‘Personalisation’ started out as the in-store sales assistant who could instantly infer basic information about their customers, as well as. learn about their preferences and offer them advice throughout the browsing and buying journey. With the dawn of the digital age, retailers sought ways to replicate this one-to-one approach, whilst catering for far larger numbers of visitors.
So, how can retailers determine what ‘real’ personalisation looks like today? Firstly, they should know the difference between segmentation and personalisation. Segmentation involves grouping shoppers based on demographics like age, gender, geographic location and income. Different experiences can then be delivered to different groups of people who share certain attributes. Segmentation delivers recommendations based on group and demographic behaviours but does not engage shoppers on an individual level. For a more personalised shopping experience retailers can add knowledge of each visitor to their website, including location, time of day and weather.
Secondly, retailers need to focus on real-time personalisation. Retailers must understand their shoppers’ behaviour in real time, recognising future intent as well as historic action, and proactively respond to this, tailoring highly relevant content at the most personal, individual level. What does real-time personalisation look like? It is predictive landing pages with tailored offers which boost engagement and conversion; personalised auto-discovery and search functionality which dynamically show the most relevant products based on shopper profile and behaviour; it is targeting content, such as images, promotions and blogs, and showing customers the kind of things they are interested in, to enhance the shopping experience.
Lastly, retailers must integrate this personalised shopping experience across all marketing channels. They must follow an omnichannel approach. An example of said approach:
- Let’s imagine she goes to her favourite fashion brand’s website and after browsing and buys a denim dress.
- She adds the dress to her cart and is navigated to the online checkout.
- On this page, she is recommended a pair of shoes and a t-shirt which match the dress and are in stock, in her size.
- She adds the t-shirt to her basket, deliberates, and then decides against the entire purchase.
- She then receives an email reminding her of the abandoned basket and offering free delivery to store as an incentive.
- After buying the items, she goes to the store to collect her purchase and receives a notification of an in-store sale.
- She picks up a couple of items on special offer, and after leaving the store, is emailed a receipt for all purchases, which are also logged on her online account.
For real customer personalisation, retailers must choose solutions which help them deliver on shoppers’ expectations, as well as operating and integrating across their entire tech stack. Contact Catch the Beat for expert digital and social marketing solutions.