Digital marketers and business owners must know what life is like when we chasing after customers by tracing the number of clicks on various platforms: very confusing and frustrating.
What is wrong with a number of clicks here? First of all, we need to understand the nature of clicks. Clicks are simply numbers calculated by the machine behind the platform to count activities happened in the system. There is no doubt that the majority of clicks are made by the “potential human customers”. (In the era of artificial intelligence and robots, I feel I need to highlight the difference between humans and robots in the journey of digital footprints.) However, the “potential human customers” would remain anonymous before some of them decide to engage with us, such as by signing up newsletters or making purchases via the online shopping cart.
And we all know that the majority of clicks never make sales and we would never clearly understand why. Not only because most are anonymous but also because the digital identity that “clicks” might not be legit.
So sadly we pay for the clicks on the various platforms not knowing if “the potential human customers” exist. Hence the return on investment on the digital platforms by PPC (pay per click) has never been helpful with significantly improving sales or customer lifetime value.
How about we convert PPC (pay per click) to PPi-PV (pay per in-person visit)? By the same concept of digital marketing and the current technology, we can “meet and greet authentic customers in-person” and build a long-term relationship with each individual customer each time we engage with them personally in the store.
What PPi-PV does is enable O2O (online to offline) commerce opportunities. It allows customers to learn about products online and to try on the products offline. As digital marketers and business owners, in particular, in the apparel industry, we are given the chance to “match” customers online and “meet” them offline. The customers through the O2O technology platform are “the human customers with potential” for sales because the platform is designed to connect people on both sides authentically. By applying PPi-PV, we can significantly reduce the time and money spent on low-quality leads generated by clicks. Instead we can focus on the in store customers who are promising buyers. Through PPi-PV, we are investing in the opportunity to make friends with our customers by learning who they really are.
I believe we all can agree that our customers are more than just random numbers in the computer system. They are who we are, people with names and faces.