In Part 1 of this series, we explored the current state of eCommerce. In particular, we looked into factors that hold brands back from reaching (and exceeding) the full potential of their digital marketing efforts. We boiled the reasons down to certain inadequacies within current practices like AdWaste. Where a problem exists, a solution comes along. This article dives into the disruptor poised to become the future of digital marketing – Inbox Innovation, specifically interactive inboxes.
If you’re in the USA, you may not have noticed this. But, in many parts of the globe, WhatsApp and AMP have come hurtling out as major innovations in eCommerce.
For instance, in Brazil, you can search for a business, look through goods and services, add them to a cart, and pay within the WhatsApp chat. Nobody needs to go to a website to get what they want.
Customers can use Mastercard and Visa, as well as pre-paid cards, to pay for anything they want. No more website redirects, no more clicking through multiple pages. The complete user journey literally lies within the WhatsApp chat.
This isn’t entirely new, either. Chinese chat giant WeChat has had the facility for payments integrated into its system for years.
Bringing carts to email
Despite all digital innovations, email continues to be one of the most successful digital marketing channels in existence. Email remains the highest ROI-generating marketing channel to this day. However, AMP emails can entirely remove the current friction within emails.
AMP emails bring websites/apps into the email inbox. AMP components for email let you insert headers, like a search bar, within the email itself. Users can search for products, deals, etc., right inside the email. You can even provide an instant ‘Add to Cart’ option and perhaps even a ‘Pay’ action – so that customers don’t have to move away from their inbox to get everything they want.
You can even send gamified emails; they don’t just make user journeys easier; they also entertain customers and keep them coming back to your brand.
For Netcore, this is particularly exciting. As one of the largest independent email service providers (ESPs) globally, we see first-hand how interactive emails shoot up customer engagement.
If you’re completely new to AMP emails, we recommend that you start your knowledge gathering with AMP Email – The Complete Guide for Marketers.
Email so far has been largely one-way: send a list of items or an image and hope that consumers will click through to the website or app. It is this friction that has kept action rates low. From our early campaigns using AMP in India, the increase in actions has been astounding across the customer journey.
The transformative solution in eCommerce is to think of websites and apps inside emails – where the entire journey from search and browse to purchase can be completed right inside the inbox. AMP makes this possible.
These ‘Email Shops’ are the next storefronts. But uniquely, these are storefronts that marketers can control. They can push messages to their customers rather than relying on them to remember to visit their properties.
Combined with Atomic Rewards to incentivize opens and other non-transactional actions, Email Shops have the potential to increase conversions exponentially. Naturally, you’ll see a corresponding reduction in the need for expensive and continuous new acquisitions to drive revenue growth. Email Shops, thus, become real profitability drivers for brands.
Email Shops can turn every broken, profit-killing customer experience. They can help brands transform their customer experiences and create pipelines that take them towards exponential, forever profitable growth and eventually to a ‘profipoly’ (profits monopoly).
Carts and cards in your email
Let’s specifically drill down to the shopping carts and various payment forms within AMP emails.
One of the first steps towards building an Email Shop is to add a search bar in the header of every email so that search results show items in place.
Every item in the results must be enabled for ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Add to Wishlist’ with a single click. The click should call the brand API and perform the user actions.
Additionally, customers can manage their carts directly within the email.
Subsequent forms can take the address and then drive the payments.
The final step towards conversion is the payment information. This can be done through a pop-up or (if the payment companies agree) done securely within the email itself.
These steps bring the ease of shopping on a website or app to a customer’s email. They never have to visit a website to buy anything. Even the post-purchase experience can be enhanced by collecting ratings and reviews within the email. Real-time delivery tracking can be brought inside the email too.
Outpace competition with digital marketing disruptors
All steps in the journey can be AMPlified within Email Shops. Of course, actually implementing these disruptors will require a shift in mindset and practice – from thinking just about retention, engagement and personalization to making revenues, costs and profits the key metrics to track.
Putting forth and absorbing a whole new way of functioning isn’t easy in any aspect of human life, including work. Digital marketing disruption is no exception. Chances are, you’ll need some help to identify the opportunities that inbox innovations can unlock for your team and brand.
This is Part 2 of a series of articles comprising excerpts from the blog “Email Shops Can Transform eCommerce” by Rajesh Jain. He is the founder and Group MD of Netcore, a bootstrapped SaaS company that helps brands create outstanding AI-powered customer experiences at every touchpoint.