Personalization is a very important part of any organization’s marketing strategy. It is a scalable aspect that can build trust and rapport with customers to keep them coming back and is essential to success in the retail sector. As we’ve learned from many trials and many errors, it can go terribly wrong without proper thought and execution from the marketing team behind the strategy. Here we share a few things to keep in mind if you want to nail down a relevant, effective and valuable way to personalize marketing in retail.
1. Deliver Relevant Product Recommendations: Retargeting is an established digital-marketing feature but where can it go awry? When customers start to find it creepy that the exact next webpage they visit advertises the sunglasses they were just browsing, and then their Facebook page pops up with the same item again. Ads that appear too soon, too often or too late in the shopping process probably won’t trigger the shopper to go back and buy the item but more likely to avoid the website triggering the ads all together.
How to use Product recommendations properly? Making sure recommendation algorithms are finely tuned enough to offer relevant items that may compliment a previous purchase, like a selection of hats for someone who just purchased some Ray Ban sunglasses, is key. But keeping track of who responds to retargeting ads and messages is also important. Be ready to limit and cap messages for those who don’t respond.
2. Timing and Content Are Everything: Behaviors, patterns and habits of shoppers have been studied and proven valuable when applied to marketing strategies. Knowing when shoppers are in “shopping mode” will make a message about a 10% discount for first-time shoppers a lot more exciting to the shopper, and more effective for the retailer. Using data from previous orders to remind a customer about an upcoming birthday or anniversary and a product they ordered last year at that time, such as a bouquet of flowers, will also prove the importance of timing in personalization.
3. Utilize Back-In-Stock or Time-To-Repurchase Reminders: If customers have already set-up reminders then loyalty and trust are the natural next steps. Reminding customers of an item they really wanted but was no longer in stock a couple weeks after the initial interaction will not only be a nice surprise to your customer, but will make them feel truly appreciated and confident in making a purchase. Amazon has set up automatic subscriptions for daily items such as hand soap, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. This is a strong personalization option to offer for any retailer selling items that need to be repurchased frequently.
4. Harness the Power of Loyalty Programs and Personalized Discounts: These two personalization strategies tell customers they’re important. Data collected by a simple membership number on any retail platform can help a company drive sales by offering special discounts on items customers buy all the time. One leader in personalization when it comes to loyalty programs and personalized discounts is the Dutch supermarket giant Albert Heijn. Not only do they offer weekly personalized “Bonus” item discounts for every loyalty program member, they also turn grocery shopping into a sort of game with point saving programs every half-year to get discounts on items such as dinnerware or kitchen equipment. Even though this supermarket doesn’t have the lowest prices it’s still incredibly popular because of all the personalized discounts and fun, rewarding, value adding loyalty programs they offer.
Personalization is key to winning loyal customers. Make sure that personalization stays relevant and authentic by following these tips and being considerate of what the customer wants when planning a personalized marketing strategy. Now go out there and properly personalize to really see the benefits come rolling in.