Do you know who your customers are? It’s increasingly important. Research shows that a solid personalization strategy lifts conversion rates and can boost the bottom line. It’s why marketers are leveraging data from customers’ browsing and purchasing history to offer more customized content, relevant product recommendations and meaningful offers. Even small businesses can find ways to add a customized touch. Here’s how businesses of any size can capitalize on the trend.
Go ahead and ask
As Canadians, we often don’t like asking for things that we think may offend. However, as the value of personalization rises, more retailers are proactively asking customers to fill out detailed profiles. After all, what’s the harm in a question? The more retailers ask, the more customers are getting used to the concept, and their willingness to provide data in exchange for a better web experience is growing.
Shoppers today increasingly use a flexible mix of digital and physical interactions with the retailer as they make their way down the purchase path. Personalizing this interaction will impress connected customers. The future will see more retailers experimenting with location-based services and beacon technology that allows them to see who’s shopping where, and when - enabling them to cater to shoppers on the go.
Customer expectations are growing and changing as fast as retail itself. Shoppers already assume they can connect and transact on any device, and they increasingly expect to have the ability to begin a transaction in one channel and conclude it another, seamlessly. Savvy retailers are investing in omni-channel technology that allows them to recognize, access and leverage a customer’s profile across any and all channels.
For many retailers, technology and its unrelenting demands can be a colossal headache. But where there are headaches, there are emerging sectors that develop cures. More e-commerce solutions providers are offering retailers easy ways to integrate personalization capabilities into their retail environments.
Bang for a buck
Budgets are tight; profit margins slim. Not all retailers can afford to invest in tech-based personalization that will wow their customers. But despite all the high-tech talk, customers are often impressed by simple, meaningful effort. It may be 2015, but a handwritten personal thank-you card placed in a parcel still goes a long way.
Know the line
Yes, there is an undefined point where retailers can unsettle their customers by seeming to know too much about them. It doesn’t pay to ignore the cultural debate over privacy, examples of unethical data selling, or high-profile security breaches. Customers are open to providing personal information, but they expect retailers to be transparent over how that information will and will not be used.