User Experience and Customer Experience for Alcohol Brands
- by Andi Whiskey
We talk a lot about the digital customer journey, but I want to further define the different parts of the experience and talk through some things your brand needs to consider with your own digital presence.
I want to specifically talk about User Experience (UX) vs Customer Experience (CX) and why your spirits brand needs to take both into account in your product development and marketing strategy.
I have said it a lot, but I'll say it again; it is so important to control as much of your entire digital experience as possible, from the Awareness stage of the marketing funnel to the Retention stage.
We see a lot of spirits brands start to explore improving their user experience, but they leave off the customer experience, and they lose customers and retention in the process.
What is User Experience for Alcohol Brands
User experience is the total experience a user has in interacting with your alcohol brand's digital presence. This starts with how they find you online, ie. Google search or social media search.
If they look your name up on Google, can they find you? What if they misspell your brand name? Can you be easily searched for on Instagram and TikTok? Also, something we see a lot of spirit brands deal with is geolocation issues with their digital presence. What I mean by this is how easy is it for a customer to find your digital presence for their country? If you're a British vodka and someone in the US is trying to buy your product, when they find you online, can they be sure they're interacting with the US-facing presence of your brand?
I'll dive slightly further into this because it's come up a lot for our clients lately. If I'm a US customer, when I land on your site and I know you're a British vodka, I want your site to clearly tell me that I'm going to be able to order in the US or get info about your brand that's relevant to me as a US customer. What I look for, as a US customer, is the US dollar sign, sometimes an American flag English language indicator in the top right corner, "US" in the domain or URL, or something indicating that I landed on the right site or page. Just something to consider if you're an international brand!
User experience includes interacting with your social media, loading your web site, navigating your web site to satisfy their needs, placing and order on your site, using your storewide on your site, etc. Have you tested any of that yourself? Have your team regularly testing all of the experience with your digital presence.
What is Customer Experience for Alcohol Brands
CX looks closely at the satisfaction of a customer after they place an order. Of there are issues with an order, how quickly can they get ahold of someone on your team? Then how soon after that will their problem be resolved? CX includes shipping time, further communication about how to use your product, ie. What type of cocktails your tequila shines in, what flavors your gin pairs with, what type of foods your wine is best served with. This can be passed on to the customer in a number of ways, including an insert in their order package, or an automated email flow for new customers that drips informative emails over time after they place their first order.
Customer experience also expands to the direct interaction with your product. This is when you have to consider your product and how it was developed for the customer. If your bottle is difficult for bartenders to hold, or it doesn’t fit well on shelves, your customers aren’t going to come back, and they won’t share your name with their friends. If your juice isn’t all they expected, it’s not going to be the one they reach for or talk about. Make sure your product meets expectations and beyond for a better customer experience.
Why It Matters
A Forrester report on the business impact of good design in customer interfaces shows that companies who focus on good UX and CX design experience benefits such as greater customer loyalty, increased revenue, a higher market valuation, and better performing stock.
Off-premise sales rely heavily on your digital presence. Marketing is getting loud, and consumers are sensitive to all of it. NIQ reported that consumers prefer as little friction as possible in their off-premise purchases, meaning they want to run into a liquor store, grab what they came for, and get out. This means you need to have captured their attention before they ever walk in the door.
To do this, you need a solid user experience for your digital presence, to make sure they’ve enjoyed all touches with your brand enough to pick your bottle off of the crowded shelves.
After that, you need to secure that the Customer Experience is a positive one, so that they come back for that bottle, or sing its praises when asked about it.
It all works together to create a holistic experience to increase your brand’s presence and revenue.
Control Your Whole User Experience for Your Spirits Brand
Bars and restaurants are using more tech like QR codes, self serve drafts, and in-app ordering. You’re quickly losing your frontline in on-premise locations to the digital landscape, which is more reason than ever to look at your own digital presence.
On-premise outlets are increasing, according to NIQ, but it’s still down from 2019. Right now, the market is very much sensitive to what’s going on in politics and the market, and things aren’t fully recovered from the hit of the pandemic in 2020. Your brand will be dependent on how well those outlets fair through the coming market if you only rely on them as a source of revenue.
Differentiating your revenue sources is huge, just as a business in general no matter the industry. You never want to put all of your eggs in one basket.
But we’re huge proponents of investing in channels you have the most control over. DTC e-commerce is where your brand can flex the most control over your customer’s journey, so it’s worth considering adjusting your budget accordingly.
Need an Audit of Your Spirits Brands' Digital Experience?
Let’s talk. Twist & Tailor provides audits of your current digital presence and experience, and helps you strategize how to optimize all digital touch points for your brand.
Get in touch! We’d love to help.