Earlier this morning, I got an update in my email on a trio of dresses I ordered. Good news, they’ll arrive soon! (I know you were all wondering) And then I saw this new little feature on the far right side of the subject line space.

Email inbox capture

Announced in May, but rolled out a few weeks later, Gmail Quick Actions allow the user to take action on a message from the subject line without even opening it. So whether you’re checking a flight status, RSVPing to an invitation, viewing status of an order, or submitting a review on a recently purchase product, you can jump directly from the brand email to the interaction, without interruption. One button, straight from the inbox, to your end destination. So efficient – LOVE!

Why highlight this twist in email, especially this week, as our GML team conversation turns to commerce? Is it because I’ve got fashion on the brain? Maybe. More likely, this feature highlights something we all logically know, but that is becoming increasingly important – that the commerce experience is far reaching, and it encompasses more than just the steps we take en route to buying.

Reference all that’s been written on the Zero Moment of Truth, and consider all of the points at which a consumer can become aware of your product, or the inputs that drive them to select and then buy your product (or buy from you again). Stealing Chuck Martin’s line from the HBR’s The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, “Consumers no longer go shopping, they always are shopping.” As such, no portion of the commerce experience should go under-considered in terms of its ability to connect closer to the shopper, including post-purchase.

If you’re actively trying to sell something – online or otherwise – be very deliberate and thoughtful about how all of the interactions you support build upon one another to create a richer relationship. Take nothing for granted. One of the most interesting pieces of data I saw recently spoke to the fact that emails sent late at night had higher open rates, transaction rates, and revenue than those sent during the day, and that revenue per email spikes on Saturday. Ask anyone who ran an email marketing program 5 years ago if they would believe those statistics, and they’ll describe the testing they went through to determine if Tuesday sends were better than Thursday. The point? Everything is up for grabs when it comes to moving the consumer to buy, and bringing them back for more.

Today’s consumer is different. The purchase process is different. More voices are involved. And if you want to sell something, you need to start thinking creatively about how to make your voice heard, and all of the “little touches” you can leverage to help get a consumer just one tiny step closer to purchase, repurchase, or a loyal relationship with you. In an inbox filled with 1700 unread messages, one button caught my eye, and made my buying journey richer.

How will you stand out?

1 Comment
  1. 20 August 2013 at 10:24 pm
    Richard says:

    Once again, it comes back to compressing time. Seems like every innovation that comes along lately helps get the consumer to the end goal faster – and in more pleasurable way. Notice your reaction LOVE ! When I think of music purchases, it’s not just the joy of buying digital products over digital media, but the pure pleasure of the music buying experience. Banking provides another example; strrangely enough people say they enjoy paying their bills through their bank’s mobile app.

    I think it’s a simple exercise …. every marketer should be clear of the customer’s ultimate goal, and brainstorm ways to compress the path to purchase … or whatever path (customer service for example) the customer is traversing. “Day in the life” exercises are also informative as is the 3 x 3 exercise … which is “what is the customer doing 3 minutes before they use your product, and 3 minutes after?” That can help marketeres identify opportunities to get consumer’s to the end game, faster and with a more pleasurable experience. UX is the new black.

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