Applying the Customer Experience to Holiday Touchpoints

customer experience holiday

During the holiday rush, customer expectations are intense. This leaves marketers with a very brief moment to grab attention and influence actions. Think about the context of your customers at each moment in their purchase path:

  • Where are they?
  • What device are they using?
  • What is their mindset in a given moment?

Building seamless touchpoints to support a customers’ personalized holiday shopping experience is the best strategy for addressing high expectations. To win over on-demand customers, you must know them. What strategy works with them? You need to have the ability to reach them with the right interactions. Ultimately, sending action-based messages that are intuitive, useful and gratifying for recipients will equal success.

Compelling Content

As you develop your holiday messaging consider how each component helps your brand deliver compelling content. That content should meet your customers’ contextual expectations and persuade them to purchase. This will increase your Peak revenue and develop stronger customer relationships for the future.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks are beginning to do the heavy lifting to help us better tailor individual experiences such as compelling content. How does a brand begin down the path towards hyper-personalization via machine learning interpretations of large datasets?

Our whitepaper with The Relevancy Group, Machine Learning Demystified, outlines how marketers are leveraging predictive analytics to unify and personalize customer experiences across channels. Successful marketers are utilizing Personalization Artificial Intelligence or PAI to drive more revenue than human-curated personalization. However, PAI requires a hefty budget ($950K+) and does not eliminate the need for human intervention, oversight and analysis. Nonetheless, it’s an approach that’s quickly becoming industry standard. This holiday season, if you aren’t already invested, there are steps you can take towards incorporating machine learning. Prebuilt models that help to determine next best purchase, look-alikes or propensity for specific behaviors are excellent first steps towards incorporating personalization through machine learning.

Customize Content for Linked Experiences

The customer experience should be consistent from channel to channel. Look at every customer interaction from the moment they discover your brand (via social media or by landing on your website), to in-store experiences with sales associates prior to making a purchase.

Peak marketing traditionally focuses on batch-and-blast tactics. This year we challenge you to shift your thinking from being campaign driven to creating opportunities that inspire great customer experiences at every touchpoint. At Zeta, we refer to this as “Linked Experiences.” Take simple steps to begin offering these Linked Experiences to your customers. Small wins will translate into big gains as your customers understand you’re there to serve them.

Focus on the Where and How

Don’t forget important considerations such as location and device. These are especially important as you think about driving traffic to your stores.

Many times we lean too heavily on promotions to drive our business, when highlighting what differentiates our brand would have a greater impact. Begin by asking yourself these questions:

  • What sets you apart?
  • How can you make things easier for your customer?

Last season, CVS drew attention to its new curbside pickup. The Gap offered self-service wrapping stations at stores. While these two ideas range in complexity, they both serve the needs of the customer and are unique in the market. In addition, kate spade of new york reminded customers what they purchased last holiday timeframe. We love this example because their marketing team created a highly useful campaign that distinguishes them among other fashion retailers. Can you brand model some of this behavior to differentiate itself?

This Peak season make sure that your customers are top of mind and that you are developing content just for them. Shifting your strategy from creating a pre-determined marketing communications program to one that is custom built based on consumers’ needs – where, when and how they want to hear from you – is the key!

Want to hear more from our Strategy Director, listen to Tia’s full holiday planning webinar. 

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