Footwear sellers are doing a so-so job at best in providing a good customer experience. And it starts with how they use email, judging by Customer-Centricity Audit for Lifestyle Footwear, a study by Customer Portfolios.
For one thing, many brands fall outside the optimal email volume range. For another, brands are asking customers for their email every time they log in to the website.
Using what it calls a “defined best practice rubric,” Customer Portfolios, a technology firm that specializes in customer engagement, created two audit shoppers with different profiles:
One was a female born in 1990 who opens emails and clicks through. The other was a male born in 1971 who opens mail but does not click through.
During the six-week audit, Customer Portfolios identified these strengths in general:
- Messaging is consistent across all touchpoints, including email, web, digital and in-store.
- Brands have loyalty programs and clearly state the benefits.
- Email volumes vary for highly engaged customers and those who are less so.
- Convenient sign-up for rewards programs and email promotions.
On the other side, here are the opportunities (or issues):
- The purchase process was difficult for many brands.
- Inconvenient return process of online orders to the store in nearly all cases.
- Most brands had a high volume of email, almost all of it discount and promotions.
- Low or zero personalization in email, web, or digital ads.
Overall, the top score being 100, the brands came out as follows:
The study concludes that brands fell within the middle of the spectrum, and that none was really weak or strong.
“On the positive side, most brands’ messaging is consistent across all touchpoints, from email to web to digital and in-store.” states Nick Godfrey, co-founder and EVP Strategy of Customer Portfolios.
Godfrey adds that the company saw an opportunity to use data "to close the gap between the brand promise and the experience being delivered – with more customer-centric marketing across all channels.”