Digital marketing is simply the use of the Internet to reach consumers. Digital marketing is a very broad field more especially now that many bussiness are moving online. It includes attracting customers via email, content marketing, search platforms, blogging and social media etc.
Separating the offline and online customers.
So what are the key differences between a customer in a physical shop and an online customer?
One Of the greatest challenge faced by many entrepreneurs especially in the e-commerce space is trying to differentiate between online and ofline customer base and behaviour. Here I will be taking you along as we dig and look at the differences between online and offline customer behaviours. We’ll also cover how audience segmentation can help you choose where to focus your digital efforts when moving and engaging your customers online.
Imagine you just set a personal goal to improve your diet and exercise maximally to improve health outcomes, and now need new food stock, running shoes for the exercise and whatnot. In the offline world your journey might go a bit like this:
- You visit the local shopping centre, going from shop to shop looking for good food stores and great shoes to match.
- You make a decision based on price, quality, returns policy offered by the sellers, friendliness of staff, and stock availability.
- You process all that information, head back to the store with the shoes you liked best, and make the purchase that is what plenty people do each time in real ofline world.
But in online purchasing, you’re likely to engage in four distinct stages throughout your online shopping journey. This brings me to the latest and basic principles to navigate the online trend.
This is the principle of, “See, Think, Do, Care” framework. This principle offers a useful way to identify where a business should invest effort in connecting with customers. Let’s take a look at our shoe shopping example, while highlighting these four stages:
In the “SEE” stage, you notice that some of your friends have started running along in your street to keep fit, and are posting some great pictures about the now found exercise regimen. This then inspires you to join up the bandwagon and to start running yourself. In the “THINK” stage, you get your phone and type ‘what are the best running shoes or trainers to use for jogging, Right?’.
This introduces you to a whole lot of online content, from blog articles about the best shoes available in town to targeted ads but plenty online stores, giving you more factors to base your decision on. Then eventually, you make your purchase, which makes up the “DO” stage, and perhaps post a photo on social media about your outfit especially on instagram or other friendly social video and pictures app.
This sharing your purchase is part of the CARE stage in the principle because you highlight the benefits to others and how your health has improved.
Please I must say here that customers don’t necessarily experience all four stages every time during their online journey. A customer individual journey might begin at the THINK stage, or end at the DO stage or vice versa.
Understanding the differences and similarities between online and offline shopping can help you create a more balanced online customer experience.
So how can you identify where to focus your efforts online? To choose the right channels, find out who you’re talking to, when you should talk to them, and what you should talk about. This is called Audience segmentation.
What you should know.
You can segment customers in many ways, from basic demographics like age and gender, to specific interests. For example, segmenting customers by location may benefit an e-commerce store such as yours if certain products are only available to ship to specific areas. Segmentation can also help with your online advertising; as most channels allow you to target paid advertising to specific audiences, based on information like what an audience likes or dislikes. You can also make your ads appear only to people within a certain radius of your shop or business, which can be handy when offering promotions to your local customers.
What you must know.
When it comes to taking your business online, think about the customers and put yourself in their shoes: which social channels do they use most? How do you engage differently with them online and offline? It would make you realise the best pattern of behaviour that is very similar to them. In that way, relating to their needs becomes much easier and effortless.
Let me know what you think in the comments section.
Please kindly hit the like and follow button for more updates on digital economy and ecommerce secrets.