The Customer Journey—we’ve all heard it. For the last decade, the retail industry has been obsessed with this idea of 1:1 marketing. Every brand wants to give the consumer an ideal customer experience, unique to each shopper. Platforms, technologies and marketing clouds have all offered tools to map those journeys. And sure, while journeys are more relevant than batch and blast, the journey map still completely misses the point of true individualized marketing. This strategy focuses primarily on a single channel or point in time, when in reality, one single behavior doesn’t dictate everything you should know about your customer.
Now, marketers are realizing that though the idea of a customer journey is ideal, it’s impossible to map, manage and scale to the actual interactions that customers are having with brands. To truly deliver on this personalized marketing, retailers need to do more than respond to customer interactions in real-time—they need to anticipate their customer’s needs. Putting your customers at the focus of interaction management will allow you to deliver individualized customer interactions.
Here are three key tenets that will put you on the path to true personalization:
1. Harness Customer Data and Make it Actionable
It all begins with data. A real-time view of customer interaction across your digital assets as well as your physical store locations will drive immediate returns, not to mention provide a much more relevant experience for your customers.
One of our clients, Value City Furniture, expressed their desire to move towards an omnichannel experience for their customers. By collecting consumer behavioral data, they identified a segment of shoppers who were highly engaged online, but had yet to make a purchase. They decided to launch an automated, enhanced and personalized shopping cart abandonment program, capturing 283% more revenue than they had previously.
2. Respond to Individual Customer Interactions in Real-Time with Personalized Content
As your customers are browsing, carting and purchasing on your website and in-store, this is a great opportunity to respond in real-time to those customer interactions with personalized content.
For example, Eddie Bauer launched a Checkout Abandonment campaign to identify users who may have experienced difficulties completing the checkout process. With the help of SmarterHQ, Eddie Bauer examined their shoppers’ behavior on the website and was able to provide these customers with personalized emails urging them to complete the checkout process. This resulted in an 11% increase in triggered email revenue.
3. Anticipate Individual Customer Needs through Prescribed Content
Once you’ve nailed down responding to interactions based on real-time activity, the next step is to create interactions that anticipate the customer’s needs by suggesting products. Finish Line enabled the category browse campaign that deployed gender, brand, and category-segmented hero and ad tile personalization on women’s category page to their website, and resulted in a 14% lift in category sales.
Making the move from the customer journey to individualized interactions doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s necessary. And once you get there, you’ll have reached the ultimate aim of every marketer—true 1:1 marketing.