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Customer Experience Matters Now More Than Ever

It's not news to anyone – we're living through unprecedented and challenging times. Although it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of negative news headlines, one thing is for sure – with every challenge comes an opportunity to rethink our way of doing things. 

As Canadians continue to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, most daily routines have been turned upside down and as a result, consumer behaviour has also drastically changed.  Given preliminary insights from China and Europe, which have been dealing with the crisis for a little longer than North America, we learn the following: 

  • Online consumption is playing a bigger role in daily life and accelerating digital transformation, 
  • The customer journey is stretched, and users are taking time to search for product related information
  • A study from Wavemaker shows most consumers claim no reduction in expenditure 

Given the drastic change in consumer behaviour, many brands are taking a Wait and See approach when it comes to their marketing strategy. Others are reluctant to spend marketing dollars on items that cannot translate into short-term revenue.  

However, just because some advertising campaigns have been put on hold, it doesn’t mean that all marketing efforts should stop. It means there is a need to evaluate your existing strategy and find ways to make it work harder.  

We recommend five concrete actions to take in order to enhance customer communication, experience, brand recognition and loyalty. 

Action no. 1 | Connect with Customers 

The ability to connect personally and directly with customers has never been as crucial as it is now. 

Although it may be hard to imagine now, the crisis will come to an end. When business returns to normal, customers will remember brands that were socially responsible during the outbreak and show appreciation by investing in the relationship when they want to make future purchases. 

Our recommendation: make communication less commercial, more empathetic and positive. 

Action no. 2 | Create Engaging Content Pieces

Canadians still need to purchase products and services. As most people are expected to be home more often during the crisis, they will spend more time online and will be doing more searches than ever before. Having engaging content pieces is the key to breaking through the clutter and engaging the consumer.  

  • Focus on creating evergreen content 
  • Write about what matters for your audience during these challenging times
  • Be ready with after crisis content 

Our recommendation: complete a Metadata analysis and on-page optimization of landing pages to improve organic performance. For better reach and frequency, amplify content via PR.  

Action no. 3 | Invest in Platforms and Audiences that you own 

Brand website, blog pages, Mobile applications and Voice skills are platforms where you own the content and set your own creativity limits, as opposed to the limitations around Social Media platforms. When managing budget constraints, it is key for brands to capitalize on users that show interest in topics and themes that are consistent with their value proposition. 

Investing in making your website more performing from a technology standpoint, faster, more accessible, and usable, will allow your content to be present in front of your audience when they are actively searching.  

Our recommendation: Perform a website health check (technical audit) to identify technical reasons why your content is not ranking well, not being indexed on the Search Engines’ database, or not discovered at all (crawled)? 

Action no. 4 | Promote a Frictionless Customer Journey with Conversion Rate Optimization  

The importance of a frictionless online purchasing experience is crucial. This is true regardless of the eCommerce platform – brand website or online marketplaces such as Amazon or Walmart.   

A few key CRO tips for providing a seamless online shopping experience: 

  • Ensure the site is discoverable by serving users the content they are looking for  
  • Ensure site  is responsive and load time is reasonable 
  • Optimize product listings for Amazon and/or Walmart search algorithms

Make the check-out process as simple as possible 
Remember - less friction throughout the buying journey will lead to a higher conversion rate and ultimately help defend brand online market share. This is ever so important today given that most offline points of sales are currently closed.  

Our recommendation: Analyze current paths to conversion and identify where your brand may lose potential customers. This involves comparing the differences in customer journeys between a range a different shopping behaviour (Bouncer, Non-Bouncer without shopping activity, shopping activity with no cart addition, cart abandonment, checkout abandonment, Converter).  

Action no. 5 | Efficiently Maximize Digital Presence with an Informed, Holistic Search Approach 

For most businesses, marketing budget is tied to revenue, so scaling down to proven positive-ROI strategies such as remarketing, brand, or high-intent buyer search keywords sounds like a good idea. 

However, having an informed, holistic understanding of search can help brands maximize synergies within paid and organic search and improve overall business performance by allowing: 

  • Overall performance uplift 
  • Budget allocation efficiencies 
  • Eliminating traffic cannibalization 
  • New keyword and content discovery 
  • Improved collaboration across channels

Landing page evaluation to reduce CPCs and improve organic traffic 
Our recommendation: review how SEO and Paid Search teams and strategies currently work together and identify opportunities for better alignment. OneSearch, an iProspect proprietary tool, is a combined dashboard that analyses the way that SEO and Paid Search interact. In turn, increasing performance, providing more control and improving insights and decision making. 
Investing in SEO and Customer Experience with an increased strategic and tactical emphasis on prioritizing is the solution to build a deep and persistent relationship with a smaller but more engaged audience. This will not only help traffic and conversion in the short term but also help brands get ready to face after crisis challenges. 
Have questions or want to know more – contact us!