Meeting your customers' needs with relevant personalisation
By Komal Helyer, Marketing Director, Pure360
What do today’s customers want from retailers? How do they want to be treated? How do they want to be communicated to? There is no doubt that they want messages and offers that are personal and relevant to them. Look no further than the example of Amazon, which has built its business on doing just this. Its recommendation engine has been suggested to improve click throughs by 60%, while other retailers have stated they can go even further.
The brand has proved it knows its customer, understands their needs and can offer a relevant experience that reflects this; all of which has made it industry leading. That said, personalisation is not just for the Amazon’s of the world – it’s something all retail brands should be looking to implement if they want to stand out in a competitive environment.
Personalisation can take many forms of course, and thanks to continually evolving technology this is becoming increasingly sophisticated, creating more opportunities for brands to capture the attention of consumers. There is also an appetite from consumers for the right type of personalised approach, which should provide encouragement. Research we recently undertook highlighted that just under half of consumers would be likely to engage more with a retailer that sends offers that are relevant and interesting to them. So why, with such vast amounts of customer data now available and the technical capabilities, are a large proportion of retailers still missing the mark when it comes to impressing or engaging consumers?
Customers want better dialogue from retailers, and above all, expect to be recognised for their individual preferences and behaviour in return for sharing their data. They want personalisation that offers value and presents a relevant opportunity to them. This should go beyond the timing of an offer or simply including their name is at the top of a message. Retailers should be evolving with their customers to deliver a truly valuable personal touch and deeper connection.
Our research revealed that only 7% of consumers are likely to engage in marketing communications that reference their birthday in the subject line and just 8% would be likely to engage more with a retailer if they addressed them by name in their marketing. Frankly, shoppers have become tired of these techniques, so retailers must do more if they are going to successfully engage and build loyal relationships with customers.
Brands of all shapes and sizes have a huge opportunity to use customer insight creatively. By taking a moment to ask the question; ‘What would I think?’ new avenues for creativity start to form, followed by a desire to push boundaries and standout against other messages invading the inbox. The power rests firmly in the hands of those with a creative appetite. Data doesn’t provide all the ideas, but it does provide an opportunity to validate, test and try them. From here, retailers can embark on building an emotional dialogue, which resonates with customers and really offers stand out alongside the competition.
There is certainly a degree of scepticism amongst today’s consumers when it comes to how retailers are trying to build connections with them. The techniques that were once effective and generated intrigue have become over used and expected, but personalisation is not dead by any means. Relevant personalisation is here to stay for those willing to make the most of the data and technology now available. For the retailers that recognise how to deliver a personal touch to a customer that is valuable, emotive and targeted, the opportunities to connect and build long term loyalty are vast.