As brands and retailers increasingly look to pour more money into their online presence, there is a recognizable need to...
Brand Connections In A Digital World
To thrive in a 21st century retail environment where niche consumerism is leading the way, retailers are coming up with new era of online retail to please them. A maniacal focus on customer experience has not just become the term to use but has evolved into a new genre that needs special attention. As a result, the fundamental shift and rethinking of retail is carving a new way for much demanded customer experience that serves the empowered and informed customers in a unique way.
Do it right or lose out on your customers, today, retail is not only about providing the best of product but also the mastery of digital communication, personalisation and controlled distribution which as a whole combines the best of experience. We have online players such as Amazon in the market that has changed the game, no doubt, but there is also a genre of brands that have illustrated their sector separately and it is the time to learn from Digitally Native Vertical Brands.
To compete, survive and even thrive in this new era with upcoming digital brands, focusing on vertical commerce is pivotal. To do so, the first step starts with defining your brand’s specialized niche, then using the tech tools to super serve the empowered audience online and, eventually, offline. As a whole, the brand concept revolves around the best digital experience.
What are the traits that could provide inspiration in order to not only sustain in a digital world but also thrive among the online giants and create your own mark in the retail? Let’s see some tips on how the digital native vertical brands provide the best of online experience to clients.
Agile customer acquisition
Can you efficiently reach out to your customers? Are you able to make the client journey easy? With thousands of information platforms, it has become convenient for the client to gather information about the products and brands. But, what becomes important is converting the visitors into customers. Therefore, customer acquisition strategy followed by digital native vertical brands is simple and engaging at the same time. They provide trust and convenience to their clients by directly communicating with them.
Glossier has established a unique bond with their customers and strengthened its credibility by communicating directly with its fans through social media, taking their interviews and featuring content on their digital platforms to know the opinion of its clients, thus, emerging as a beauty advisor rather than just a brand selling products. “Where most beauty companies have tried to ignore the fact that women are in an open relationship with beauty brands,” Weiss says, “we have embraced that.”
Glossier managed to establish trust with its clients and gave them a sense of ownership and belongingness by letting them shape and inform the product that has generated curiosity and excitement, which leads to higher customer loyalty.
As V-commerce brands are born out of an opportunity to fill the void of need with one product in a vertical space, they follow the strategy of offering essential products or YONO (You need only one). This brings the clients to purchase their product because they won’t need any others. And, as the products are built with the idea of being essential, retailers are able to spend less time in acquiring new customers and more focus on client retention.
Little big Change is one of the brand that know how to crack the code of hero product that is produced out of need. Parents buy baby diapers during at least 2 or 3 years, and need to change the size frequently. This is a product category that needed to be catered and hence it lends itself perfectly to subscription on a long-term basis due to its regular and frequent requirements. Therefore, the brand connected with its clients and thus solved their monthly razor issues.
Mastery of digital communication
In 2018, it was estimated that an average person in the UK, a member of the digital natives, spends more than 24 hours online per week. Not only this, the numbers increase for youngsters to more than 28 hours per week. It is becoming pivotal for the brands to embrace digital platforms and use it as a source of their native advertising. Thus, put the digital upfront as a means of interaction, transaction, and storytelling to clients.
Traditional advertising is fading fast for millennials as the generation of millenials is more inclined towards engagement and experience. 71% of millennials are more likely to buy from brands they ‘like’ on Instagram or follow on Twitter. Such is the impact of social networks and conversation on millennials.
Alo Yoga has formed its community online where clients are coming together for Yoga classes and challenging each others through various inspiring and engaging challenges on Instagram. The brand is promoting well-being through its community and using its social media to the fullest in order to spread the word. Therefore, through strong presences on today’s leading social platforms, v-commerce brands bring their customer service and content to the platforms on which their customer base is active. Hence, brands are able to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships that leads to greater brand loyalty.
Digital native vertical brands do not only provide the best of products but also follows a smart distribution strategy. But opting for direct to consumer distribution, these brands design, manufacture and distribute directly to consumers, bypassing all the middlemen and offering the highest quality materials at a fraction of the price. As reported, direct-to-consumer sales will reach $16 billion by 2020 and a massive increase from the $6.6 billion this channel generated in 2015.
By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby Parker challenged the traditional eyewear industry and hence, removed retailers and middlemen from the distribution cycle that led to the reduction in prices. They use virtual try-on to let shoppers select a pair of frames and instantly see how they look. Therefore, the brand is providing the best price for glasses in eyewear sector with its D2C strategy and thus gaining the customer satisfaction and appreciation at the same time.
Digital platforms are opening the dialogue between people and brands. Thus, retail is taking the advantage of it and providing a unique moment to its clients where brands can be scaled quickly and generate a one-to-one connection that delivers an elevated customer experience. Social sharing along with word-of-mouth work for these brands where clients are the core assets for them. Thus, keeping the customer at the center and formulating the retail strategy to provide the best of offer and experience shapes the era of digital brands. The next great and connected brands will be born online, as it provides a universal platform not only for personal relationships with unambiguous customers but also fulfill their needs with authenticity.