Leverage language to build meaningful customer relationships in ecommerce
Retail – and particularly ecommerce – is a highly competitive sector, with an ever-expanding array of diverse brands vying to win the attention and business of increasingly demanding customers.
Brands that want to succeed need to consider many factors, but one of the most important of all is the quality of their relationships with consumers.
Recent research has provided an insight into what modern-day shoppers all over the world really want, with one key finding showing that people value brand relationships that are built on value, meaning and emotion.
If your business aspires to reach customers in international markets, effective and locally relevant communications in various languages will be vital to building these kinds of relationships.
Retailers and ecommerce brands that want to succeed in the 21st century need to “go beyond transactions and orders” and focus on concepts such as relevance, personalisation and customer value.
That was one of the key conclusions made by Salesforce and its research partner Publicis.Sapient in the Shopper-First Retailing report. The research was based on analysis of digital behaviour by some 500 million consumers and 1.4 billion ecommerce visits worldwide, as well as a survey of 6,000 people across six countries.
The results revealed that nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of shoppers feel that retailers “don’t truly know them”, meaning the onus is on businesses to demonstrate and apply their customer knowledge.
In the ‘mystery shopping’ section of the study, nine of the ten top-scoring brands achieved an above-average score for an emotional connection with consumers. This underlines the need for ecommerce businesses to go beyond considerations such as price points and product presentation and think about the emotional side of their customer relationships.
‘It all comes back to emotions’
Some of the conclusions made by Salesforce in its report chimed with those of ecommerce search and navigation firm EmpathyBroker, following a survey of thousands of consumers in the UK.
More than half (55 per cent) of respondents said they are shopping online more this year than in 2017, while a similar proportion (51 per cent) said they preferred online to in-store shopping.
One in three people (33 per cent) said they are looking to brands for inspiration and suggestions about recent trends when they browse the internet. This could be a factor in why 43 per cent of shoppers said they would be more likely to make an unexpected purchase online than in-store.
Angel Maldonado, the founder of EmpathyBroker, said these positive trends present a “great opportunity” for ecommerce retailers, but only if they can get their digital experience right. He noted that the delivery of more memorable online experiences generates sales, but also creates “emotion, brand connection and loyalty”.
“It’s no longer enough to offer great products or have the coolest store,” Mr Maldonado continued. “It helps, yes, but in the end, it all comes back to emotions, to making people feel unique and special. Smart retailers are thinking more about people, relationships and creating memorable and joyful digital experiences.”
The way that your business uses language is a crucial part of the mission to emotionally engage with consumers and build meaningful, mutually rewarding relationships.
Coming up with an effective language and communication strategy in your native language is a challenge in itself, but it takes on an entirely new dimension when you decide to expand overseas and need to connect with consumers in new languages.
It’s vital to create a sense of familiarity to enable natural engagement with international customers, so all of your content must be tailored and optimised for particular markets. This is where specialist language partners and services such as transcreation – which allows you to adapt your messaging without losing your core brand tone of voice – can prove invaluable.
There are many other examples of how language plays a critical role in establishing and developing positive relationships with customers, such as using the right terminology to engage individuals with in-depth knowledge of niche products, responding to feedback on social media and creating a human, emotional dimension to your brand.
By using the right language services to achieve these goals in new markets, your business will increase its chances of success in the increasingly dynamic and fast-moving world of ecommerce.
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