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Sociomantic at DRS: The Customer Conversion Conundrum
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Sociomantic at DRS: The Customer Conversion Conundrum


The next-generation of marketing technology aims to keep the consumer at the center of the commerce experience by allowing businesses to seamlessly interact with with customers when, where and how …

The next-generation of marketing technology aims to keep the consumer at the center of the commerce experience by allowing businesses to seamlessly interact with with customers when, where and how they choose. How are retailers personalizing the experience in the way customers expect? What are marketers doing to leverage technology and build out their capabilities to meet the needs of the connected digital consumer? Sociomantic’s Rob Sopkic will discuss how retail experiences are evolving to not only respond to customer needs, but to actually anticipate and satisfy them.

Speaker: Rob Sopkic, vp of sales, north america, Sociomantic

Published in Business , Technology
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  • Thank you for the introduction and warm welcome/My name is Rob Sopkic and I work for a company called Sociomantic. Today, I’m going to talk about the “customer conversion conundrum” - the journey your customers are taking in this always on, at your beck and call, multi channel, multi device, world. This is something that we - at sociomantic - think about all the time. After all, we are in ecommerce advertising. We help retailers - such as yourselves – make advertising more personal to each individual customer. We consider ourselves experts in the conversion experience – we work with over 500 hundred retailers in over 50 markets around the world. Our methods translate across markets because everything we do considers the customer’s perspective. We ask what might the customer be looking for; what do they want; and what can we do to give them the best experience. Now, these are some of the same questions you are asking of yourselves too. It’s a fact of business. “Focus on your customers and the rest will work itself out” is what every MBA class teaches. But while simple in theory, practice is much harder.
  • That’s because consumer behavior is changing fast.The consumer is digital. And if there is one thing that sets apart the digital consumer from consumers of the past, its that they change their appetite very quickly. They are more fickle than the traditional customer of the past. They want to have their cake and eat it too - and they want it delivered to their door with a free return shipping label attached. Understanding and predicting how the consumeris changing is what business is all about. .Its how we exploit hidden value and cushion potential shocks – and if you don’t, you die. The customer moves on to the next one. Itsan omni-channel, multi-device world and whether you are online only or bricks and mortar, the customers expect you to manage their entire journey.Don’t have a store to give people the warm and fuzzy reception of someone in person? Too bad, figure it out. Zappos did. And they continue to win customers. Retailers who don’t will share the same experience that this poor salesman in this comic has.
  • Now, Lets peel back and take a look at the Big Picture : Here are the SIX MOSTSIGNIFICANT CONSUMER TRENDS from McKinsey&Company paper earlier this year: Nothing earth shattering here – a lot of this is pretty intuitive already: We are obviously using our phones more than the PCWe apparently prefer to communicate without voice. (Heck, My kids text me from across the dinner table, for heaven’s sake, so that’s not hard to get)We want the content we want (and don’t want some programming intern pre-bundling stuff for us)Everything is social…no news thereOh, and here the sixth biggest trend. When it comes to retail, we want experiences. Hmmm?Ah, yes, experiences! Just like those trends with mobile devices and video programming. What the consumer is screaming about here is better access and faster control. The bottom line is that consumers want what they want and they want it faster and more convenient than ever before. The question is, are you catering to this?
  • Are you focusing on the customer in a way that has never been focused before? Its becoming evident that in order to solve the customer conversion conundrum, Retailers have to predict and manage the complex journey their customers are taking. Have you started moving toward what is now being called “CJM” or “Customer Journey Management”Apple did it. Steve jobs effectively predicted where the consumer was going. From product conception to retail experience. Everything apple does is about CJM. And when you get CJM right, then you’re guaranteed a high CLV. Again, look at apple. I can’t WAIT to go back to their store or their website to get something. What a journey!So, with all that said, I’m here to tell you that In order to solve for more customer conversions, you have to be thinking of their journey – from within your store and outside it. What follows are some trends that demonstrate the shift your customers are taking.
  • If we thought shopping on the PC was so revolutionary, its nothing compared to what’s happening with mobile. We’re at thebeginning of what is now being called the era of Retail 3.0. Despite the tremendous growth of e-commerce, it still accounts for only about 5 percent of all retail sales. Already, about half of all smartphone owners use their devices to conduct retail research - and they are starting to complete transactions as well. This combination of mobile retailing and multichannel integration is transforming the buying experience. Over a third of the retailers surveyed say that mobile sales and traffic have helped their company’s overall web conversion rate in a material fashion. Certainly, solving the customer conversion conundrum is closely linked to using a phone either before, after or even while in – a physical retail store. Now, even if you don’t have a physical store, you have to be mobile – there when the user is researching. They could be in your competitors store, looking for you on their phones. How are you reaching them – there and then? Are you giving them Faster and easier access to your wares?
  • Anothert trend in CUSTOMER JOURNEY MANAGEMENT is that we’re now seeing personalization of everythingThe above data comes from a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research: The State of Retailing Online 2013” and it shows the following trends: Product detail pages are atop area of merchandising focus in 2013 and retailers are leveraging technologies to make them more personal. Personalized recommendations -another area of focusAnd finally, Omnichannel integration is 4thThe focus is on predicting /anticipating the customer’s needs – across all channels – whether you have them or not - and delivering more personalized experiences
  • Speaking of real time. We now have personalized advertising. Ads genrated in real time, with content that is catered to the exact individual. Retailbusinesses today are accumulating an exponentially increasing amount of data with the potential to translate into significant business value. And its quickly becoming eveident that display advertising is one of the best places where this data’s value can be exposed and realized. First Party Data in all other channels like email, loyalty, search, are now being brought into display advertising. Enhanced targeting and personalization is making display more accountable.And its making people a lot more money.
  • So much so that everyone wants more. 63% of retailers say they want to increase investment in this channel.Retargeting is still in its infancy. Still an adolescent version of search. But the ability to use more data to personalize ads is increasing investment in this channel.But many I speak to fee that they have squeezed out as much ROI as possible from their current retargeting tactics. I am here to tell you that there is a lot more out ther.
  • One way to improve this to be focused on “a” customer rather than “the” customer.Segments are getting smaller and more precise. We are now seeing the employment of CRM and offline customer data to target users online. We at sociomantic call them “segments of one” – personalizing everything we do down to the individual. Imagine your own retail experiences like that. A minority report type retail experience isn’t far away – and in the cases, its already happening. I get a lot of customers asking me “how can you help me reach new customers” and to that I ask, “what percentage of your customers only buy once?”I had one customer tell me that if they could get a one time buyer to make a second purchase within 3 months, their lifetime value increased by almost 300%! You see, in order to solve the customer journey, your checkout page can’t be a goodbye page. Advertisers are tapping into past purchase data to find a way to get lapsed users back to their site. While you’ve been sending your customers emails for the past few years, they have learned to ignore you, simply by reading the first few letters in the subject. This is where display advertising really starts to shine. Reminding users of your product with something more than subject lines or short lines of text is never going to be as impactful as an image of your product. Bring more customer and product data into your display advertising is how you can continue to increase the efficacy of this channel and squeeze more value out of it
  • So, to recapIts an onmi-channel world, whether you are or aren’t - and you custmers expect you to manage their entire journeyJust like Apple and Zappos haveYour customer expects you to manage their journeyIf I am in your store and I want to check for competitive prices – match the best price I can find. Personalize everything – from product pages to the reccomendations in your advertisingAnd finally, as you look up the funnel, don’t forget about your lapsed customers. Go back and continue to manage their journey after they have left you. There is a lot of value there, don’t take it lightly.
  • And that’s all I have today. If you are interested in hearing more, my information is right up there or you can find me wandering the conference for the rest of the day so please come up to me and let’s talk. Thanks again.


  • 2. SIX SIGNIFICANT iCONSUMER TRENDS Source: McKinsey&Company, 2012 | iConsumer: Digital Consumers Altering the Value Chain
  • 4. = RETAIL 3.0 MOBILE RETAILING Source: McKinsey&Company, 2012 | iConsumer: Digital Consumers Altering the Value Chain MULTICHANNEL INTEGRATION +
  • 6. DISPLAY ADVERTISING CONTINUES TO SEE GAINS DRIVEN BY RETAIL ource: “U.S. Digital Future in Focus, 2013” by comScore Enhanced targeting and personalization is making display more accountable.
  • 7. OF RETAILERS WILL SPEND MORE ON RETARGETING IN 2013 Source: “The State of Retailing Online, 2013” a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research
  • 8. LEVERAGE CRM DATA TO GET FROM 1st to 2nd PURCHASE RECOMMENDATION Initiate one-to-one marketing in display like all other channels, e.g. email, search & loyalty
  • 9. • Customers Expect Experiences • Mobile is a key part of their Journey • Personalize as much of the Experience • Leverage More Data in Advertising SUMMARY
  • 10. Thank You Rob Sopkic VP of Sales, North America 

T 415.637.5233
  • 11. Social Media and Innovation in Online Shopping Carrie Whitehead Zappos.com
  • 12. 24% 34% 48% 52% 56% 62% % Who Currently Have a Profile on Any Social Network Six in Ten Americans Have a Profile on a Social Networking Site 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Edison Research and Arbitron, Infinite Dial 2013 research
  • 13. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, United Kingdom, Canada, and Argentina Social Media has overtaken porn #1activity on the Web the Every minute 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” – Erik Qualman
  • 14. @BronxZoosCobra 186,800 FOLLOWERS 75,650 followers in the first 24 hours
  • 15. One to one One to many Many to many
  • 16. Everything.com/technology
  • 17. http://community.secondlife.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/40433i91CE7E110D0F82A4/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1 Create deeper connections. See the person behind the profile.
  • 18. Reciprocity: People tend to return favors. Commitment and Consistency: People committing orally or in writing to ideas or goals are more likely to honor those commitments for self-image congruity. Social Proof: People will do things they see other people doing. Authority: People tend to obey authority figures, even when asked to perform objectionable acts. Liking: People are easily persuaded by other people they like. Scarcity: Perceived scarcity generates demand. People are still people.
  • 19. CONTENT The opportunity for innovation lies in the intersection of Content, Context and Conversation. CONTEXT CONVERSATION INNOVATION
  • 20. CONTENT It must be a good story, one that resonates with human emotions. It should be fun and authentic. And can take on many different forms.
  • 21. Glance A simple and fun shopping experience bringing curated collections of the most exciting products from Zappos. The Glance average order value is more than 50% higher than Zappos
  • 22. Make the story relevant and memorable. Make it discoverable. Be at the right place at the right time. CONTEXT
  • 23. Social Buzz Displaying social activity on product pages to help support purchase decisions 50/50 AB Test Those who clicked on tab were more engaged
  • 24. Make the conversation popular. Get people to continue telling the story for true reach and frequency. With a passionate enough audience, the people will close the sale. CONVERSATION
  • 25. ROI is great, but social media is an investment. Continue to experiment, learn and evolve to look ahead and affect change.
  • 26. Play, experiment and be human.
  • 27. Thank you! cwhitehead@zappos.com @whitehead Zappos.com/Expo