This article was originally published in SteamFeed.
In the age of personalization, consumers expect every brand touchpoint to be tailored to them. That means marketers need a heightened level of understanding to not only serve up relevant ads, but also connect the dots across devices to lead prospects down the increasingly complex path to purchase.
To build out a personalized experience, you need to consider the entire customer experience along with each customer’s specific needs and persona. Sixty percent of consumers interact with brands through more than one channel, so monitoring their actions and uncovering who they are is crucial for delivering information that will prompt them to purchase.
For example, a prospect might research shoes on your desktop website and like pictures of your shoes on Facebook via his mobile device, revealing his location in the process. Your mobile app would, in turn, provide nearby store locations and information on products available in that particular store.
Adapting to the demand for personalization and the expectation of omnichannel marketing is just as complex as the evolving customer journey itself. But as personalization becomes the norm, not the exception, marketers need to leverage this data to communicate relevant promotions and increase the likelihood of a sale — before their competitors do.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why personalization is an effective omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Best practices for delivering a customized omnichannel marketing experience.
- How to ensure relevance in your messaging and distribution methods.
Why Personalization Leads to Trust and Profits
With intuitive personalization tactics, you can respond to specific consumer needs in real time, which creates trust and value, increases loyalty, and drives conversions. When you can simplify the purchase process, you encourage repeat sales, improved response rates, and a stronger brand perception.
Real-time personalization is also an effective method for retargeting. By tracking consumers throughout the purchasing funnel, you can personalize your offer or message based on their behavior and remarket specifically to prospects who have previously visited your website or mobile app. More than two-thirds of carts are abandoned on average, so recapturing even a small percentage of those can result in substantial ROI.
Most importantly, collecting specific user data across platforms provides you with an in-depth look at your customers and prospects. And when you understand them beyond numbers and figures, they’ll respond with their continued loyalty and business.
Rise to Meet the Growing Personalization Standards
As technology continues to advance, so do the standards for personalization. Eventually, all shoppers will expect a single view across devices with optimized data appearing on your website, mobile app, email, search, call center, and retail store.
To position your omnichannel marketing efforts for success in the age of personalization, follow these best practices:
1. Diversify your data sources. To gain a 360-degree view of your customers, you need to glean insights from various data sources. The more diversified your sources are, the more relevant your messaging and distribution will be. Before you customize your products and offers, analyze customer demographics, psychographics, affinities, and behaviors. As you execute tactics based on these insights, continue to collect customer information across online, mobile, social, and in-store platforms to deliver more personalized offers and optimize each customer interaction. Powerful predictive analytics tools, such as Certona, Monetate, and RichRelevance, can help deliver a relevant omnichannel customer experience.
2. Connect online with offline. Consumers expect personalized experiences that seamlessly blend the digital and physical spaces. Stitch Fix, a clothing mail subscription service, caters to this need by coupling physical experiences with the convenience of online shopping. Based on customer personas and preferences, it combines an online style survey with real-life stylists to curate fashion items for in-home delivery.
3. Keep it relevant, but not creepy. Nothing turns off consumers like interruptive messaging that isn’t pertinent to them. But if you go too far with data, you can create the same irking effect that drives them away. Consumers demand extreme personalization with brand interactions but minimal invasion of data and privacy. Develop a strategy that respects user privacy first while providing relevant information and a consistent experience.
4. Match your content to the device. The type of content consumers read and interact with varies by device type. The desktop lends itself to richer interactive content, while a streamlined product list is more relevant for people on the go.
5. Remember that timing is everything. This speaks to the old “right message, right place, right time” mantra. Timing your content to how consumers interact with their devices will further enhance relevance and engagement.
For example, consumers tend to use their smartphones first thing in the morning, at lunch, and on the way home from work. They spend their evenings browsing on their tablets or working as they research and make purchases from their living rooms. So you might want to introduce them to trends and new products in the morning but offer a promotion or coupon to close the sale in the evening.
6. Always be testing. To hone your strategy, periodically check your personalization performance. A/B testing can be useful when evaluating which variants drive the best results, incite more clicks, and yield higher conversion rates.
Shoppers are more likely to become brand-loyal customers when you can anticipate what they’re looking for in the moment. Deliver a true personalized experience at scale by collecting and applying customer insights and creating a seamless path to purchase. When prospects can pick up where they left off across devices and in-store experiences, you’ll cut down deliberation time and start closing more sales.
How are you making the customer journey a more seamless one?