The biggest problem that’s preventing eCommerce from surpassing brick and mortar is (still) immediacy.
We’re all aware of the issue…
When you make a purchase online, the wait time is 2-7 days before you’re able to enjoy what you bought – or even make sure it fits right, if you’re adding to your wardrobe.
The more savvy shoppers have grown accustomed to this and will set their expectations accordingly, but a majority of consumers have a tough time with the online buying experience.
Amazon is helping to close the gap, but until they’re able to make a bigger dent in fusing online with B&M, this remains a major thorn in the side of eCommerce.
The good news is that there are tactics businesses can use to help improve the online experience without majorly eating into profits. One of my personal favorites is something I call the hype email.
The hype email is an extremely low cost way to ease the pain of the delivery wait time and boost customer loyalty
Here’s how I typically set this up:
- When a customer completes a purchase, they are added to an automated workflow that will send them an email 1-2 days after their order has been confirmed.
- The email itself follows a very simple 3-step formula:
- A personal thank you for being a customer
- Assure them that their order is in process and actively being worked on (this is just good customer service)
- Build excitement for what they ordered
The last part of that formula is really the meat of what you’re sending them.
After a day or two, the buzz of their new purchase has worn off. With the hype email, you’re looking to stir back up some excitement while they’re waiting for their order to arrive at their doorstep.
As a result, they have a better buying experience and are more likely to purchase again or refer friends and family.
This can be as simple as sending the customer some choice links to YouTube videos that teach them how to use your products like a pro, to give them a list of fun ideas on how to use the products, or inspire them with a photo/video gallery of other customers who are using the products in fun, unique ways.
Here’s the first hype email I set up for our shop, Blue House Joys (we currently sell three products – play canopies, floor pillows and book slings):
The Blue House Joys team is hard at work on your order. I can’t wait for you to get it!
I’m sure you’re like me and when you order something online, you’re eagerly counting down the days for it to show up at your door.
Well sadly I can’t magically make that happen right now, but I can at least share some of my favorite ideas for how to get your kids playing with your new BHJ goodies.
One of the great things about book slings is that they allow your child to see the front cover of the book.
Facing books outward make it easy for little hands to reach for their favorite as well as help put books away when story time is over.
While you’re waiting for your sling to arrive, have your kids pick out their all-time top 5 favorite books to fill the sling with when it arrives.
My favorite thing about the play canopy is how many different ways there are to pretend with it. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve seen:
- The backstage dressing room before taking the stage
- A rocket ship headed to a far off world
- A castle worthy of a noble princess
- A superhero’s fortress of solitude
These pillows are so big and fluffy. They can be tossed into any room of the house for a cozy spot to sit.
Stack a couple books next to it or set it near one of our book slings for a quiet reading nook.
There’s also no avoiding it: it will eventually be used as a safe landing pad for high flying super heroes.
* * *
No matter how your kids end up using their new decor, it will no doubt create some very special memories for your home. Enjoy it fully!
Obviously, this script wouldn’t work for every store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same outcomes with slightly different approach.
The tricky part is personalizing it enough to be relevant for all your customers
This is especially difficult when you have a lot of SKUs and different types of products. The return on an email like this is not enough to justify building out a web of complex segmentation to send variations of the same email.
If you’re selling a lot of different products, the way you build excitement should not be directly tied to individual purchases. Instead, your approach should be more generic so it’s appropriate to all of your customers.
I’ll explain more using a real life example:
Great Southern Music is a Houston, TX local retail shop that specializes in guitars. They offer a slew of the world’s top brands for acoustic, electric, bass, amps, pedals and accessories.
For them, it would be near impossible to personalize their hype email based on every product they sell (or even the product type). So instead, here are some alternative ways to build that excitement for the customer:
- Send them a video tour of the brick and mortar shop. Grab a phone, film + upload a quick 2 minute tour of the place and people that are fulfilling their order, and include the link to the video in the email. This could easily be scripted in a way that’s not specific to any one type of product, and is more set on creating a personal connection between the business and the customer.
- Create a landing page for each main product type (acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars, amps, pedals, etc.) that features content that customers of those products are interested in. For example, the acoustic guitar landing page could showcase a few videos of basic-to-intermediate playing techniques or a blog post on 5 Amazing Tricks That Every Acoustic Guitar Player Should Know. Or both.
The beauty of the hype email is that it doesn’t take much to build excitement for something they’ve already bought, so the list of options for what you could do is extensive.
If you’re considering adding something like this for your shop, what questions can I help answer? Send me a message or write up a comment below.