Delivering a personalized experience online can be challenging—but it is possible and necessary, especially this upcoming holiday season. Customers want and expect a personalized shopping experience that is meaningful and relevant, but all retailers will be competing on customer experience.
Inflation— in the form of skyrocketing retailer costs and increased consumer prices—will play a key role in the 2022 holiday shopping season. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index, which analyzes global data from more than one billion consumers, online sales will be flat this holiday—so differentiating yourself with personalization is a must. As retail and supply industries struggle to absorb operation costs, leading to higher consumer prices, taking a step back to ensure you give your customers what they want is wise.
Did you know?
You’ll stand a better chance of getting your customer’s attention, engaging them, and persuading them to buy, if the experience is contextually relevant to their wants and needs. And it does not stop with the transaction. What happens after the purchase is just as important, ensuring that the experience continues to delight them through product delivery and customer service.
Personalization matters more than ever, with the pandemic’s surge in digital behaviors raising the bar. Three-quarters of consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic. Personalization drives performance and better customer outcomes. McKinsey & Co reports companies that grow faster drive 40% more revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts.
Customers who willingly share information about themselves expect their shopping experience return to be easy, relevant, and personal. Whether on an ecommerce site, in a brick-and-mortar store, in an email, or on social media, customers expect marketing messages to resonate with them, providing useful content and products or offers relevant to their needs. What are the most important ways retailers can personalize? Deliver easy in-store or online navigation, offer relevant product/service recommendations, and tailor messaging to a consumer’s needs.
Personalization is about creating that same feeling you get at the local restaurant or store at every step of the shopping journey—that 1:1 personal relationship. When done right, personalization has a direct positive effect on the recipe for omnichannel success: loyalty, conversion, retention, and average order size. In digital commerce, brands organically collect customer data through browsing and buying.
However, beyond basic customer profile information, personalization requires a complete view of the customer throughout the shopping journey and across channels, including preferences, habits, interests, etc. The collection of rich customer data is the first step. The most critical and challenging steps are making data actionable and leveraging it to personalize customer interactions through marketing, content, delivery, and customer service.
Today, the personalization topic is taking center stage with far greater frequency. Omnichannel brands with growth strategies, digital marketing effectiveness, ecommerce platform selections, email provider selections, and even organizational design are asking, “What can I do to personalize the customer experience?”
There is no easy answer to that question. There is not a “one size fits all” solution. Delivering personalized shopping experiences at scale—to thousands or hundreds of thousands of prospects and current customers—requires leveraging sophisticated data sets, processes, and technologies. It is overwhelming!
Personalization is a broad and complex topic, but evaluating these top three areas can boost your sales.
1. Personalize to get their attention: Use personalization tactics such as offering targeted promotions linked to your website or a mobile campaign enhanced by social media to ensure you capture and hold their interest. Make sure you use personal information to offer exclusive discounts, solve issues quickly, and offer personalized product recommendations.
2. Close the sale: Once you’ve offered personalized content and utilized best practices on suggestive selling, you can use data-driven decisions to cross or upsell.
3. Delight your customers: What happens after an order is placed? Make sure you handle product delivery and ongoing customer service to cement your relationship with a customer further.
Remember: Businesses that start small and expand their personalization efforts get the most successful results.
The OSF Digital study aims to simplify the current state of omnichannel by breaking it down and providing insight into how brands approach omnichannel personalization using best practices.In this year’s report, we will share tips and insights based on our diverse and extensive work with brands, retailers, and technology providers.
You dedicate time, resources, and budget toward delivering the best customer experience possible. But are you truly meeting customer expectations? How do you compare to your competition? See how you perform against the Omnichannel Retail Index to help prioritize your digital roadmap and make smarter investment decisions.
Download our free white paper, “Personalization in a Hyper-Connected World,” featuring the Omnichannel Retail Index 2022 results.