Personalization

Top 4 Personalization Opportunities Your Retail Brand Might be Missing (Part I)

Are you a retailer looking to expand your personalized marketing programs? If so, read through these must-do and quick-to-implement initiatives. If you aren’t doing these, then they should be next on your list to tackle. If you can’t do them, you should investigate your technology and team resources to see where you have gaps or blockers. If you are already doing them, stay tuned for the next installment where we discuss more personalization opportunities for retail.

1. Personalized new-customer welcome programs

One of the most influential moments in a customer’s journey occurs right after they make their first purchase. The messages contained in these early interactions will typically have the highest conversion rates, revenue impact, and influence in shaping how that customer engages with your brand in the future.

Your welcome program’s goal is to motivate repeat purchases and build loyalty. This is best accomplished by recommending or upselling products based on previous interaction data. Timeliness is also critical. Typically only 25-30% of brand’s new customers make a repeat purchase, and delaying engagement with these customers only lowers the odds of them becoming long-term customers.

Post-purchase messaging is also an important opportunity to solicit customers reviews, fueling organic search results for future customers and providing critical brand feedback. It is common for less than 1% of customers to write reviews and provide ratings, a massive missed opportunity to learn and forge stronger customer relationships.

Best practices

A new-customer welcome program should provide compelling reasons to purchase – pulling from the right assortment of products, offers, and content that aligns with each customer’s unique preferences and purchase intent. Timing, channels, and number of touches also matter.

For example, many brands will send an initial communication but only do so on a single touchpoint or channel. Other brands will neglect to use the data they have about individuals to personalize their content.

Unfortunately, many brands still get some of the most important basics wrong. For example, one major American retailer consistently sends women’s clothing recommendations to customers who are male. This retailer would likely see huge returns from simply investing in gender segmentation.

The business rules to determine creative personalization can quickly become unwieldy, which is why strategic segmentation choices, coupled with the right personalization technology, are critical. Typically, it will take tests of three or more unique communications to get the content and timing of the messages right. And it’s well worth the effort.

The value

Personalized, new customer welcome programs can have 5-15X returns, with incredible engagement rates. One major brand, whose average email open rates hovered around 10%, saw new customer welcome email open rates top 50%.

Remember those reviews? Search algorithms on Yelp and Tripadvisor are partially dependent on search volume, so an increase in reviews will drive up ranking. Similarly, conversion rates and discoverability on eCommerce sites are heavily dependent on ratings and reviews.

2. Post-purchase ad suppression

It has happened to all of us. We browse a product, we see advertisements across the web for that product, we buy the product, and then…  we keep seeing advertising for the same product we already bought. This is wasteful marketing at its worst.  Sometimes we’ll even see that product marketed to us ‒ on sale ‒ making us regret the timing of our purchase.

In order to optimize marketing spend, advertising ROI, and customer satisfaction, marketers need to deliver targeted paid media to customers on specific buying journeys, and carefully avoid messaging customers about purchases they have recently made.

Best practices

If you aren’t suppressing online purchasers from retargeting ads, this is the first area to fix. Build eCommerce purchase segments that you can pass to your Demand Side Platform (DSP) or to paid social channels, continuously opting those customers out of further retargeting ads as purchases are made.

The next step is to do the same for customers who see online ad campaigns and then make purchases in-store. For this use case, you will need to build suppression segments from unified customer views that include both offline and online purchases.  Pass these segments into paid social channels or to DSP’s via onboarding tools like Liveramp.

The value

Suppressing recently converted customers has two distinct values. First, cost per acquisition can be reduced by as much as 25-50% when done consistently across channels. This is an enormous savings, especially for brands with advertising budgets in the multi-millions. Second, customer satisfaction soars when brands avoid irrelevant communications, poor targeting, and excessive ad loads. This will also set your brand apart from more complacent competitors who allow their customers to be hounded by products they’ve already purchased.

Next week

Check back next week for Part II where we delve into activating email opt-outs in other channels, and product replenishment campaigns.

What to do if you’re blocked

Both of the above use cases are basic and straightforward to implement if, and this is a big if, your customer data are in order. This means you have customer profiles at the individual level, built from point-of-sale, eCommerce, loyalty, email interaction data, and more. Profiles must contain personally identifiable information (PII) like full name, email, home address, with both online and offline transactions, clickstream, and other behavioral data. Finally, easy, detailed customer segmentation and multi-channel activation are crucial.

For many brands, a Customer Data Platform is the solution providing the necessary foundation to enable basic and advanced personalization initiatives. Amperity is the top Customer Data Platform for enterprise brands with lots of data, many channels, and customers who are demanding more seamless and personalized marketing. To learn more, visit amperity.com/product.

 

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