If you don't know your customers' needs and preferences, you won't be able to give them what they want nor meet their expectations. Personalized customer interaction helps business owners gain important insights into the priorities of their target audience and use them to offer a more customized experience.
In today's highly competitive market, providing customer personalization experiences is no longer a rarity but a necessity. This article will discuss how personalization helps convert website visitors into customers and increase their loyalty.
Current Opportunities for Integrating Personalization into Your Business
Getting your name mentioned in a marketing newsletter seemed like an absolute miracle not too long ago. Yet, today, many different tools for maintaining customer engagement help businesses grow in a crowded and highly competitive marketplace.
People are More Attracted to Brands that:
- create an impression of a robust and friendly relationship with them;
- understand their preferences;
- take their needs into account.
That is why business owners use personalized marketing strategies. It's a way for brands to customize the messages, letters, offers, and services they provide according to the unique characteristics of each customer.
Some of the most common personalized marketing tools include:
- push notifications;
- product selections according to customer interests;
- chatbots based on artificial intelligence (AI);
- loyalty programs;
- customized emails (as shown in the example below).
Later in the article, we will discuss many of them in more detail.
Image taken from Strikingly
The Importance of Personalized Marketing Strategies
What does the ability to personalize the service result from? Marketers have to collect, analyze, and effectively apply information about customers. Now each business owner can obtain any data concerning:
- the geographic and demographic properties of the target audience;
- their preferences;
- behavioral patterns.
This makes it possible to organize marketing campaigns that resonate with potential customers.
To understand the necessity of personalization, it's worth remembering your own experience as a customer. Do you like the individual recommendations and offers when you visit a brand's site? Are you comfortable with the content that's tailored to you based on products and services you've purchased before? It's possible that you haven't even noticed these conveniences, gotten used to them, and thought of them as a regular occurrence.
Current technologies have raised customer expectations to unbelievable heights. People are used to getting what they want, and they expect brands to treat them with care and accompany them through all stages of cooperation.
This is why matching customer expectations is the most critical task for marketers. They should intelligently use the personalization approach to keep clients engaged with the brand and have them return again and again.
As part of customer personalization, it's essential to know your customer's needs and foresee the questions and problems they might want to solve. An AI-powered chatbot can be a handy tool in this regard. It can automatically answer the customers' most frequently asked questions, e.g., opening hours, availability of certain products, payment methods, or parcel status. Thus, customers will be able to get information about your business quickly and at any convenient time.
You can see an example of a chatbot in the screenshot below.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
Benefits of the Personalization Strategy for Business
Customers prefer brands that address them by name, know their preferences, and therefore provide relevant information. That’s why a business owner must find effective ways to use customer data to serve his audience.
With so many of your competitors fighting for customers, it's important to understand how to capture the attention of your target audience. And customer personalization can help you do that by bringing a range of important benefits to your business.
∙ Lead generation
Companies that personalize their marketing get more leads than competitors who don't apply this approach.
∙ Conversion growth
A personalized approach helps to increase the number of those who turn from visitors into customers.
∙ Building relationships
Customer personalization allows you to get closer to your clients and create a feeling of a personal connection with the brand.
∙ Improved cooperation experience
Customized offers allow you to satisfy customers, make them feel valued, and reduce negative feedback and complaints.
∙ Customer retention
Providing clients a unique service increases their loyalty and allows you to turn them into fans of your brand.
You can see an example of offering personalized services to enhance customer retention in the screenshot below. This company allows customers to make a custom print at no extra charge.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
So we've talked about a range of benefits of using personalization. Now we're going to try to figure out what the techniques are and see how to use them for the maximum benefit for your business.
5 Customer Personalization Techniques
Customers demand highly targeted and personalized content from all brands, including those they already follow. And this personalization approach will undoubtedly remain relevant for business development in any sphere soon. That's why all wise business owners are already using it or thinking about implementing it.
Therefore, the question arises: how exactly do you apply customer personalization, considering a huge number of customers and without damaging business processes?
Below we will talk about the main methods you can use in your business.
1. Data Collection
If you want to provide your customers with personalization opportunities, you first need to analyze your data about them. It is an essential first step necessary for developing an effective marketing strategy.
What actions should be taken? Here are three basic options.
- Conduct surveys and questionnaires for customers.
- Collect comments and feedback from social network followers and email subscribers.
- Use site analytics to study user behavior.
2. Audience Segmentation
Once you gather enough data for analysis, you can easily segment your audience according to different factors. It will allow you to make a plan for future content creation.
What are the characteristics that can be used to differentiate an audience? Here are 5 of the most important ones.
- Location (customers can be divided into local, regional, and global market groups).
- Education (buyers with a university degree review offers more carefully and often make thoughtful decisions).
- Income level (affects purchasing ability and interests).
- Buying habits (help identify the personal interests of your customers).
- Age and gender (influence many vital shopping factors).
3. Use Your Strategy in Different Channels
With advanced tools, such as incentives or recommendations, you can deliver personalized messages to customers explicitly formulated to achieve a particular outcome.
Personalized incentives take into account each customer's reaction to the previous incentives. This is done to make the most relevant offers to them based on that and increase your profit. For classic platforms, a method for accomplishing this task is to integrate dynamic content.
After collecting and segmenting the necessary information, you can begin to use a personalization strategy through all available channels and platforms. This can be email campaigns, social networks, external advertising, and others.
4. Implementing the Personalization Strategy Along the Entire Customer Journey
What steps can be taken to enhance personalization at each stage of the customer journey? Here are some crucial tips.
- Advise and suggest
At the beginning of a customer's journey, it's a good idea to encourage them to order your products or services. You can include a "You may also like", "Recommendations", or "Related products" section on your site to show the personal items that may attract him.
- Simplify the search
Don't forget to customize Magento on-site search (or that of other platforms) so that results show full product previews with their price, name, photos, and additional information. It also encourages shoppers to start buying more products.
- Stand out from your competitors
Think about offering your customers something they won't find with your competitors. It's a great idea to give your clients the opportunity to create a unique product that nobody else has, i.e., via a product builder.
As an example, below is a screenshot from the website of a company that offers customers the creation of unique items with a custom design in addition to manufactured clothes.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website
- Use personalization messages
When people add something to the cart, it doesn't mean that they will make an order. In many cases, they leave the site without making a purchase. To reduce the number of orders abandoned in the cart, use personalization messages and emails to encourage people to return to the store and pay for the products they like. It can also help turn clients who have already purchased before into loyal customers.
- Implement a loyalty program
Offer existing customers a rewards program to encourage them to continue their relationship with your brand. It could be, for example, offering a personalized discount, the amount of which will depend on the total amount of the customer's orders, birthday greetings and gifts, and so on. This way, you can show your clients that you appreciate them.
As you see, you can apply customer personalization to every step of the client’s digital path.
It is vital to ensure that your online store provides a high level of customer service at every stage. After all, the essential part of customer personalization is making sure that your existing customers and potential buyers are sufficiently engaged in the shopping process as they browse pages, place orders, and finally pay.
5. Analysis of the Effectiveness of Customer Personalization Techniques
The performance of personalization techniques needs to be monitored. It is best to run a marketing campaign for a few weeks and then analyze the results. This way, you may assess the results more accurately.
It's also important to remember to double-check all the changes to make sure you have a clear picture of how the whole process is going.
It is worth periodically reviewing their effectiveness and revising your marketing campaign strategies when integrating the personalization processes. It would help if, from time to time, you asked yourself the following questions:
- Has there been any new feedback from customers since the implementation of a particular technology?
- Is the chosen strategy working correctly?
- Are there any additional automation adjustments needed?
Monitoring the running processes will help improve customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of the applications used.
Personalization is one of the most powerful methods of providing customers with the high quality of service they expect. Some of the methods mentioned above require more money and time to integrate, and some of them are not as expensive and are quite easy to apply (e.g., product recommendations). So our advice is to constantly implement personalization mechanisms, monitor their results, and ensure that the level of service is continuously increasing.
We hope you will find the above information helpful and that it will help you start the customer personalization process smoothly. Using these processes correctly will help you grow your customer network and enhance your competitiveness in the market.