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personalisation

PERSONALISTION AT EVERY POINT IN THE PATH TO PURCHASE

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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%).

  3. Geo-targeting

    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.

  4. 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.

Bonus material

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?

  1. You can search in your POS and see all your online and instore customers – they become one and the same
  2. Any online or instore purchases are saved in the same location
  3. Your coupon codes work online and instore
  4. 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.

SHOP WINDOWS AND HOMEPAGES

If you were to walk by a shop on your morning commute every day, and the display window looked exactly the same for a month, you’d start to form an opinion that there were no new products, no special offers, and no reason to head in outside of necessity.

Companies employ Visual Merchandisers for a reason, they help entice you into the shops with creative and elaborate displays that capture the attention of passers-by enticing them in. That approach has to be the same for your website!

Managing a homepage needs to be the perfect execution of strategy and technology. In this instance, one informs the other and will help determine how you can keep the homepage refreshed and interesting.

Out of the Box features
Depending on your current tech, there are a number of out of the box features that you can switch on, that will work to refresh your homepage –

  • Magento: Take advantage of customer segmentation that serves different products/carousels based on known customer behaviour
  • Drupal: Personalise the experience for returning customers
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Utilise Predictive Intelligence to help make product recommendations using AI

For each of the above examples, you can dedicate retail space on your homepage, allowing the platforms to adjust and recommend products on your behalf. Customer trends and behaviours change, so having recommendations based on the “wisdom of the crowd” is a great way to provide relevant content in a timely manner.

Plugins
Tools like Visual Website Optimiser, Optimizely and Hotjar provide you with the means to A/B test your website. You can interrogate customer behaviour and build up a picture of what expressions, content, and colours are increasing presonses to CTAs or increasing basket sizes.

Strategy
With strategy, you need to have a good understanding of your current limitations and look at ways to keep the homepage looking regularly updates. The use of a Content Calendar is an excellent way of managing key elements of the page ensuring that you are regularly reviewing what is live and what can be updated. Running regular campaigns that are communicated through carousels or other means, ensure that the homepage doesn’t remain “static” for too long.

We firmly believe that a homepage’s content should evolve and update on a regular basis. There is no point providing an excellent offline experience and then having a website that doesn’t mirror that commitment. If you need support with either Strategy or Technology, reach out on the form below.

GOLDEN RECORDS LEAD TO GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

Consumers today expect personalised customer service. Not choosing to focus on this experience will cost you customers and revenue as a result. Creating this experience can sometimes be challenging, but the benefits outweigh the work required to clean your data.

Multichannel customer service points means that customers may communicate with your business in a variety of ways. This can be online or offline and include instore, social media, live chat, email, telephone and more. So aggregating all this data into a single view of a customer is one of the most crucial tasks that retailers need to undertake.

A single view of customer, or a “Golden Record”, means having all information known about a single customer in one place that all customer service teams can access. This then makes it easier to personalise information to that customer, whether for marketing purposes, answering enquiries or dealing with a complaint.

Other benefits that come from being able to collect, aggregate and analyse data and provide better customer service includes more loyal customers, higher conversion rates, greater longevity of that customer and even word-of-mouth referrals.

Cleaning your data
There’s a challenge with collecting all this data and creating a personalised experience, and that’s marketing from a database with dirty data. Examples include data that contains errors, is misleading, incorrect, duplicated, incomplete, non-integrated, violates business rules or is out of date.

Dirty data can have a number of negative impacts on your eCommerce business. Incorrect or outdated information can lead to wasted marketing efforts and lost revenue. It makes it much harder to successfully target the right customers with the right information, wasting company resources and potentially alienating the very customers for which you are trying to create a personalised experience for.

There are a variety of approaches you can take to clean up data and the difference between it mostly being automated to being cleaned manually is dependant on how you currently store that information. Talk to us to find out which is the best strategy for your circumstances.

How can you keep data updated?
A typical strategy is incentivising your customer to come back to your website, or in store, and refresh/update their information – working with your store staff to check this each time can really help improve data quality – but give them a reason to do so.

For example, if they are active on social media and use this as a means of accessing your site, you can target them through various social platforms. Offer discounts, rewards, and serve up relevant content that will encourage them to return and keep updating their personal information. This will not only ensure your data is up to date, but it gives your business the chance to create long-term customer relationships with clients who trust you to deliver what they need.

Another approach is offering them the ability to keep key information updated, in Salesforce Marketing Cloud for example you can provide them with access to a Profile/Preference Centre which allows the user to manually refresh their information. In Magento for example, providing signed in account users with prompts to check their data is another effective approach.

Explain your use of their data
It is important to be clear with customers and let them know how you will be using their data. This can give them peace of mind, and they will be more willing to share their information.

Customers these days don’t like being sold to. They want to enjoy an experience. Not knowing your customer intimately will mean you risk losing them. By explaining how you intend to provide them with timely, relevant advertising, can be critical in turning a golden record into a golden opportunity.

If you would like to discuss strategies in creating a Single View of Customer records or other data issues with The Playhouse Team, you can contact us on the form below, or via email or on Facebook, or on Twitter, or on LinkedIn. You get the idea!

USING PERSONALISATION TO RETAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS

Knowing your Customers is absolutely fundamental if you want to understand the right way to talk to them, and what to talk to them about. Flooding your customers with useless information can be a real turn-off when it comes to marketing; sending the wrong messages at the wrong time can result in losing their trust, interest, and ultimately losing their business.

In this post, we talk about the best way to provide an end-to-end marketing solution that will heighten your customer experience and help you to deliver a more relevant and personalised approach to customer communications.

What is Dynamic Content?
This is a type of content that adapts depending on their access time, personal preferences, and their individual information. Some of the most powerful content is that which is tailored to the individual.

Three of the biggest benefits of dynamic content are listed below:

  • Seamless – The user will be able to receive the dynamic content in such a way that goes completely unnoticed.
  • Interactive – It increases the interactions between the site and the customer.
  • Personalisation – Content can be tailored to the individual based on their previous visit to the website or specific request.

Does Dynamic Content Work?
For Dynamic Content to be effective, is to ensure that it is relevant. Whether we are looking at email marketing or content that is hosted on your website, there is no doubt whatsoever that the more personalised it is, the better results it yields.

According to Jupiter Research, personalised content that is relevant to the recipient is almost 20 times more likely to generate revenue compared to generic non-personalised content. Wow!
Another important point is about nurturing your leads. If you nurture your leads or customers with relevant content, then you can expect to see a 20% increase in revenue as a result of that activity.

How to be relevant comes with having customer data, and using that information in the right way, to result in delivering content that is appropriate to the customer, at the right time, in the right way.

Dynamic Content Suggestions
Ok, so now that we have outlined what dynamic content is and how it can help your business, here are some ways you can start to implement this with your marketing.

Dynamic Content ultimately needs to be intentional, targeted and purposeful. If you would like a few tips on where to start and how to start implementing dynamic content into your end-to-end marketing, then please read on!

Tailor Your Content to The Relevant Stage in The Buying Cycle
The lifecycle of a lead essentially refers to what point in the decision-making process a customer or prospect is at. Are they at a point where they are ready to buy a product or is this their first time visiting your store?

Having this information and tailoring your content to suit the precise point of the buying cycle they are at can help you to avoid over-selling or missing out on an opportunity to position your product to sell. There is a range of dynamic content tools we can help you with, which allow you to get the right information that will help you tailor email marketing or website content to your customers.

Eradicate Repetition
If someone has already downloaded a resource or a particular offer, then repeating that content will serve no purpose whatsoever. You can use specific tools that work to remove repetitive content and prevent it being shown to your customers. This helps to make their visit more purposeful as you can serve them with a fresh offer or new information that could help to increase your conversions and sales overall.

Looking After Loyal Customers
If a customer has already been captured as a lead, hiding content behind a form can be a real sticking point. Why would you make them fill in their details again and again to access content on your site?

You can harness the power of dynamic content to ensure that those customers are recognised and give them a better experience by never asking them to continually enter their personal information to your site. It also helps with the problem of creating duplicated leads in your system.

Relevant Customer Sector or Segment
It is perfectly normal that any company will have a number of different customer personas or target sectors that they frequently deal with. By using dynamic content, you can adapt the content and its relevance to the different sectors that you typically deal with. This gives your target audience a completely tailored experience that really delivers content that is personalised for their needs. You can even serve up images that relate to their specific sector, making them feel like your product was specifically designed for their individual needs.

Pet peeves of mine are when I see retailers not using the customer data a customer has shared to personalise the customer experience. If the customer has setup an online account with a saved shipping address, then use the post code to only show Stores which are nearby. If a customer has subscribed, then don’t use valuable homepage real estate for an email subscription block. Competition is fierce and these touches of personalisation add up to a great customer experience and a retained customer base. (Luke H , Online Strategy Consultant)

Dynamic Content using information that is collected about your visitors helps you to deliver a better customer experience by serving up content which is tailored to their specific needs. When a customer feels important, when they are giving information that speaks to their individual pain points, it will result in more sales and an overall improvement in your customer’s experience.

Need help with platform selection to deliver on a personalisation? Contact our team via our contact form below.