2020 has officially come to an end, and we’re all ready to put the year behind us and look ahead to what is yet to come. The need for charitable giving was higher than ever last year and it was amazing to watch all of the brands and individuals that stepped up to rally around these causes and create a massive impact where it was needed most. 2020 may have been a lot of things but one thing is for certain— the giving spirit is alive and well and will continue to grow in the new year.
Conscious consumption is on the rise and as more consumers begin to buy with their values and vote with their wallets, purpose-driven brands are going to come out on top in 2021. As more consumers shift their purchasing habits to online channels, now is the time for eCommerce brands to take a stand and make an impact. We want to help your brand integrate cause marketing for 2021 to better engage with your current customers and to attract new customers as well, so we put together some simple ways that your brand can become a social enterprise in the new year.
Optimize Your Customer Journey Experience
Consumers today expect their shopping experiences to be seamless, simple, and quick, which means that optimizing your customer’s journey is more crucial than ever. As more purchases are going to be done online in the new year, there’s no better time to optimize your customer journey than now. There are five stages to your typical customer journey— awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. To elevate your brand’s customer journey and to better engage with your customers, you can include cause marketing at every stage of the funnel to create more meaningful and authentic customer interactions.
The first step in your customer’s journey with your brand is awareness of who you are and what you do. As more consumers are shopping online, the competition between eCommerce brands continues to increase, which means that consumers are faced with an overwhelming choice between which brands to shop with. Consumers are looking for value alignment with brands and by aligning your brand with a cause that is important to you and your customers, you can better attract audiences who also support that cause. A customer’s first impression of your brand can make or break the likelihood of them moving further down the purchase journey, so you want to make sure that your first impression is a positive one— and having social impact integrated into your brand can help.
Even if a consumer visits your site, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will become a purchasing customer— Once a customer is aware of your brand’s offering, you need to get persuasive and give them a reason to pick your brand over the competition. We recommend including impact messaging throughout your on-site customer journey so that these new visitors can see how your brand gives back. Educating consumers up-front about how their purchase can make a difference can also help prevent these website visitors from bouncing off your site before placing an order. Whether it’s using an eyebrow banner or a popup message, informing consumers of your give back strategy and being transparent about this process can help move them along through the purchase funnel.
Consumers want to support purpose-driven brands whose values align with their own. In fact, 87% of consumers would actually purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue that they care about. Giving your customers the option to create a positive impact for a good cause during their purchase journey can not only increase conversion rate, but it can also increase average order value (AOV) by up to 29%! Depending on the product, consumers may take more factors into consideration and more time when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. To help nudge consumers to place the order, you can utilize a flash giving event to increase donations for a day and incentivize consumers who may be on the fence to place their order while creating an even bigger impact. This can of course help with bringing back previous customers to make another purchase as well.
Once a customer has placed an order, you want to begin building a relationship with them to create a loyal customer— Retaining your current customers, afterall, is highly profitable. An increase in keeping customers of only 5% can actually boost your profits by as much as 25% or even 95%! To build stronger, more authentic relationships with your customers, we recommend using personalized data to retarget these customers based on the cause that they supported when they last placed their order. This will remind them that they can still support their favorite cause when shopping with your brand, and may even prompt them to come back and make another purchase. Even better, with personalized retargeting efforts, your brand can better cut through the noise of the competition by providing a fresh take on the retargeting tactics that many consumers have seen time and time again.
Loyal customers are fantastic, but loyal customers who are also brand advocates are even better. We live in an era where consumers have plenty of opportunity to share their opinions and experiences with others, whether positive or negative. Consumers are more likely to trust the opinion of a brand from someone close to them as opposed to a generic advertisement. This means that brand advocacy and user-generated content is key for attracting and retaining customers. You can utilize social media to better engage and interact with your customers, ask questions to understand what causes your customer base supports, and even share the impact that your brand has created. This will not only create an opportunity to connect with your customers, but it will also empower your customers to have a voice and get involved in the conversations around social impact for your brand.
Engage Customers Through a Unique Rewards and Loyalty Program
In the new year, more consumers are going to be voting with their wallets which means that brands will need to differentiate themselves through social impact to win over loyal customers. Loyalty programs have long been used to retain customers, but they are all too similar to stand out from each other. While 59% of consumers are likely to join the loyalty program of a brand they consider themselves loyal to, 28% of consumers wish that these loyalty programs were more interesting, which means that your brand needs a way to differentiate your loyalty program from others.
Our integration with Yotpo empowers your brand to combine rewards with donations to create an all-new loyalty program that your customers can get excited about and that stands out from the traditional loyalty program model. Through our integration with Yotpo, your brand can incentivize your customers with reward points when they generate a donation with their order and you can also enable them to redeem those reward points for an additional donation as well. This means that for every dollar donated when your customer makes a purchase, you can reward them with loyalty points as a reward for creating an impact on their purchase. Likewise, you can help drive purpose-driven purchases by empowering your customers to convert and redeem their loyalty points to create an additional donation on future visits to your site.
Consumers are becoming increasingly more concerned about brands’ impact on society and they are seeking out brands whose values align with their own. Enhancing your loyalty program by including charitable giving is not only likely to attract the attention of consumers, but it can also create an opportunity for your customers to create more meaningful purchases while interacting with your brand.
Enhance Your Customer Service by Combining Impact with Support
It’s no surprise that eCommerce is growing and more consumers will be doing a majority of their shopping online in the new year and beyond. This means that having a solid customer support system for your eCommerce brand is crucial if you want to have happy, loyal customers. One of the biggest hassles that a customer can face when online shopping is not being able to get in contact with your company. Your customer purchase journey should be a seamless experience throughout, and having a strong customer support strategy can make all the difference.
Through our non-technical integration with Gorgias, your brand can better engage with customers through value alignment and social impact while offering great customer service. Through Gorgias’ chatbot feature, you can easily inform your customers of how your brand gives back and increase customer engagement with your giving strategy without disrupting your customer’s purchase journey on site. Your customers may not be familiar with your giving strategy, so this is a seamless way to drive awareness. Once your customers have been informed of your giving, Gorgias’ chatbox can help your brand connect with these customers to answer any questions they may have and ensure that their experience with your brand is a positive one.
Create Capsule-Collection Impact Through Product-Level Cause Donations
More consumers are buying with their values and ditching brands whose values don’t align with their own— They are looking to have more authentic interactions with brands and are even spending more time checking out a brand’s About Us page to learn more about their values and practices. We believe that the best impact strategies are ones that are genuine and best tailored to your brand’s values, and we always want to provide the opportunity to customize the way that you give back. By using our Product-Level Cause Donation feature, your brand can seamlessly create capsule-collection impact by designating specific causes to specific products.
Using Product-Level Cause Donations is a great way to highlight special cause and awareness months. For example, if for the month of October you want to focus your giving on breast cancer awareness causes, you can set all of your pink products to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation while your other products donate to your global featured causes. You can also utilize Product-Level Cause Donations for any collaborations that your brand does with influencers, artists, or even other brands. By using the Product-Level Cause Donation feature, you can set all of your products from a specific collaboration to donate to the cause of choice from the influencer or artist that you worked with on the collaboration and highlight their favorite nonprofit.
Consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity when it comes to social impact and by getting more granular and specific with your giving, your brand can better tell your story of the causes that you support and how you give back.
Empower Your Customers to Create Their Own Impact Through Round Up Giving
Consumers want to have more authentic interactions with the brands that they support and purchase with purpose. Your customers can already get involved in your giving by selecting their cause of choice when shopping with your brand, but now you can empower them to round up their purchase and create their own donation for a cause as well. We believe that micro-actions lead to macro impact and enabling round up giving for your brand is helping us prove just that.
Through our Customer Round Up Giving feature, you can create a more engaging purchase experience with your customers by enabling them to get more involved in your impact strategy. Whether you choose to utilize the Store Donation on Purchase campaign, the Customer Round Up Giving campaign, or both, your brand can better engage with your customers while also making a positive impact.
Gain Powerful Insights to Use for Marketing Personalization for Your Customers
We know that for an impact strategy to be successful, your brand needs to be performing well too. With the Change Commerce app, we work to provide your brand with valuable insights into how your impact strategy is performing in relation to your overall business so that you can better allocate budgets and resources.
With our enhanced reporting capabilities, your brand can more easily identify who your customers support and target repeat customers based on their nonprofit preferences. You can also see the top supported nonprofits for your brand, and utilize that data to target other supporters of those nonprofits. Utilizing our personalized data can help your brand better connect with your customers while also understanding how your brand is performing on orders with and without donations— Because your giving strategy and business success go hand-in-hand.
How Can I Get Started?
It’s never too late to begin implementing cause marketing into your brand. As consumers increasingly become more conscious of which brands they support, including cause marketing throughout your customer journey can make a big difference for staying top of mind with these conscious consumers. For a more in-depth overview of the tactics discussed above and to gain some easy, implementable cause marketing strategies that your brand can utilize to attract new customers, you can download our Impact-Driven Marketing 2021: A Tactical Guide to ensure that your marketing efforts are being noticed.
Whether you’ve already begun your impact journey or are not sure where to start, we’re always happy to help your brand navigate your giving to best meet your brand’s needs! Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on enhancing your cause marketing strategy or how you can get started with the Change Commerce app.