In a world where taking selfies and updating what you’re up to via social media is the norm, it is important for retailers to understand why personalizing their brand experience is important. This is particularly true when you narrow in on the value of delivering personalized experiences to each and every single customer you have – or want to have. Fortunately, many forms of marketing personalization specific to both online and offline retailers are surprisingly affordable.
Personalization is a prime arena to differentiate yourself as a retailer, to create ads that truly capture your customers’ attention, and to build loyalty through personalized promotional messaging. In fact, a 2017 study by Boston Consulting Group predicted that in five years personalization will drive 800 billion dollars to the 15 percent of companies that implement it correctly. Read on to learn how to be one of the lucky ones that do personalization the right way the first time around.
Have Customers Answer Questions to Pick Their Product
If you thought “chatbots” when you read this subheading…you’re half correct. Both chatbots and customer surveys can be used to customize the shopping experience by giving customers product suggestions that are unique to their specific needs and customer profiles. Chatbots, of course, are the more high-tech option – but they can also require a more substantial investment if you want them to ask customers more than a few basic questions to determine customized product suggestions. On the other hand, surveys let you give your customers more in-depth lines of questioning without the hefty price tag.
Consider this spot-on example from Adweek, which stated that “at Form Beauty, which sells hair-care products for people of color, online shoppers who complete a 15-question survey receive a list of five or six products that match their hair-health needs, along with advice on how to use them.”Imagine the impact that offering customers this type of question-based personalization could have on your store’s conversion rates. If you want to get started crafting up your customization options right away, check out Survey Monkey – which runs about $32 a month for basic customized survey options, and $99 a month for advanced.
Hit Customers with Promotions They Can’t Ignore
Every day, customers face a veritable onslaught of promotional messages. This makes it hard for retailers to cut through the noise and to influence customers or potential customers, even if said consumers are already members of your loyalty program and have been shopping with your company for eons. Don’t take this to mean that customers don’t respond to promotional messaging. Smart Insights reports that marketing emails from small to mid-sized retail businesses receive a 23.7 percent open rate, and personalization is the differentiating factor on whether these email opens lead to click-throughs and conversions.
According to MarketingProfs, most consumers (55 percent) want retailers to deliver more targeted promotions and discounts though email advertising. To do this, you first need to segment your customers based on their demographic, purchasing behavior and/or location. “Segmentation” can sound both intimidating and pricy if you’re not familiar with this type of marketing, but it can be as simple as putting your customers on different marketing lists based on the products they initially purchase with your company, or as easy as working with a low-cost solution provider to run your loyalty program straight from information gleaned from your POS system.
Hear Customers’ Concerns as You Expand
In the end, customer willingness to interact with your personalization initiatives will be the determining factor in whether or not these initiatives are ultimately successful. Each store’s unique customer base will vary in their receptivity to various personalization initiatives. While some customers won’t want to join email lists, others will trade personal information for money-saving promotions, and others will only respond to physical flyers, for example. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to track the results of your marketing campaigns or – for smaller stores – to touch base with your customers and see which promotional methods they prefer.
Successfully targeting your customer starts with knowing your customer and using that knowledge to create a marketing campaign that’s suited to them. The more your customer can participate in this experience, the better. Ultimately, the goal of personalization initiative is to drive revenue and to increase brand awarenessThe most successful personalization initiatives starting with a conversation between a customer and retailer every time.
Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this July 29-August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas.
By Jasmine Glasheen, RetailMinded.com