The next big race to maximize online business: Customer Registrations
Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and GDPR were hot topics this spring and the media-storms surrounding customers’ ability to be in charge of their own data became everyday terms and important issues for consumers worldwide. It culminated on April 11th when Mark Zuckerberg was called into act global computer professor, as he appeared before the US Congress, answering elementary questions voiced by legislators who were in way over their heads, trying to extract information about topics they didn’t fully comprehend.
Customer registrations have never been more prevalent than today. Online subscription-models has grown with over 100% per year the last 5 years (*Forbes March 2018), and affiliate marketing businesses are also on a steady rise. Registrations are used more often than ever, and has become a vital ingredient to succeeding online. There is no sign that this trend should slow down, as 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis, and millions upon millions of customers are of course registered with services such as Airbnb, Uber, Spotify and Netflix.
Customer Data Management, and registrations of clients becomes exceedingly relevant in Omnichannel discussions, a term that has been stuck on everyone’s retail-lips lately. There is hardly a management team in the world that has not stated that their company shall improve their Omni-channel brand experience. This goes for industry giants, as well as startups.
Amazon dominates e-commerce
The question of how to tackle Omni is no longer something that can wait. It is a legit stress-factor for many businesses today. When companies like Amazon are on track to eclipse more than half of ALL online shopping in the US this year (44% 2017), everyone else has to come up with new ways to stand out. This is a lot easier said than done of course. Amazon differs from most businesses due to their superior efficiency and control of distribution. It will be tough, if not impossible for other retailers to compete with them in this regard.
A number of online experts believe that the way to get noticed is to handle the Omni-question creatively, or at least in ways that strengthen your brand. To do that, companies need to get to know their customers better, and deliver unique experiences to go with their product or service.
Check-out has been everyone’s focus
In recent years, e-commerce has focused on handling the check-out as smoothly as possible, i.e. quick and easy payment of orders. A simple check-out meant a good conversion of purchases on the traffic driven to an online-shop. Companies like Paypal, Stripe, Klarna and others have built their entire existence around this, and the developments in the area have been rapid. Today, with a few simple clicks, customers can choose between paying in instalments, getting invoiced, pay with credit card or bank transfer.
With this focus on easy check-out, e-commerce has largely been about showing an advertisement with an offer, then executing the purchase and delivering the product, and it is this focus that experts predict will change.
Check-in is the next online-race
As the smooth check-out has become a hygiene, the next race will be smart check-in’s aka signups. To excel in the future, companies will need to personalize experiences for their customers and a good registration enable personalized offers, experiences and distribution, provided that the collected information is processed and utilized in clever ways.
Getting ahead of the race
The methodology behind a good registration is extensive. Few have dedicated their time to mastering this problem, in stark contrast to the check-out. A small company in Stockholm, Sweden; Regily, is at the forefront of signup technology. They lead the development by analyzing huge amounts of customer data, at the point of signup. By understanding consumer’s behavior in this moment, they can help minimize the feeling we have all felt when presented with an online form, a feeling that is often goes something like:
-Ahhh, crap. I’ll do this another time…
A great signup needs good design, smart verifications and handling of input-mistakes, as well as technical solutions involving available data points to make registrations relevant to each customer, with regard to where they live and much more.
Great news for consumers?
Progress in this area could be good news for consumers. Online registrations have largely been the same since the time of MySpace and companies have done little to improve the experience. Making signups something consumers enjoy may in a broader perspective lead to more consumers trying more new services, which in turn would help innovations grow faster.
If companies also take care of, and use customer information intelligently, we can all look forward to more personalized and thus better services, more fitted to our liking. Omni is, at the end of the day simply a term for giving us better experiences in every point-of-contact, and this of course is what we all seek from our favorite brands.