With a high rate of mobile penetration and the proliferation of e-commerce sites in Singapore, more and more millennials are buying online. According to We Are Social, 59 percent of Singaporeans have made purchase online while 39 percent have purchased a product or service on their mobile devices in 2017.
To effectively reach out to millennial shoppers, it is increasingly vital for retailers to up their social and mobile presence. Taking Facebook as an example, an estimated 20.4 percent of users are millennials (aged 18 to 34) – this presents a lucrative pool of customer segment for retailers to tap on and target via social media.
Here are five ways retailers can use social media to improve sales among potential millennial shoppers.
1. Get up and running
For retailers who have not been using social as a medium to connect with customers, it is time to start now. SMS, newsletters and email are only going to give retailers and marketers so much reach and top-of-the-mind recall. And as compared to social media, the traditional marketing methods will become increasingly expensive as the customer base grows.
In today’s digital world, it is crucial to get your social media presence running. There are many campaign management tools available now that integrate with a company’s social media pages and allow the brand to send messages directly to the customers on for example, Facebook and Instagram, from a single platform.
No more manual downloading of customers lists and mapping with Facebook – those days are long gone.
2. Leverage coupons and offers
For retailers that already have a decent social base, it is time to begin personalised one-one engagement with consumers.
With nearly 60 percent of Singaporean customers are reading reviews and accessing promotional offerings on social media, retailers should consider using the offline data on their customers to issue coupons and rewards on favourable actions through the channel.
Segment your offline customers to know exactly who you want to target for an upcoming campaign and then trigger personalised offers and communication using social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Instead of sending just one SMS or email which your customer may miss, use social media to frequently reach the customer with the details of the offer. Stay in sight to stay in mind.
3. Ramp up your content campaign
Singaporean shoppers want good content because it feels like they are getting something for free.
What most retailers don’t know is that having a separate team or agency for their digital marketing and CRM may hinder the success of their omnichannel strategy. Again, it is all about the data. Retailers will need an integrated system that can constantly collate customers’ data from every touch point and automatically reconfigure the way they use content to interact with their customers.
Adopting solutions that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive intelligence can help retailers understand how their customers are consuming content and enable them to fine tune their strategies to keep the interactions going.
4. Monitor the social media environment
To earn more dollars from shoppers, start by watching their social media activities to listen and reposition according to their wishes.
Monitoring social media consistently offers retailers the opportunity to improve ROI as well as swiftly resolving online issues such as complaints or bad reviews. It also gives customers a chance to communicate with brands and in turn, enhancing “brand love”. This is vital for retailers as more than 40 percent of Singaporeans prioritise experiences, according to a recent brand love study by Oath and Kantar Consulting.
Technology has now made omnichannel customer engagement tracking a reality. Retailers can now close the loop on their social media campaigns by tracking who got their coupons online and are using them at one of the offline stores. What this means is that retailers can now gather a complete picture of where and how their customers are interacting with their brand and hence, allow them to create personalised campaigns to reward these customers accordingly.
5. Profile individual customers
Mobile and social media have been excellent at giving retailers a view of at-large customer issues and macro trends. However, mobile and social media can and should also be used to focus on the activities of individual large spending customers. These prize-winning consumers are essential to any business: they are the most loyal supporters of the brand’s mission, vision, values, and cash flow.
Drill down into the specifics of individual customer behavior. For instance, your top three customers made purchases on mobile most of the time and often respond to offers advertised on Facebook on Sunday afternoons. With these insights, retailers would be able to offer these high-value customers the optimal deals that best match their needs.
For many retailers, it is easier and much cost-effective to retain customer loyalty than to acquire new customers. Brands that invest in technologies that engage with potential and existing customers will stand to reap benefits including increased mindshare and improved brand image. Doing it wrong, on the other hand, may result in negative consequences for brands such as loss of customers and decreased revenue.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Abhijeet Vijayvergiya is the Vice President for Asia Pacific at Capillary Technologies. Being one of the key role players at Capillary, Abhijeet has assisted the company in rapidly growing its footprint across the Asia Pacific retail market with significant customer wins and helped establish Capillary as an emerging market leader in the Omni channel Customer Engagement & Commerce space.
During his stint at Capillary, Abhijeet has been helping CXOs, Marketing Heads, and Retail Heads at some of the largest Retail & consumer brands across Asia in their journey towards being consumer ready and delivering delightful customer experiences through a single view of their customers, across all channels. Under his current role, he launched Capillary in new markets across Asia pacific including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia and is leading the digital transformation of brands in these markets. He is also driving the Global Accounts Engagement for Capillary.
Prior to Capillary, Abhijeet has worked with Larsen & Toubro in the area of Hydrogen Economy and alternative energy. He has also held the role of Management Consultant at Renoir Consulting. Abhijeet holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.