Today’s shopper makes purchases both in-store and online and expects to engage and benefit from the retailer’s brand in both venues. The path to purchase often runs across multiple channels, with the consumer being influenced by a myriad of digital options that they use for product research and final purchase.
Personalization helps shoppers feel special and understood, and involves customizing your marketing to reflect consumers’ behaviors and preferences. To compete effectively, consumer goods and retail companies are using omnichannel personalization to engage consumers, and offer them the convenience to browse and buy products however and wherever they choose.
With the advent and harmonizing of solutions that fuse sophisticated phones, SMS marketing services, mobile apps, mobile coupon platforms and data analytics, retailers can engage in automated omnichannel personalization to deliver marketing that aligns with a customer’s specific behaviors, such as their purchase history and coupon interactions.
Personalization On the Move
Accenture found 73% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that personalize their shopping experiences. eMarketer found data-driven marketing led to revenue increases for 57% of marketers and 56% of marketers say personalized content drives higher engagement. According to Media Sales Today, approximately 104 million U.S. consumers used mobile coupons last year. Furthermore, 65% of consumers redeemed an offer within five minutes of seeing it.
Perhaps the most impressive statistic to retailers is that 39% of customers spend more if they receive a personalized coupon.
Although paper coupons are still wildly popular in certain verticals, consumers are increasingly being offered special deals and discounts via their smartphones and social media. A more recent trend is the ability for retailers to issue automated campaigns based on consumer behavioral data. The data triggers for automation can include mobile coupon redemption, mobile coupon interaction, purchase history, as well as demographic information.
Armed with this kind of data, retailers can deliver personalized offers, relevant reminders and marketing alerts, and even create a feedback loop with surveys or Net Promoter Scores.
Data Analytics Help Retailers Bond with Each Customer
With mobile usage already surpassing desktop, and mobile marketing expenditures to account for $31 billion by 2017 according to eMarketer, it’s crucial that data from mobile interactions be included in personalization efforts. But it’s not as simple as optimizing the mobile channel, because that’s only part of the omnichannel customer journey.
While 65% of multi-screen consumers begin their shopping process from a smartphone, and 68% use their phones in stores, they often complete the purchase at a POS, according to Forrester. Only by integrating data from mobile interactions with that from other channels can marketers get an accurate view of the journey to conversion and then optimize it.
Retailers need to learn what makes their customers tick and then translate that data into frictionless personalization campaigns across channels. The key to successful omnichannel personalization is finding a way to capture relevant and actionable data, and being able to sift through noise to create critical 360° customer profiles. High quality data provides comprehensive customer profiles, from which an optimized and personalized customer experience can be created and executed at every interaction both in and out of stores.
To truly know consumers at the individual level and serve them better, retailers need to unify all the disparate sources of consumer data within the company, including in-store transactions, online browsing, loyalty points and social media. Retailers must ensure product data is accurate, consistent and complete to enhance efficiency, inbound product discoverability and personalization.
Mobile Redemption – It Keeps On Giving
Mobile marketing solutions featuring one-time-use coupons and redemption tracking can be a win-win for the customer and the marketer, and provide the marketer with ‘extra points’ since the customer’s behavior can be fed back into ‘a virtual think tank’ of data analytics that makes sense of the customer’s behavior as it relates to making a specific purchase.
Empathy and Context – The Medium Matters
Without a doubt, retailers will increasingly engage customers via mobile solutions. But that doesn’t mean ignoring traditional modes of marketing communication. In fact, digital and non-digital marketing must complement and supplement one another.
When thinking about customer behavior, also think about the communications devices that they use at any given time. A customer at home in their study using email is different from a customer on-the-go using their smartphone to send and receive emails. And don’t forget the power of text message marketing. Fast, simple, and with an engagement rate that typically exceeds 80%, communicating with the customer via text is a must-consider for any omnichannel personalization campaign.
Effective omnichannel personalization forces you to think about your audiences and the context for their interactions, a prerequisite for delivering great customer experiences – and increasing average basket size.
Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker, a leading provider of mobile marketing solutions that help retailers convert shoppers into buyers. He was CEO of Framework Technologies, VP of Open Market, and CEO of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. His articles have appeared in Chain Store Age, Retail Customer Experience, Retailing Today, and Street Fight. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.