Create a co-ordinated 'always-on' digital marketing strategy for the whole customer lifecycle to boost conversions and retention
It's no secret that engaging your customers is crucial to achieving continued sales, and it's also well known that it is usually far easier and costs less to get repeat business from existing customers than it is to acquire new ones from scratch. Customer relationship management (CRM) is well established as a process to try to achieve this, but this customer lifecycle 'relationship' begins with the first contact with the customer (when they are still a contact or prospect).
We believe that the best way for a company or brand to build relationships is through a planned always-on marketing approach of integrated communications across multiple digital channels.
To enable this, we're fortunate today to have many martech options for marketing automation, so we can create a co-ordinated contact strategy to engage audiences through:
Website personalization, product, offer and content recommendation services to help retailers and other businesses personalize their proposition to nurture prospects and increase your conversions
The website personalization tools we recommend in this article enable you to segment visitors and then deliver personalized messages of the 'next best product' or 'next best content' within containers on your website as with the classic Amazon personalized recommendations (read their published methodology from this fascinating whitepaper from back in 2003).
I originally wrote this post in 2010 when there were fewer personalization options. I have updated it annually since with recommendations provided via social media - do get in touch if you have a suggestion. The latest update includes the new Google AI Recommendations framework that was introduced in January 2021. A serious new competitor has entered the market to disrupt competition and perhaps reduce fees for retailers. [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id=156146]
Personalized marketing, as we know from our experiences as brand-lovers and as marketers, is the make or break of any e-commerce marketing strategy in a competitive environment
Personalized marketing is all about offering improved user experience (UX) by serving relevant content, or targeting key messages in the funnel, based on your customer’s e-commerce activities and behaviour. Personalized marketing unlocks tactics for retailers to form personal relationships with their customers during their online experience (CX), to nurture leads and drive more sales from digital marketing.
According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests. And with competition at an all-time high, value added by personalized marketing is exactly the tactic your retail/e-commerce marketing strategy needs.
Despite this, customer security and privacy concerns are at their peak. A McKinsey 2020 consumer-data report…
Personalization offers great opportunities for retailers to improve relevance across the customer lifecycle
Successful e-commerce marketing today requires consideration of the full customer path-to-purchase shown below across the Smart Insights RACE lifecycle planning framework.
The infographic shows the vast number of omnichannel touchpoints across paid, owned, and earned media, both online and offline. Ultimately, a successful e-commerce experience for both site visitor and online businesses depends on relevance. If you connect a visitor with the most relevant products and offers, they will see the value and are more likely to convert.
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What is personalization?
Getting website personalization right is hard and I bet you are sick of being told otherwise
I don’t blame marketers for trying to tell you differently of course. It’s immensely frustrating for them too – knowing just how valuable personalization can be and knowing that it will, in time, become a necessity, rather than luxury, for all brands to offer a personal experience to their customers.
Still, industry folk are frequently told we should be getting on board with web personalization and the many different approaches to execution that have been proposed over the last few years. But (and it’s a big but), rarely does anyone address the fact that most businesses have one or more fundamental and significant blockers in place preventing personalization success (more on this later).
It's akin to asking a member of the public to take part in the World Championship triple jump competition and preparing them by showing…
Many businesses, despite spending a huge amount on driving new traffic to their websites are still experiencing poor conversion rates and lack of insight into their visitors requirements
The growth in consumer demand for real-time personalization is at an all-time high. It’s a fact, customers are not only becoming more connected they are also becoming more informed, demanding and unpredictable.
Given the wide range of options consumers have online, retailers are finding that the key to converting their visitors into loyal long-term customers is real-time AI-driven e-commerce personalization.
Through the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, intelligent e-commerce personalization platforms are able to analyze customers’ behavior, learning their habits and enabling retailers to deliver automated, personalized recommenders within search results, promotional and personalized banners and on-page recommendations in real-time.
Why should e-commerce personalization be the main agenda point?
Provides each customer with a relevant…
Personalization stats for 2018 and 2019 show that brands can stay competitive only through a personalized approach to every customer
Today more than ever before, customers are critical of the experiences they get. They want brands to treat them as personalities both online and offline. They no longer accept average offerings and consider customer service as a part of the product they purchase. The Salesforce State of Marketing research showed that in 2018 84% of customers required a personalized approach.
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Behind the vague concept of personalization stand efforts of multiple departments and considerable investments. So how do you approach personalization the right way? How much to invest and in…
Push notifications that are sent at the right time and convey value to the subscriber lower cart abandonment and increase conversions for the e-commerce brand
Did you know that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer? Imagine all the money, time and effort you spend in attracting a new customer who’d visit your store once and then never return.
Alternately, increasing the customer retention rate by as little as 5% can increase your profits by between 25% and 95%, according to research by Bain & Company.
It's no wonder brands focus their efforts and funds on nurturing the relationships with existing customers who’re already buying their goods and services frequently. This in no way means that you shouldn’t market your brand to new customers, which is, of course, vital, but you should also seek to re-engage them.
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Take a look at some of the best personalization examples to help shape your web personalization strategy
In our last few posts we discussed that despite personalization being demanded by consumers, brands are facing some significant blockers when it comes to implementing full-scale personalization campaigns. We also discussed how the solution to the problem was to start with ‘essential personalizations’, which work around the blockers rather than try to solve them outright, but still deliver significant value.
In order to achieve the above, essential personalizations:
Require only the simplest integration with current systems, often just requiring the addition of one line of code.
Are tried and tested by businesses in many sectors and have already proven their value.
Enable the quickest return on investment, helping validate personalization for business and secure further investment.
Require a minimal skill set to implement and present a simple and structured way for a team to gain…
Take a moment to recall the last time you received truly exceptional customer service
It’s probably not that easy to remember, right?
Most businesses strive to give good customer service, but very few stand out above the rest for providing great customer service. If you do happen to remember such an occasion, the thing that probably makes it so memorable is the very fact it stood out as being extraordinary (i.e. not the norm).
That check-in staff member who remembered your name.
That shop assistant who went above and beyond to help you find the best product for your needs.
That hotel manager who took the time to ask for your feedback and then gave you a voucher for your trouble (this one happened to me just months ago, and I now talk about it often).