This post was guest written for Affirm by SmarterHQ CEO, Michael Osborne
Seventy-eight percent of today's consumers will only engage in offers that have been personalized to their own tastes. To some old school brands, this selectiveness might sound picky. But with a handful of online giants personalizing their user experience so well, consumers have a right to expect this sort of treatment everywhere they go. And now it’s up to us to adapt and meet those expectations.
In a recent survey, 51% of marketers said they prioritize creating a more personalized experience as their greatest opportunity to increase customer loyalty and ROI. They’re also very focused on implementing multichannel technology and leveraging data to connect customer interactions and deliver more individualized messaging. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably part of the 51%, so I’ll get to the point: All of this can be achieved through behavioral marketing. Here are three effective ways to personalize the customer experience to convert customers faster and keep them hooked:
1. Improve the Checkout Process
Over 68% of all shopping carts are abandoned mid-checkout. Consumers say they abandon for various reasons—they’re distracted or “just browsing” for the best deal, thought the product was too expensive, aren’t a fan of the shipping costs or delivery time, confused by the user experience, and the list goes on. Personalizing this part of the experience is a surefire way to combat cart abandonment, show the customer you care, and give them that extra push they need to complete the purchase not just with any brand, but with yours. Do this by identifying shoppers who abandon their carts, trigger an email that includes the specific items abandoned, and direct consumers to the cart instead of the product page.
Most importantly, when it comes to strengthening the checkout process, you must be relentless in tracking customer behavior to identify where individuals are hesitating or experiencing issues, whether they’re having payment issues, promo code problems, or aren’t satisfied with the product description. Once you know the cause of abandonment, don’t just send the generic abandonment email; target those individuals with specific messaging based on why they abandoned.
2. Unify Online & Offline Experiences
“Everyone’s shopping online now,” “Millennials don’t shop in-store anymore,” “Brick and mortar is dead”—we’ve heard it all. But the reality is that physical locations are still a very vital and respected part of the experience for consumers, including millennials. In fact, over 50% of millennials say they still prefer to shop at physical locations. There’s also a sizable shift happening with consumers who prefer to browse online and purchase in-store, purchase online and return in-store, and so on—so much so that even larger retailers are accepting Amazon returns in-store to capitalize on the behavior.
Consumers are crossing and interacting with brands across various channels, but they want the same experience no matter where they are. Tracking the experience in both spaces will help you appeal to the customer better by personalizing every interaction. Break down the division between the two to keep your multichannel customers happy and analyze their behavior to understand how you can cater to them better when they inevitably shop both online and in-store.
3. Amp Up Your Batch-and-Blasts
Sixty-two percent of today’s marketers are still focused on mass marketing as a top email strategy. It’s clear bulk emails aren’t going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize the content in these emails to better connect with and convert particular customers who have engaged at varying levels in-store and online. A great way to incorporate dynamic content, such as product recommendations or recently browsed or carted items, is to implement a module into existing sends that pulls product feeds based on prior behavior.
With flooded inboxes aplenty and unsubscribe rates at risk, consumers only want to see the most relevant emails offering certain information they can take advantage of: 87% of consumers actually admit to buying more when they receive personalized messages from brands. Personalizing your mass marketing means you can send to your entire email list and get the most out of your campaigns and resources, while also showing individualized content in that same email. Now that’s what I call a win-win.
Learn more about email campaigns that can help recover abandoned sales and retain customers with the Retail Behavioral Marketing Playbook.
About the Author
As CEO of SmarterHQ, Michael Osborne provides grounded leadership and unwavering focus on building SmarterHQ's innovation, growth and success. SmarterHQ is the leading multi-channel behavioral marketing platform, empowering B2C marketers to personalize individual customer interactions in real-time. They work with some of the world’s largest brands—such as Bloomingdale’s, Santander Bank, Omni Hotels, and Finish Line—to drive outstanding business results and have been recognized by Forrester’s Total Economic Impact study to deliver 667% in ROI.More Content by Michael Osborne