Introducing – or enhancing – the use of personalisation across online retail is an obvious and strategic business decision. When the experiences of existing and prospective customers are more relevant and accurate, it’s logical enough to assume that this will lead to incremental results overall.
Learning to interpret and use this store of information in a meaningful way – both from the
perspective of the business and the customer – is the real challenge for retailers, and the most important obstacle to overcome. After all, it can only be called personalisation when it demonstrates understanding. Until then, it’s just data.
To help understand how to implement personalisation across ecommerce better, here are three key tips:
1. Speak To People As Individuals
An individual cannot be reduced to a segment or a browser history; we are complex human beings, after all. Employ methods that establish the identity of a visitor, no matter which device they use to shop.
One of which is the use of deterministic data. Such data can verify the identity of the visitor and includes email addresses, login data from the publisher, logins by the shoppers and data related to payment cards. This relatively simple method can clarify who the visitor is, while allowing the retailer to address them precisely and practically.
The real key is to find, verify, and use data that is the most specific, and therefore likely to be the most relevant. For example, a shopper may have entered one email address for a newsletter sign- up, unbeknownst to the retailer that that address is one of several dormant accounts. However, an email attached to a payment card is likely more active, relevant, and therefore a more reliable method of establishing the shopper’s true behaviour.
2. Communication Is A Dialogue Over Time
As much as we always want to talk to our customers online, it’s more important to listen to them. The rules of personalisation are the rules of human; one-to-one communication.
Look at the in-store experience: It’s counterproductive for a staff member to try and sell something else to a customer after they’ve already made a purchase and are heading out the door. They simply thank the customer for visiting. Retailers should keep speaking to consumers in a way that is meaningful to them and contributes to a successful shopping experience.
3. Measure Success In The Long Term
The rapid rise of eCommerce and digital has meant retailers have been driven toward short-term metrics, based on typically low-funnel actions. But lifetime customer value, as the name suggests, is a long-term metric.
Having short-term goals encourages retailers to over-communicate – essentially, shouting to customers, and the value you create or find in a shopper cannot be understood with an attribution model based on the ‘last click’. Brand is built over time, so measurement of that – the increasing value of your customer base – will take time also.