There is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ strategy to marketing and personalization. Each retailer is unique and must mould their strategies depending on their audience. Personalisation is not just about the initial point of contact. In an increasingly socialised economy, organisations need to get to know their customers and find new ways to keep them interested and engaged. The more sophisticated the personalisation, the more individually tailored the customer journey. Ultimately, targeted communications that are relevant and useful, can create lasting customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth from 10% to 30% (McKinsey and company, 2017).
This article explores three types of personalisation: re-targeting and post purchase campaigns, loyalty programs and user-generated content, with a focus on content and context, and speed.
Re-targeting and post-purchase campaigns
87% of customers find it acceptable for brands to use their data to personalise communications as long as it is relevant to them or it’s from companies that they have recently purchased from.
The most common form of personalisation is re-targeting which reminds shoppers of the items they browsed but didn’t purchase. Post purchase campaigns are very similar to re-targeting where retailers send a follow up-up email with every purchase.
This can be seen as ‘creepy and invasive’ so retailers need to use more sophisticated recommendation algorithms to offer complementary products or services instead of simply the items shoppers have recently previewed or bought.
Loyalty Programs inform retailers what types of products an individual customer buys, how often the purchases are made and when they buy. With this information, retailers are able to personalise their discounts and communications.
The loyalty program allows customers to set up a profile in which they input specific information which is then used to serve special offers to the customer relevant to their needs. Using direct input from the customer can be extremely effective in creating compelling and relevant personalised retail experiences.
A company’s reputation affects the buying decision of its customers. Reviews of a retailer’s service or product to help the consumers make decisions not only keeps the customer engaged after the purchase, but it allows retailers to turn customers into influencers. According to Podium, 82% of purchase decisions are influenced by a recommendation. When a customer interacts positively with your brand, they are much more invested and therefore much more likely to make a purchase.
Content and context
Robin Gellerman, industry strategist for Retail at OpenText, states that “content and context drive personalisation in the retail sector. The content of the message must be worded in a way that will appeal to each individual consumer.” The latest developments in Web Experience Management allow retailers to create highly personalised content across multiple platforms.
After the initial success of personalisation strategies, brands are now looking for new personal communication tools to help them stand out in a competitive retail market. The challenge is understanding customers quickly enough to deliver relevant insightful content at just the right time. We are now seeing retailers engaging higher up the shopping lifecycle, creating personalised campaigns that react to browsing behaviour, triggering messages before an item has even been added to basket.
Customers want personalisation – but only on their terms. Retailers must ensure customers do not feel that their personal data is being abused or that they are intruding on their shopping experience. By combining good customer service with the latest technologies, retailers can offer tailor-made, personalised experiences that delight customers and drive loyalty.
The customer contact centre is a fundamental part of any personalised contact strategy. A culture of empowerment will enable the call handler to use their experience to make the best decision for each individual customer, delighting customers and creating genuine loyalty.