Just like 2020, 2021 was a year of change for shoppers — in the way they communicate, browse and their general outlook on the world around them. And successful merchants have grown and adapted — better understanding what new tools are right for the next phase of their business. 

Consolidating tech stacks with customizable and multi-faceted solutions are sure to be crucial for marketing teams of the future, all while delivering more personalized, data-driven experiences to shoppers. 

A reimagined Martech stack is an important part of merchant success — and that begins with choosing the right tools to get there. We’ve compiled a MarTech stack guide featuring best-of-breed solutions to help scale and grow your brand for the future. 

Hear from our partners at Klaviyo, Attentive, Yotpo, Gorgias and Klevu.

Explore Conversational Commerce with Attentive

Attentive empowers the most innovative brands to create meaningful interactions through personalized text messaging and is the leader in conversational commerce, reinventing business to consumer communication. 

The company’s comprehensive text message marketing solution helps every business — from small and medium to enterprise —strengthen relationships with their consumers in a new and engaging way. 

Through two-way, real-time, personalized communications, Attentive has helped brands drive billions in ecommerce revenue. 

More than 4,500 leading brands like CB2, Pura Vida Bracelets, Urban Outfitters, Jack in the Box and Rebecca Minkoff work with Attentive to deliver powerful mobile commerce experiences.

Why Attentive for SMS?

It’s become harder to reach consumers as their preferences change.

Nowadays, shoppers are embracing a “mobile-first” (and for some, a “mobile-only”) mindset. About 57% of consumers primarily use mobile when shopping online, with about 37% using an equal mix of mobile and desktop, according to Attentive. Less than 7% primarily use desktop.

It’s clear that marketers need to diversify their channels — both from a consumer preference and marketing performance perspective. Text messaging stands out as a channel that’s uniquely data-informed and measurable. Its immediacy lets you tailor your strategy in real time to drive action. 

Brands who use Attentive for text message marketing have driven millions of dollars in online sales through SMS. Their easy-to-use platform offers more than 20 high-performing sign-up units; an audience manager to help you target and segment subscribers; analytics to help you uplevel your strategy; compliance tools; and much more.

As a BigCommerce merchant, you can seamlessly deploy the Attentive tag into your extension, removing the requirement for you to build a custom implementation. 

With Attentive, you can easily design and send targeted text messaging campaigns with A/B testing and time zone targeting, measure performance to see what’s working (and what’s not) and automatically send subscribers timely messages that are triggered by their shopping and purchase behaviors.

In 2022, marketers are considering SMS as a must-have channel to meet their business goals. Consumers are prioritizing convenience and two-way, human interactions now more than ever. Creating these personalized interactions via text messaging across the customer lifecycle help consumers feel like there’s someone there with them, ready to help when and where they need it. By taking advantage of Attentive’s SMS marketing platform, you can capitalize on these trends — and put your brand in the best position possible to increase revenue and customer retention moving forward.

For additional resources to maximize revenue in 2022 and beyond, check out Texts We Love — the company’s showcase of top-performing campaign messages from real brands — as well as blog posts on SMS Marketing FAQs and choosing an SMS marketing provider. ​

Tackle Customer Challenges Across Channels with Gorgias

High-quality customer care is table stakes for every brand. If customers or prospects have a question about a product or a problem with an order, any delay in responding will result in lost sales and diminished loyalty.

Consider this: 59% of consumers will abandon a brand they love after a few bad experiences (17% will bolt after just one!).

Adding to the complexity, gone are the days when consumers navigated to a brand’s ecommerce site to explore products and make purchases. Many prefer to shop via social media, which is why Forbes calls it the next global shopping revolution, with the potential to generate $1.2 trillion in sales.

While most brands want to provide one-on-one support when their customers want it, scaling can be a bit of a challenge. Here’s how built-in support technology lets brands be there for their customers.

Automate answers to common requests.

How many times do you receive questions like “Where is my order?” 

Speed up repetitive support tasks by automating responses to common questions by highly personalizing your messages. Your customers need you where you can make a difference. Let self-service handle common requests completely without any interruption to your staff. Manage routine requests like returns, cancellations or damaged items through self-service to increase your efficiency while providing the flexibility and convenience your customers seek.

Gorgias allows you to respond automatically to recurring questions by including relevant customer variables in the answer.

Pre-written responses and macros make quick work of responding to frequently asked questions, and can be populated with any data within the BigCommerce tech stack, such as the customer’s first name, order number and so on. By automating routine inquiries, customer care teams have more time to provide personalized assistance to customers.

Offer help to everyone who wants it.

Most visitors don’t want personalized assistance, but most certainly appreciate knowing it’s available in the event they need it. 

Offer the opportunity to chat live with a product or customer care specialists on your home page, or during critical junctures, such as consumers who hesitate during the checkout process or abandon a cart. 

This approach will conserve team resources, while ensuring all visitors can get the help they want or need.

Offer help in the same channel it’s requested.

Most brands offer their customers multiple ways to reach them: email, live chat, SMS and social media direct messages. Users who ask about the fit or washing instructions for a brand’s new line of hoodies on Instagram, they expect to see in response in that channel.

Does that mean customer care team members must check multiple channels all day long? Absolutely not! Today’s customer care platforms can centralize all incoming messages and assign them to a customer care team member, regardless of the channel. All responses are delivered to the customer via the channel in which questions are sent.

Sometimes customers will send multiple messages via multiple channels regarding the same issue or order. But a helpdesk platform like Gorgias can tie all of those inquiries to the same ticket number so that only one team member responds. 

Gorgias makes it easy to manage every customer question in one place (across email, social channels, live chat and phone), and integrate with the other apps that power your store so all the information is in one place for your agents. 

As you grow, the automation tools can help your team increase efficiency, personalize at scale and transform customer support from a business cost into a system for generating consistent revenue.

How can you get started with Gorgias today?

Connect with Gorgias by following these steps:

  1. First, take a look at the total pool of incoming inquiries. How many can you automate with macros and templates?
  2. Triage incoming inquiries using AI. Forward those that need urgent care to the next available agent for one-on-one support.
  3. Commit to providing customer care wherever commerce exists for your brand, whether that’s onsite or a social media site.
  4. Integrate a helpdesk platform into your BigCommerce storefront to drive efficiency for your customer care team.

Building Consumer Connections with Klaviyo

There’s no denying it — the way consumers discover, engage with and buy from brands has changed. Online is the new normal. 

While COVID-19 catalyzed the shift to direct-to-consumer commerce and generated record breaking online sales, consumer buying habits have evolved indefinitely. The pandemic bred innovation and new technological advancements that made it easier to connect with consumers across any distance. And above all else, it taught merchants — in business as well as in life — the only constant is change. 

But as marketing leaders, how do we operate against a moving target? 

Klaviyo set out to answer this by surveying over 5,000 online shoppers from around the world. In this report, the company investigated the current data trends you need to meet the demands of your customers and elevate your digital marketing. 

Online shopping is booming. Each age group surveyed showed growth in online spending. Even with a significant amount of the population concerned with their financial stability due to layoffs and furloughs, when they had to shop, they focused on ecommerce.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building confidence in online shopping: most specifically data security and online privacy, is the primary concern among 70% of those surveyed. 
  •  75% of those surveyed indicated that they’re open to receiving text messages from brands that they already shop with. This is especially relevant for brands with a younger shopping demographic under the age of 35. 
  • Some things never change. Even with the emergence of new social media channels, word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family reign supreme when it comes to discovering new brands. 
  • Both email and SMS were cited as the preferred communication channel by consumers in this study and they are both powerful tools to build strong long-term relationships with your customer. The best part — they’re two channels that are entirely within the marketer’s control and not subject to relying on third-party data.

Where to go next.

Klaviyo helps brands tap into their data, with new and better ways of acquiring, retaining, and reengaging customers — so growth comes naturally.

By combining premiere database functionality, like top integrations, profiles and segments, with must have learning features, like benchmarking and predictive analytics, Klaviyo enables brands to not only sustain themselves through market changes, but thrive. 

Want to see additional takeaways and the complete Customer Survey? Visit the full Klaviyo Research report for more. 

Making Online Shopping Personal with Klevu

Innovations in search and product discovery are advancing rapidly. Shoppers have realized that being more specific in how they search can get them relevant results more quickly and this behavior is influencing not only web discovery, but ecommerce product discovery.

In fact, according to Google, mobile searches including qualifiers like “me” and “I” have grown over 60% in two years, and this trend isn’t going away.

In the very simplest terms, product discovery describes the process by which shoppers explore and find products. From the moment a shopper arrives on your site, whether or not they have a specific item in their mind, they’re expressing an interest in exploring your products. A great product discovery experience is the art of making sure that this process is as seamless and inspiring as possible.

There is a significant correlation between how effective your site search is at returning relevant results and conversion. It’s a no-brainer. Where search can really deliver on that customer plus business value equation is when you take it a step further and introduce customers to products they weren’t aware of but should be. 

Those upsells, cross-sells, accessories and bundles – ultimately anything that can increase order values. 

In fact, 56% of ecommerce websites can’t process a simple typo or complex query, leaving customers with zero or totally irrelevant results. Klevu helps ecommerce brands make every website experience personal, relevant and engaging, even for new and anonymous visitors. 

Klevu is a customer-centric AI Product Discovery Suite that leverages AI to use shopper behavior to improve conversion for ecommerce retailers by up to 52% by automatically enhancing the data in the product catalog, replacing the native ecommerce on-site search experience and automatically merchandises category listing pages and product recommendations with little to no manual work for retailers.

Typically, retailers know when they are in need of an AI ecommerce search and product discovery solution when:

  • Customers are struggling to find products, resulting in high bounce rates and lower conversion.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) from paid acquisition keeps declining and customer acquisition costs climbing.
  • Merchandising teams are struggling to keep up with merchandising demands.
  • Fast growth is required, for example there has been an increased investment in paid acquisition, and retailers need a quick way to maximize traffic already coming to their websites.

Typically, retailers that use Klevu Discovery Suite including Smart Search, Smart Recommendations and Smart Category Merchandising achieve huge uplifts across key ecommerce metrics:

Learn more about the power of Klevu. Start your AI-powered Product Discovery journey today.

Foster Richer Customer Connections with Yotpo

According to a Yotpo survey, consumers are more emotionally invested in their favorite brands now than they have been in the past, viewing the shopper-brand relationship as more than just a transactional exchange. 

Consumers are more likely to spend more on a brand they’re loyal to because, for most consumers, it’s no longer just about the money — it’s about the experience a brand provides.

If you want to build high-value relationships that drive ROI, you need to provide your customers with an on-brand, personalized experience in exchange for their loyalty. Loyalty programs make consumer experiences better. They go beyond discounts to create community, offer exclusive perks, and provide a direct line of communication between a brand and its customers.

With a robust loyalty program, you won’t just increase customer retention rates — you’ll also acquire new customers.

And, by delivering superior customer experiences and rewarding loyalty members with perks, those customers will share their experiences through reviews, referrals, and word of mouth.

Loyalty programs bridge the gap between online and offline experiences.

Loyalty programs create consistency and connectivity across customers’ online and offline shopping experiences. Unlike other marketing solutions, loyalty connects with hybrid shoppers while also delivering the personalized experiences they crave.

Yotpo Loyalty empowers incumbent retailers and digital-first brands to provide exceptional hybrid experiences through sophisticated point-of-sale (POS) integrations, associate-led in-store experiences, and customer-led in-store experiences.

By connecting Yotpo Loyalty to your POS system, brands can enroll, identify and reward in-store customers — all while collecting data on offline purchase behavior to strengthen shopper profiles. Brands strengthen their connections with their customers by providing these seamless in-store experiences. 

In the cookie-less era of 2022, loyalty provides essential customer data.

Following Google’s announcement that third-party cookies will be phased out by 2023, brands are faced with the challenge of personalizing experiences when shoppers land onsite. A loyalty program is the ideal relationship-building tool to overcome these monumental changes because it provides a clear value exchange for customers. 

If a shopper knows they’ll receive something in return for their data, like points or exclusive experiences, they’re more likely to voluntarily offer their information by filling out a quiz or answering a survey question.

 With these actions incentivized by a loyalty program, businesses can collect first-party data, or the data that a business collects based on customer engagement and zero-party data, the data that shoppers intentionally provide and share.

Loyalty programs also give shoppers a reason to self-identify. A loyalty program incentivizes members to log in while shopping onsite, providing your brand with the identification data necessary to create a more personalized on-site experience that drives them to convert.

Yotpo + BigCommerce.

As a BigCommerce Elite Partner, Yotpo helps thousands of brands build world-class shopping experiences. Sync Yotpo to your BigCommerce store and accelerate growth by enabling advocacy and maximizing customer lifetime value with Yotpo’s suite of integrated solutions for reviews, visual marketing, loyalty, and referrals. Learn more about Yotpo here. 

The Final Word

By reinvesting in API-first, MarTech solutions you can arm your business for continued success in 2022, and beyond. With this new, more personalized approach to ecommerce, your brand can deepen its brand loyalty and trust with consumers —  all backed by powerful marketing integrations and the power of BigCommerce’s flexible platform.

Posted by Contributor