ChargeUp London 2022 came at a really crucial time for the ecommerce industry. It’s a time when brands are facing unprecedented challenges posed by the cost of living crisis, with rising costs and a market with significantly less disposable income to play with.
At the event, speakers from the Recharge team shared insights into the current state of the industry, introduced updates of Recharge’s product and highlighted the areas brands could (and should) be focussing on to attract new customers, retain their existing customer base and stand out in a market that’s more competitive than ever.
Here are some of the most enlightening takeaways from the event, from the members of the UWP team who experienced it themselves.
Great customer service is more important than ever
As a result of the cost of living crisis and consumers being more selective with where they spend their disposable income, we’re witnessing a shift in the importance of customer service.
Good customer service has always been important in ecommerce, but in today’s competitive market, it’s more crucial than ever. In fact, 32% of customers are now prepared to abandon a brand they’ve been loyal to after just one bad customer experience.
With consumers being more savvy with their spending, ecommerce brands need to work harder to attract and retain customers. Top-notch customer service seems to be the way to go, with 43% of consumers willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
In particular, brands need to focus on delivering speed and convenience (competing with the likes of Amazon Prime) and, of course, friendliness.
Brands will shift their focus from customer acquisition to retention
With the ever-increasing cost of customer acquisition, it’s becoming more and more important for brands to retain their existing customers and maximise their value in order to establish a steady income.
Building a subscription base is an effective way to do just that, introducing relative stability and maximising the value of existing customers.
At ChargeUp London 2022, Recharge’s speakers discussed ways in which ecommerce brands can attract subscribers and maintain them, touching on exclusive membership options, highlighting the financial benefits of subscriptions and utilising permission marketing channels (i.e. email).
Once again, the importance of brilliant customer experiences was emphasised, with customer service being the main driver of brand loyalty.
It costs 5-25% more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, which is why customer retention is becoming such a huge focus for a lot of brands during these challenging financial times.
Customer flexibility is the key to subscription stability
Building a loyal group of subscribers is a challenge in itself. Maintaining it is a whole different ball game.
In times of financial difficulties, non-essential subscription services are often the first to go. To help tackle this, the speakers from Recharge suggest, brands need to offer customers unbeatable flexibility, allowing them to tailor their subscription to their specific needs.
This could involve providing options to skip a week’s delivery, swap for a new product, delay deliveries and offer alternative delivery frequencies, all of which increase a customer’s lifetime value.
Crucially, brands also need to make it easy for customers to make these changes, which is where Recharge’s new transactional SMS feature (launching in the UK later this year) could be a real game-changer.
RechargeSMS is a tool that allows subscribers to manage their orders quickly and efficiently via text message. Customers can modify their order, swap products, skip or delay shipments and add on one-time purchases without having to log in, which can increase their lifetime value by up to 30%.
Another exciting Recharge feature that allows subscribers to tailor their subscription (or one-time purchase) is Bundles. Customisable bundles allow brands to combine multiple products into one uniquely-curated box, or let customers personalise it themselves, helping subscribers create an experience unique to them. Once again, this adds a level of flexibility that can help tackle churn.
Ecommerce brands are entering a tricky period that’s introducing new challenges to an already uber-competitive industry. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
With new challenges come new solutions, and shifting the focus towards top-notch customer service, honing in on retention strategies and optimising subscription programs by introducing a new level of flexibility might provide a way to tackle these challenges head-on - and to stand out in an over-crowded space.
ChargeUp London 2022 provided a space for merchants, agencies and tech partners to share ideas about how to not only survive, but thrive in the new environment. It’s just a matter of finding solutions to the unique challenges brands are facing right now, and some of Recharge’s new offerings might make this a little easier.
Here at Underwaterpistol, we specialise in growing best-in-class ecommerce brands, always working strategically to enhance and future-proof their offerings.
Our collaboration with Recharge has built out fantastic use cases where brands have incorporated subscription into their offering to increase the lifetime value of their customers, like our project with pet brand Pooch & Mutt.