Beyond customer expectations: what is invitational marketing?

What does it take to add a new customer to the list of a company’s active followers? Any eCommerce business has to learn to adapt to new realities of customer acquisition, which is closely related to the definition of a decent marketing strategy.

User behavior changes all the time, constantly evolving in new forms, shapes, and dimensions. If you fail to respond to the changes, your marketing efforts may lead to customer apathy and unwillingness to cooperate with your brand. Why not offer clients an exclusive shopping experience where the road to the checkout is smooth and neat?

Many retailers are focusing on a new form of interaction with clients that invites users to engage with the content of your online store more actively than ever before. Called invitational marketing, it is a form of interaction with clients, which can be a solution to numerous problems modern marketing faces. What is invitational marketing?

Invitational marketing, as the name implies, is a way of marketing where you focus on the needs of an individual client, thus converting them into a sale. However, it is impossible to define invitational marketing without the context in which the term occurred. Let’s discover where and how this new approach to modern marketing evolved.


  • Old approaches aren’t working
  • How to respond to customer expectations
  • Invitational marketing as a new pattern

Old approaches aren’t working

The abundance of multichannel advertising is not a novelty to companies of all sizes. You can reach your customer on any device with any message at any time. We live in an era where you can translate any marketing concept into a form of advertising.

The variety of choices of how to connect with your company seems to be challenging for users and often leads to frustration and unwillingness to make a decision. Ads, banners and newsletters pile up and confront users in a way that makes them apathetic. Why?

The answer is: your ecommerce marketing effort is aimed at satisfying the needs of your company, not your clients. You have a marketing plan that is consistent on multiple channels, including email, Facebook Messenger, chat, etc. Such a company-centric approach to business marketing doesn’t take into account the necessities of everyday consumers (what if they are not ready for any conversation?), thus leading to less effective advertising campaigns.

These days, experts feel this approach to marketing is dying out for a number of reasons. Let’s list them.

  1. The abundance of messages makes the brain ignore the majority of the information.
  2. The spread of multichannel marketing combines online and offline experiences into one.
  3. The rise of the mobile era of the communication is changing old ways of interaction.
  4. The availability of ads of all shapes and sizes on each web page damages the attention span.
  5. The urge for instant profit when a user needs it.
  6. The overpopulation of attention-grabbing messages.

If you don’t take into consideration the above-mentioned facts, your marketing objectives may be blurred and make your brand lose its way among similar ones.

How to respond to customer expectations

Customer expectations are getting more and more sophisticated all the time. Customers use the availability of multiple channels as a way to get acquainted with your brand and demand more personalization. Putting their experience as the top priority is one of the most crucial marketing terms that can help your business advance. Consumers also expect your brand to reward them for a tiny piece of engagement.

Numerous articles devoted to effective marketing scenarios stress the importance of properly responding to consumer demand. One of them, posted by Andy Hart, a Vice President of Microsoft Advertising & Online, states that traditional marketing may become dead as “consumers lose faith in the value of marketing”.

Invitational marketing as a new pattern

Invitational marketing offers a new way of communication with your audience that makes engagement part of the overall user experience.

What are the basics of invitational marketing?

  1. Direct engagement instead of a distraction.
  2. Immediate reward for the customer.
  3. Instant emotional connection with the customer.

Invitational marketing is able to make every customer happy by implementing the new concepts that will shape the future of online shopping. However, if you continue to use the traditional marketing techniques in combination with a new approach, the result may be even better.

Why do you need it?

If you succeed in creating a transparent conversation with your customer where your ads do not act as a distraction, you will be able to enhance trust and loyalty with your brand. Offer your clientele a fun or even humorous user experience for their attention. Be creative in your marketing scenarios — you need to entertain a lot.

Encourage your customers to communicate with your brand when they are ready. Use instant notifications, QR codes and special apps where customers can reach you immediately. Note that one happy customer can turn your business into a success.

With invitational marketing, the challenge of providing real value for customers is a piece of cake. Respond to the needs of a specific client using this new approach to your marketing campaigns.

A source

A team of Shopify professionals, sharing the insights from a decade of Shopify hands-on experience.