Our first product, the SMARTSlip, was undeniably a game-changer. It created a whole new platform by which current customers could be marketed to, ripping up the rule-book on how the in-parcel experience should be done. However, with a totally new tool now at the disposal of the marketing departments of the companies we work with, we noticed that the SMARTSlip was being used to varying degrees of success. Here at Retain.me, we want you to succeed. What we have done is created this blog to share some of the trends we have noticed within our client's designs to be more effective.
In order to illustrate these points, we have come up with two fictitious pet stores, both with eCommerce websites utilising the SMARTSlip technology to drive customer loyalty and repeat purchase. The same customer, 'Gnasher Borker' has bought an amount of dog food from each website. The following SMARTSlip prints have been produced as a result of his order:
On the left we have 'Bones & Delights', who can definitely claim to have the more optimised SMARTSlip design out of the two stores. And on the right, we have 'Pet Pile'- their SMARTSlip is not terrible, but it is missing a lot of the opportunities that the SMARTSlip technology provides. A few tweaks to their design will definitely lead to higher retention rates, and more engaged customers. So without further ado, let's have a look at the steps Pet Pile could take, to bring their SMARTSlip up to the same standard as Bones & Delights.
Starting on the front cover, we can see two designs which at first glance look very similar. However there is a notable difference- one which we have seen make a large difference to the unboxing experience. By making the customer's name the focal point of the front cover, Bones and Delights are making the unboxing experience all about their customer. This distinguishes them from Pet Pile, where the inclusion of the customer's name feels more like an afterthought on the front cover- with the brand's logo being prioritised. By using the personalisation (which is only available with the SMARTSlip technology) in order to delight your customer, you are making sure that the emotional aspects of the unboxing experience have been enhanced.
One of the more powerful tools within the SMARTSlip technology, is the ability to display 1:1 Product Recommendations provided by your Product Recommendations Engine of choice. Here we can see Bones & Delights have chosen to display personalised Product Recommendations underneath the transactional information on their SMARTSlip. This is in contrast to the Pet Pile transactional panel, which is relatively bare and doesn't capitalise on the valuable white space underneath the transactional information. By placing intelligent product recommendations underneath the transactional information, Bones & Delights create an obvious link for their customers between what they've bought and what they could buy. It also has the benefit of being an efficient use of the limited space on this attention rich platform for engaging with customers.
One of the most common marketing exercises we see in the eCommerce world, is the inclusion marketing materials inside the package which include a generic discount code. This might be a printed flyer or business card which goes out to all customers. Here we see Pet Pile have employed this target, showing a 3 for 2 discount on all cat toys. However, the customer has bought dog food so this discount is unlikely to motivate any subsequent purchases. The ability to send out specific SMARTSlips to specific cohorts based on selected criteria (Customer Lifetime Value, Purchase Value, First Time or Returning Customer?, and anything else you can think of to segment up your customer base) is one of the powerful assets of the SMARTSlip technology. Here we can see that Bones & Delights have identified that the customer is a dog owner, and has also spent a large amount (£100+) on dog food. The content shown is therefore relevant to this information, showing a relevant discount code for a purchase they are likely to make in the future.
The final type of content which will populate the pages of most SMARTSlip designs, is branded content. This might include: new product launches, company news, 'about us' style sections, and social content or campaigns. Whilst brand messaging is definitely important, too often we see this area of the SMARTSlip being used to solely push more adverts to customers. What we have seen to be more effective, is when companies use the SMARTSlip to add further value to their customers' journeys. This added value improves the customer experience, a metric which is closely correlated to customer loyalty. In the examples above, we can see how this is achieved by Bones & Delights. Knowing that the customer has purchased a specific type of dog food ('premium doggo food' in this case), the content served to the customer offers advice on how much of the food should be fed to dogs of differing sizes. Conversely, Pet pile choose to dedicate an entire panel of their slip to their particularly uninspiring nor relevant company history. Now perhaps you may have a very interesting company history which sits at the heart of your company's ethos, in which case allocating space to this will be an important part of your SMARTSlip design. However, remain mindful of the fact that adding value to your customer's experience will have a bigger effect on your customer retention rates, than extended brand messaging can hope to achieve.
As a technology in its infancy, optimising the design of the creative on SMARTSlip is very much still underway. It will also likely change over time as customers' needs and expectations shift with trends. However, great design & relevancy of messaging will always be fundamental to the efficacy of brand messaging, and the SMARTSlip is no exception. The points listed in this blog should provide a good starting point for your SMARTSlip campaigns, but do not let this stifle your creativity! We are always blown away by the new innovative approaches we see our clients using through the SMARTSlip technology, and long may this continue.