Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Finding a way to treat a customer uniquely through journey mapping, personalised content and services has become the name of the game for online health and nutrition retailer, PureFormulas.
The US-based company’s CMO, Daniel Moure, told CMO providing relevant and dynamic content is becoming a hugely important topic for ecommerce and bricks-and-mortar retailers looking to secure an ever-more distracted customer’s attention.
“With so many things going on and outlets for customers to explore - mobile, tablet, plus everything that’s being messaged across all of these different channels – it had better be a good experience, otherwise you’re probably going to lose them,” he said.
“As a customer comes into our site from first time visitor through to potentially converting and buying, our goal is to make those journeys as seamless as possible.”
Moure will be speaking on how to transform customers into lifelong brand advocates, as well as the important of customer journeys and experiences, at this year’s eCommerce Conference and Expo in Melbourne in March.
“From the moment you land on our site, what we’re trying to do is make that experience seamless so there’s hopefully an immediate trust established and the information you see is relevant,” Moure said.
“If the customer isn’t sure, then we have additional touchpoints in place including a chat interface to engage further with our nutritionists, or our 1800 number.”
Moure said the secret to customer success as an ecommerce player is to “put yourself in the shoes of the customer and treat them the way you want to be treated”. Sounds simple, but he admitted it’s a difficult task for retailers that don’t have the right mechanisms in place.
One of these is data and technology capability. In the past year, PureFormulas has made significant technology investments, rolling out a new ecommerce platform (Oracle Commerce) last August which provides additional tools for personalising site and digital content.
“That platform has provided the metrics and data that allow us to make intelligent decisions,” Moure said.
The retailer also has a dedicated person constantly A/B testing content and features on its site. “We’re testing simple things like whether to put a product here versus there, or if videos or a thumbnail are better for conversion,” Moure said. “For example, we have found video converts better when it’s front and centre, so now we have videos embedded directly, rather than shown as a thumbnail.
“Without the data and testing, any etailer is blind. People change, technology changes and people navigate differently and we’re constantly changing the site in response.”
Moure said PureFormulas can then increase the level of personalisation as it builds a stronger data profile of a visitor or customer.
“We’re capturing data from the start so we already know a little bit about that person and can personalise accordingly,” he said. “For example, if you’ve come into the site having never visited before, we will learn right away were you came in from, the pages you surfed, and have made some assumptions on your research. If you come back, we can then present a little of that information you may be looking for.”
Once a user has logged in and/or converted, additional components about their special interests, purchase history and profile information further trigger target content and messaging, Moure said. Thanks to the new technology platform, loyalty program rewards and redemption have also been made more transparent on the website, he said.
“Once converted and registered, you’re the ideal customer – as long as you opt into those interest groups, we can hyper personalise the experience because we know what you’ve already shown interest in,” he said. “So there are different levels of personalisation we’re managing, and we have a couple of folks dedicated to that area.”
Moure also stressed PureFormulas’ customer-centric culture and approach through services as another core pillar to success. He noted the retailer is using social channels for educational content, as well as for listening to customers’ needs in order to solve issues and find ideas for new products.
“Health is a delicate category and we can’t by law recommend products that might be a ‘cure all’ for you. But with our nutritionists, we can educate and share information through social channels that helps the customer,” Moure explained.
“Social is also an area to play in and we’ll do giveaways, days where we pick three winners and give them a new product we’ve just launched, share recipes that use our products, and so on.”
Moure said the retailer’s next priorities include the relaunch of a new mobile site with responsive design, as well as an upgrade of its ERP platform to improve operational efficiencies and supply chain data capture.
PureFormulas is also opening its first physical retail store in Miami and is planning a second warehouse on the west coast of the US to improve shipping services.
“Everything we do has to have benefit for the customer, and this will get stuff to them much more quickly,” he said.
Daniel Moure shares his top CMO skills
“Culture internally is a big thing, and we have worked well internally as a leadership team. I have strong partnerships with the CIO, COO and CEO based on transparency. This helps us to move quickly on things, and we have each other’s back. We wear a lot of hats and collaborating well internally makes it possible.
“You also can’t do this without a fantastic team. Get teams that can move quickly, and autonomously. Continuing to find the right people and investing in people is key."
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