typecastingIt is well-known that a professional web shop includes a striking design which is supported by a strong brand language. In addition to that, an intuitive navigation with simple ordering process, a support forum and search engine friendly tools, as well as interfaces to key customer- and product data are required.

If you want to provide customers a consistent shopping experience anytime and anywhere, omnichannel and modularity are simply a must. Furthermore, channels have their universal characteristics - unilaterally, mutually or directly - which explains why potential buyers and customers prefer certain channels, or switch to them spontaneously depending on the situation - particularly the always-on clientele.

What is, however, often still ignored is the fact that each channel meets typical basic functions: it can inform, plan, inspire or emotionalize. Whoever observes customer behavior will be able to clearly recognize which group prefers a rational or emotional approach. As a general rule, however, it is best to pick customers up where they linger, which means making more use of channels and modularity for B2B and B2C trade to attract new clients and to achieve high conversion rates.

Hence, dealers are advised to provide their customers with diverse contact channels to get to know their buyers, recognize their needs and address them appropriately. The demand, expectations, environment, and the customer's language can all be analyzed in the market.

Although closed-loop selling - the cycle from the manufacturer to the end customer and back - enables the highest personalized customer communication, shop information is still presented like in the old days - catalog-style with high redundancies. However, the more information the shop can offer, the more content can be created that is relevant to the individuals.

Words are touchpoints for getting positive customer reactions

Product information in online stores is usually composed of text and image elements, oriented towards the needs and preferences of the demand-, target- and customer groups. Define prospects and customers according to their typical behavior, linguistic style etc. and develop prototypes/clusters from the four corporate basic types - the rationalists, conservatives, intuitive and emotional – to raise the conversion rate.

Then arrange the content according to the four defined basic functions of language: information-, warranty-, experience- and contact function – and, ideally, create a text version for each relevant type of customer.

Often changing an adjective is just enough to give a product description a more rational, conservative, intuitive or emotional touch. The customer, regardless of type, should have the feeling: "They talk my language and understand me."

In cross-channel campaigns, the customers determine which channel they access at what time within a campaign. Unconsciously, they choose what they prefer, be it more rational, conservative or emotional text and image modules.

If someone, for instance, books a short trip on a mobile web page, it could be that this person sends the confirmation via a Twitter tweet and uses a link there to a website for more detailed information.

Looking at this user’s behavior, the shop owner receives answers to the following questions: Which modules did the user click on the website - the rational or emotional ones? Which wording does the customer prefer on Twitter – more conservative or progressive words? Which of the offered links is he using?

Omni-channel campaigns derive from cross-channel campaigns, where the same message is distributed across multiple channels the customer prefers. These processes increasingly demand measuring content typologically to be able to find out what each and every customer group likes most – comprehensively from product development to sales information, followed by purchase experience in eCommerce to typified after-sales activities.

By Daniela La Marca