Last week, I travelled interstate to meet with a client. I’ve made this journey several times and I always use the same hotel every time. Why? Because from the booking process to check-in, to my stay and check-out (and even when I haven’t been there), they’ve always remembered me. Now, I know the hotel has all this information stored in their internal CRM systems, but when the receptionist asks me what I’ve been up to since my last visit and tells me that they’ve reserved the same room for me, it feels great. I feel valued and appreciated, and that the company sees me as more than just a source of money.
It’s like when my friends remember my birthday! Okay, Facebook probably reminded them as well; but it still feels great when people know who you are and act on the information that they have about you.
This is the sort of feeling you want to instil in your customers. Everytime your customer has a touchpoint with your company as they decide to purchase a product from you, you want to ‘remember them’. This is called personalisation in the path to purchase.
The benefits of personalisation
Before we jump in, I want to emphasise that the whole point of personalisation is to make life easier for your customer. Rather than wasting their time starting from scratch each time they interact with your business, we recommend keeping a “Golden Record” so that you have all the customer’s information on hand for easy reference. In fact, a study conducted by Salesforce found that:
- 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised offers or discounts
- 52% of consumers would share personal data in exchange for product recommendations
- 53% would do the same for personalised shopping experiences.
I’ll even go a step further and say that personalisation is not only needed – it’s expected. According to a consumer content survey conducted by Adobe:
- 67% of respondents said it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on their current context
- 42% of respondents said they get annoyed when their content isn’t personalised
- 66% of consumers said that this would stop them from making a purchase.
So, how do you create a truly personalised experience for your customer?
Examples of personalised content
- Email marketing
All email marketing platforms give you the option to personalise emails and include details like your customer’s first name, last name, birthday, location and more (depending on what information you gathered in the first place). Use this to customise your emails by addressing your customer by name, offering deals based on their location, or recommending new products based on previous purchases.
- Product recommendations
First done by Amazon but now seen in eCommerce shops everywhere, product recommendations based on your browsing/purchase history. Not only is this great for customers as they now have a curated wardrobe, but also for your company (since Business Insider says this kind of personalisation can increase sales by up to 10%).
Most eCommerce websites will have some element of geo-personalisation when it comes to delivery methods, but you can use geo-targeting for so much more. Make things simple for your customer by giving them the closest option for in-store pick-ups, repairs, and available stock.
- Continue the experience in-store
If your business has a bricks and mortar front, make sure the customer experience bridges both online and offline. This includes everything from customer loyalty programs and dedicated click-and-collect desks to more advanced forms of tech like RFID, branded apps and beacon technology.
A step-by-step example of a customer’s path to purchase and how it can be personalised
Here we will walk you through what could happen in your customer’s path to purchase. We will call our customer Betty – as that is a good name. And then we will illustrate how you can personalise that experience for your client. Each touchpoint builds on the last one. Here we go…
Betty gets an email from your company – you should know your customers purchasing habits. What has Betty purchased from you in the past? For example if she has bought a Nintendo Switch, you might want to send an email upselling a game and an extra controller.
Betty goes to your website but doesn’t complete her purchase – Send an email to Betty to remind her that she hasn’t completed her purchase, and then send a follow-up email 48 hours later with a discount for continuing her purchase OR retarget Betty with those products in banner advertising.
Betty is scrolling through Facebook later that day – you can set up retargeting campaigns to make sure Betty sees an ad, not only for your company, but for the exact product that she was looking at on your website. Maybe you are even offering 10% off!
Betty is back on your website and clicks to chat – Betty has decided to check if she will get the extra controller in time for a party she is having on the weekend. You should know exactly what Betty is looking at and if it is in stock so you can advise her the best option to get her controller in time.
Betty continues her research on mobile – You can see that Betty is no longer on her desktop and is now on her mobile. You have made a seamless transition for Betty with your responsive website, and made sure her intended purchases are still in the basket waiting for her to check out.
Betty is on a product page – Betty decides to look one last time at the product page to make sure she is choosing the right contoller. She also notices a game that she really wants to try in your Cross-Sell options.
Betty decides to Click & Collect – Based on the advice Betty received on her click to chat conversation, she decides to Click & Collect her items from the store near her work.
Betty picks up the product from store – Betty walks into your store and you immediately know she is there. You have a loyalty program, an app with location sensitivity, and beacons that let floor staff know she has arrived. Betty makes her way to the Click & Collect counter and her products are all bagged up and ready to go. All the common accessories and consumables are available at the Click & Collect desk so upsell upsell upsell!
The product breaks and Betty calls your customer information line – The operator, from one or two questions, knows they are talking to Betty. They know her purchase history and immediately inform her how she can either get the product fixed, replaced or refunded.
Betty goes into a different store to get it fixed or to get a refund – Your staff greet Betty as they are expecting her. With just a couple of simple questions, Betty is provided with a refund or, a time when she can return to pick up her fixed product.
As you can see, regardless of how you choose to interact with your potential customers, it’s clear that personalisation is necessary to surviving in the digital age.
Personalisation is built into all of our projects and we can talk about this topic at length. But really, all you need to know is that we’ll create a strategy that lets you connect with your customer at every stage of the buying cycle.
Get in touch with our team for a free personalisation health check.
Luke’s Tips to Fast-Track Your Personalisation Success with Magento 2:
Like your iPhone, Magento 2 has an app store and you can easily add a POS module that means you have a completely integrated POS that is tightly integrated with your eCommerce website.
Why is this good you ask?
- You can search in your POS and see all your online and instore customers – they become one and the same
- Any online or instore purchases are saved in the same location
- Your coupon codes work online and instore
- It becomes much easier to roll out Click & Collect and Ship-From-Store.
If you have a physical POS and are considering renewing it, then get in touch as my rants are much more personalised in person.