Today is World Smile Day, yet on a day that encourages people around the world to smile more, most retailers are failing to connect with their customers on an emotional level to make them smile, research finds.
Considering that the average UK person spends one day a week online, two in three consumers (65%) say can’t even remember the last time a retailer’s website or app made them smile — while under a third (30%) say they’ve smiled within the last month when interacting with a retailer online, says the study by Acquia.
In an age of marketing that aims to create compelling and engaging digital experiences, the research finds that current digital marketing efforts are failing to tap into consumers’ emotions — despite multiple research studies showing that the most effective marketing and advertising focuses on emotion.
Acquia VP of EMEA marketing Sylvia Jensen explains: “With so many brands competing for customer attention online, consumers don’t have cognitive ability to create an affinity with every single company whose website or app they browse. Consumers therefore tend to create a connection with a brand that makes them feel good — and therefore smile.”
Acquia’s research, though, highlights the difficulties brands have with making customers ‘feel good’ without actual human interaction, as Jensen says: “It’s much easier to make someone smile when you meet them in store, for example, where customer service assistants can help people to find what they need. But online, where there’s little human interaction, it’s critical to try to create an emotional connection wherever possible. Technology today is enabling brands to create digital experiences that stand out in a meaningful way. And if it stands out and strives to make a humorous connection, visitors smile more and remember your brand.”
Acquia is actively involved in creating digital experiences for its clients that make people smile, working with the likes of Virgin Sport, YHA, L’Oréal and other major world brands. This research was conducted with a survey of 2,000 British consumers by digital experience company Acquia.
Image: World Smile Day