Guest Blog Post By: Oracle + Bronto
People often use the terms segmentation and personalization interchangeably, but that’s a mistake. They’re similar, but not the same. Segmentation is dividing your market base into groups that have similar data sets. For example, coffee and tea drinkers. This is a basic level of personalization, sure – but it’s not deep or meaningful. It doesn’t tell us more than surface level information.
Personalization customizes a consumer's experience on a much deeper level. By understanding a consumer's shopping behavior, and using that information to anticipate their next move, savvy marketers can communicate with their customers in a way that is both meaningful and engaging to them. These marketers will be able to tell us if the coffee drinker likes their coffee black, with cream and sugar, or iced.
In today’s competitive retail market, this kind of information is the least consumers expect from retailers. So, what are some personalization strategies that can make the difference between a consumer that browses and a consumer that converts? Let’s find out.
When a consumer is browsing on your page, but doesn’t add anything to their shopping cart, you risk that sale becoming a lost opportunity, but it doesn’t have to be. Browse recovery is a way to automate personalized messages based on what they’re looking at, and give them a friendly nudge toward carting an item and completing the purchase.
Better still, you can design these messages based on specific products or categories of products, and even recommend complementary or alternative products that may be of interest. If they are a past purchaser, you can utilize that data to make these messages even more personal. These automated messages are timely, relevant, disguised as promotional messages, and are high-performers for retailers.
Personalized Cart Recovery
If a customer adds something to their cart but then leaves without completing their purchase, you’re risking another lost opportunity. This is where a personalized cart recovery program comes into play. With personalized touches in your cart recovery program, you can send a targeted email (or several) to your customer to remind them about their abandoned products, provide content that helps them overcome obstacles to conversion, offer product recommendations, and even incentives that help them convert. Remember, it is all about personalization. Use existing data points such as SKUs in the cart, cart total, customer lifetime AOV, or other previous purchase data to shape the most personal message possible. After all, if my cart total is $300, I don’t need to be told that I qualify for free shipping when I spend $50.
Even though your customer has made a purchase, your relationship is far from over. Play your cards right and it’s just beginning. Brand loyalty should not be assumed. It must be earned – and cultivated.
Customer retention is a valuable piece of your marketing strategy that you can’t afford to overlook. When you start focusing on keeping customers, instead of just converting them, their first purchase marks the beginning of your relationship – not the end.
Are you like most retailers and simply sending promotional messages asking consumers to buy something immediately after they just bought something? This is a terrible customer retention strategy. Personalize the post-purchase experience. Instead of sending a promotional message, send them a thank you message. You can even incentivize it if you wish. Send them a message that shows them how to care for their product, offer user guides or tips and tricks, how to reach your customer service department, resource or other blog materials, and even ask them to share content with you on social sites. All of these messages help establish trust, provide a benefit to the customer, and even engage and interact with them. This is how you build loyalty, not by asking them to continuously buy from you.
It's Time to Get Personal
How are you going to earn your consumer’s loyalty – and how are you going to keep it? Personalization can make the difference in building relationships and creating loyalty with your customers. With programs like browse and cart recovery, and true post-purchase campaigns, you’ll be on your way to personalizing every customer experience, every time.
About Oracle + Bronto
Oracle + Bronto arms high-growth retailers with sophisticated marketing automation to maximize revenue opportunities. The Bronto Marketing Platform powers personalized multichannel content that generates the higher engagement needed for retail success. Keenly focused on the commerce marketer, Bronto continues its longstanding tradition as a leading email marketing provider to the global Internet Retailer Top 1000 and boasts a client roster of leading brands, including Rebecca Minkoff, Timex, Lucky Brand, Theory, Brooks, Ashley Homestore and Christopher & Banks. For more information, visit bronto.com.