIP treatment and drive repeat purchases. For example, creating a custom landing page that curates special deals for existing customers, and that are access protected by a unique code for one-time or life-time access.
5. Product launches
Giving loyal customers exclusive access to a new product or service makes them feel valued and encourages them to buy your new products or services. By using the unique code as an access key, you can encourage customers to purchase based on pure experience alone, not requiring a discount to incentivise a sale. Or you can discount products too, all curated on the page for your VIPs to access exclusively or first.
6. Driving and rewarding loyalty
Customers who feel valued are more likely to keep purchasing and recommend your brand, which helps grow your revenue consistently. Whilst loyalty strategies are often tied to purchase, keeping customers engaged in a programme is also key. Using codes to award loyalty points — perhaps a bumper amount, or to nudge customers into a new tier — is a great way to drive ongoing engagement as well as driving sales.
How can you deliver Promotion EX?
Executing Promotion EX properly may not be possible with an in-house promotion engine or a regular eCommerce platform. In most cases, they lack important features in either promotion capabilities or onsite conversion solutions..
The answer then is to use a Promotion Management Platform, which can more easily apply the principles of Promotion EX. This platform should give you full control of how your codes are used and help you hit your targets. It should also help with promotion discovery so you can tap into new audiences, and give you the tools to create promotional incentives that drive customer engagement and conversion.
Using a Promotion Management Platform helps achieve Promotion EX to increase conversions, raise awareness, delight customers, and, in turn, make your business more profitable.
Delivering a frictionless customer experience
Making promotions simple, secure, and personalised will improve the online customer experience — and with it, your bottom line. But to create the right promotions for the right customers, you need to connect with them and understand their needs as well as their frustrations when shopping online. So try to find out which parts of their digital journey leave a bad impression so you can optimise them, and probe into customer behaviour to come up with relevant promotions.
This mix of enticing offers and frictionless customer experience is what Promotion EX is all about. Implementing it at every step of the customer journey right ultimately helps drive conversions and delight customers.
Learn more about Promotion EX and supercharging conversion in our eBook, which you can download here for free — ‘The Next Generation of Promotions: Using unique codes and customer experience to create Promotion EX’.