Personalization is one of the top priorities on the agenda of every consumer-facing enterprise today. Many have spent the last decade setting up an infrastructure of consumer terminals and touch points to gather data to fuel analytics. The goal is to leverage that customer information in an effort to create a more relevant consumer experience and foster customer loyalty.
Personalization Relies Heavily on Data
Companies selling via e-commerce channels are working hard to get the right user interfaces in place to gather enough consumer data without driving consumers away. But on the back end, many companies struggle to have the necessary infrastructure in place to sort through the terabytes of gathered information needed to establish useful connections between data used to provide useful recommendations and customized experiences for their consumers. When done right, personalization is a powerful tool which propels businesses to innovate, drive revenue growth (up to 30%), reduce costs, and keep customers coming back for more.
Despite 89% of digital businesses reportedly investing in personalization, many firms still rely on their old in-house technologies. They are missing out on modern solutions with the built-in capability to manipulate data from all the corners of the enterprise and transform it into strategic insight in a fraction of the usual time. Over half of the firms surveyed by Forrester struggle with the lack of funding and resources (51% of the respondents), while 44% don’t have the right technology to support a more sustained personalization effort .
The Customer Obsession
Consumers don’t pay attention to whether a firm can innovate or not. Competition is fierce and fickle consumers have an expectation to be treated intelligently and personally throughout each stage of their engagement with a particular brand. To achieve this effect, the leading players on the market have started to blend key assets to cater to customers throughout their buying journey – and beyond. Some tactics include:
* Customizing content for each individual
* Reviewing transaction histories
* Analyzing session data (69% of companies)
* Applying machine learning
* Using artificial intelligence (AI) — specifically, algorithmic matching (26% of the firms)
* Harnessing creative and customer experience skills (CX)
* Installing data management software
* Utilizing cloud storage (to tackle the large volumes of data)
* Using surveys (find out what kind of customer communications are welcomed and which ones are not and avoid the “creep” factor)
Research shows that customers are generally willing to share information about themselves as long as they feel that it will be safe (protected) and it will enhance the overall shopping satisfaction. As the expectations continue to evolve, companies are shifting away from the traditional model of optimizing internal capabilities for certain market segments towards putting the customer at the center of the firm’s values and operations and individualizing the customer lifecycle to generate an enthusiastic response.
Personalization Done Right
ASOS, the British online fashion and beauty store, is one of the favorite shopping destinations of fashion-savvy individuals around the world.
How does ASOS personalize their offer to cater to each individual who enters their virtual shop?
* Shop entry – Gender personalization
* Targeted promotions on the front page – Free Delivery & Returns, Premier Delivery (unlimited next-day and nominated-day delivery), Promotions for Students and Special Occasions
* On product page – You can input your measurements and weight and ASOS will suggest the optimal fit for you, (a byproduct being the reduction of the number of returns)
* Rich Product Data – Includes product details, codes, brand description, size details (including the model’s measurements for comparison), materials and maintenance, all coupled with beautiful pictures and videos
* “Quick View” and “Save Your Favorite” features
* Email marketing – With tailored promotions for every occasion
In the end, personalization is more than a product; it’s a connected feeling consumers have after a painless shopping experience, which is the outcome of flawless data management across the enterprise.