This advice from Mediapost is for businesses and marketers:
I’m a big shopper—the type most marketers would like to count among their market share because not only am I buying, I’m influencing others along the way. I shop often, which makes me to go-to source among my friends for recommendations on everything from kids’ stuff to vacation and ideas, restaurants to handbags, and so on. Knowing that my mom friends are looking for these types of recommendations, it’s obvious to me that there’s quite a bit of opportunity for marketers to intercept them and present them with a good recommendation before they come to me.
One segment, in particular, stands out to me as the perfect candidate: daily deal sites. They’ve got the technology and formula down for the masses, but now it’s time for them to home in on the Mom market (and, I’m sure, other specific groups).
Don’t be so transparent. Yeah, yeah, I know—for the last few years, “transparency” has been a big buzzword. But there are two types of transparency: the kind that reveals that you have nothing to hide (good) and the kind that reveals that you’re manipulative and don’t care about your customer (bad). Let’s discuss the latter.
In addition to the regularly scheduled daily deal emails we all receive from sites like Gilt, Groupon, ideali, Rue La La and others, we’ve also come to expect regular “flash sale” updates. Each of these panic-inducing, limited-time email events has its own brand of call-to-action—attention-
These kinds of tactics are transparent in a bad way; they reveal motives based on trickery, distrust and disrespect for the customer. They insult our intelligence and put us on the defensive. Don’t get me wrong, this kind of transparency serves the customer well—it simply tips us off to where we don’t want to shop. After all, none of these sites are selling something anything unique that we can’t find elsewhere. This being the case, they need to sell a unique experience. One that is not insulting.
Create a loyalty program. All women may be created equal but all shoppers are not! Can those of us who shop frequently and spend a lot get some preferential treatment, please? Hotels, airlines and even coffee shops have figured out how to reward loyalty (well, kind of), so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Show us that you care. Show us that you value our business. Show us that you don’t want to lose us to your competitors. (See above re: “you aren’t selling anything unique, so give us a reason to buy it from you.”) Offer us incentives, upgrades and other excuses to aspire to loyalty status with you. Lock us in. We are very loyal once we’ve decided to be.
Help us make better and more informed decisions. This is easily accomplished through good and thoughtful content. I’m not talking about super witty, snarky or cool copy on every page—in fact, that’s just icing on the cake. I’m talking about some real-world advice; the type we expect from the good girlfriend who tells us that the dress isn’t flattering or the honest personal shopper who will lead us away from a bad decision and toward a good one. (Haven’t you noticed that we always shop in pairs? Now you know why.) Here are some examples: “These boots run big.” “The model is wearing a size 4 but she normally wears a 2.” “Order one size smaller/larger.” Basically, give us a hint—some indication about the special nuances that characterize the product we’re buying.
Not only will it stop us from returning every purchase we make through your site, it will instill trust and promote loyalty. We notice and appreciate these things. We also notice the lack of these things, and quickly stop trusting your site.
Improve your geo-targeting. You have our locations; why not put them to good use? I have to review every offer that comes to me to make sure it’s geographically applicable. I don’t care about an upper lip wax 38 miles from me. Groupon just sent me an offer for 54% off a massage 90 minutes from my home. There’s nothing relaxing about that. With even just a couple mistargeted offers, you train customers to expect a lack of relevance from you. We start deleting, and then we start noticing the fact that we’re deleting, so we simply unsubscribe.
An example of good geo-targeting, on the other hand, is restaurant.com. This site uses my zip code to target my offers. Very simple. And for the record, their deals really are deals! Keep ‘em coming.
Smart retailers who put themselves in the shoes of their shoppers are likely to be rewarded. Rewards come in the form of market share and positive reviews—online and off. We act on really good deals and then we tell our friends about our experience, good or bad. Empathy is a powerful emotion and Moms appreciate when companies understand and recognize our power to choose and be part of your community—or not.
|Kimberly Jackson is an Editorial Strategist at King Fish Media, a custom media firm. Kimberly is a former executive at Ziff Davis, Carat Interactive and a mom of three kids.|