Focusing on Emotion

How retailers create emotional connections that drive retention

Who would have thought 2020 would be the year of mandatory personal space?

Retailers were forced to navigate a complex maze of pandemic-induced closures and shifts in business strategy last year. With tremendous measures like social distancing still looming over stores fully reopening, brands that normally depended on delivering customer value through in-store experiences are quickly adopting all-digital strategies in 2021.

Major shake-ups in strategy caused retailers to rethink their customer communications entirely. Brands leaned heavily on mobile and email channels last year. To compete in 2021, they’ll need to utilize their already existing data to produce more personalized messaging that really communicates an organization’s emotional value to its consumers. 

In Movable Ink’s latest eBook, Retail Loyalty in the Midst of a Pandemic: Part 2, we partnered with Oracle and Shaw + Scott to help retailers understand how they can harness data-driven personalization to create meaningful connections while customer’s experiences are heavily mixed, expectations are high, and budgets are tight. Creating a strategy that prioritizes personalization and 1:1 experiences can establish long-term brand loyalty, even with the economy still in its current recovery phase. 

Capture and Act on your Consumer Data

To stay anchored to consumers’ changing needs, marketers are relying on truth in numbers. The utilization of data to make rapid, informed decisions has grounded marketing during a shaky period, and has set the stage for big-data to take the lead in the long-run. 

As behaviors continue to shift drastically amid the global pandemic, it’s crucial for marketers to analyze their data to accurately determine how buying behavior will continue to evolve.

With today’s accessibility of data, teams are now looking for creative new ways to capture and streamline data flows to power compelling, 1:1 content. Oracle and Shaw + Scott highlight the retailer Holister, an organization that utilized complex consumer data to build a personalized year in review campaign. The recap email allowed customers to look back on milestone moments throughout the consumer-brand relationship. To drive it home, encouraging customers to earn more rewards through app downloads, allowing the company to build a more complete profile of its.

Transcending Customer Expectations  

Though 2020 is behind us, Marketing executives are still not out of the woods when it comes to meeting both customer expectations and revenue targets. Consumer skepticism is at a record-high, meaning brands must strengthen trust through transparency and relevanancy. While external factors still remain unpredictable, marketers can seize opportunities to deliver on customer expectations through:

  • Utilizing inventory APIs to guarantee only in-stock and localized items are featured. 
  • Contingency plans that deliver quick and authentic responses in the event that retailers fall short of customer expectations.
  • Delivering on social responsibility.
  • Using data and customization to build customer relationships for long-term retention.

Never Let Creativity take the Backseat

As we enter a new era of digital transformation, marketers that already utilize a data-centric approach to content have set a very high bar. Brands that understand how emotional connections build loyalty are turning to creativity, especially within email and mobile messaging, as a way to stay top-of-mind and offer true value. By integrating components like unique data visualizations and social sharing elements to campaigns, marketers can remind customers of the impact of their relationship, reasons to share, and encouragement to act. 

This year has certainly put retailers through the ringer, but with the migration to online alternatives, marketers have found solace in utilizing data to drive consumer relationships in new ways. Uncertainty this year has dramatically increased consumer expectations, and retailers that bring personalization to the forefront through data, creativity, and transparency will see high return in loyalty and retention.

To learn more about the future of retail loyalty, download Retail Loyalty in the Midst of a Pandemic: Part 2.