Personalisation can be an overwhelming prospect. There’s so many tools at a retailer’s disposal, so many tactics, and so many touchpoints of the customer journey to consider. According to Salesforce, 73 per cent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, but only 51 per cent of customers say companies generally do.
Whilst knowing your customers and what they want might seem like an elusive holy grail, technology has come leaps and bounds to assist with threading in personalisation into the customer journey with ease.
Retailers can implement a few simple strategies to ensure their personalisation is on point for any crucial sales events.
Go beyond personalising ads
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a supercharged acceleration of online shopping. Australia and New Zealand’s ecommerce growth was the highest across the globe at 108 per cent in Q2, 2020, according to Salesforce.
For retailers, this represents a golden opportunity — with more people shopping online than ever before, personalising the customer experience becomes easier. Data and analytics can be embedded into an online shopping experience far more effectively than in-person, and having a system that speaks across all touchpoints, such as email, social media, and SMS.
Many retailers have perfected the craft of audience precision in advertising — the highly individualised targeting and messaging of online ads gets more sophisticated each year. But while the ability to attract ideal customers with advertising improves dramatically, retailers tend to neglect the next step.
Once a prospect reaches a website, the finely-tuned ad leads back to a generalised homepage or product page, meant for everyone and anyone, which disrupts the flow of the personalisation.
The implications are worth consideration: if you go to the trouble of personalising your advertising to drive customers to your online store, why not close the loop by personalising the website too, and converting them to a sale? For example, personalising the product browsing or checkout experience for shoppers already on your website.
Experimentation will lead to future success
The key to successful personalisation, whether it’s on advertising or website, is to remember that everything is an ongoing experiment. It’s by making assumptions, testing them, and seeing what works. From there, you can build on those learnings to revise, test again, and eventually reach your personalisation nirvana. But the clue is in the name — personalisation can, by nature, never be a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you’ve not delved into personalising the shopping experience on your website, why not
start experimenting now to properly strategise prior to bigger shopping peaks like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day?
Location, location, location
Understanding buyer preference dependent on their location is an often overlooked aspect of the personalisation suite. Through analysing location-based traffic and related Google Analytics data, patterns can begin to emerge about what designs, sizes, or flavours are resonating with customers in a particular region. LeSportsac, a designer bag company, recently implemented a recommendation feature on its website based on “Trending Sellers by Location.” This enabled completely unique sets of products to be exposed to clientele in a certain region, instead of a generalised product page.
Traditionally, the advantage of offering individual attention to customers has remained with brick and mortar retail stores. Advances in technology now mean personalisation is an approachable and scalable undertaking for an online store of any size.
Robin Marchant is head of marketing for Asia Pacific at Shopify.