Shoppers are making no secret of their need and desire for more personalized buying journeys so brands need to start listening and position personalization as a core marketing tactic. Creating a unique and relevant shopping experience for every single customer, based on their individual preferences, isn’t some far-fetched utopian reality. It is no longer a series of daunting tasks. You have the power to level up your brand’s eCommerce marketing strategy with a laser-focused personalized approach so what are you waiting for?
With the latest technological advances, it’s easier than ever before to analyze customer behavior and understand your customers on a more personalized level. Incorporating this data-driven approach into your marketing strategy allows you to deliver targeted messages, special offers, content, and product recommendations that will truly transform and personalize your marketing campaigns. Keep reading to find out how you can do just that!
Keeping up with digitally savvy shoppers
Shoppers have been catapulted into eCommerce since the start of the pandemic and interestingly, Statista reports that more than 2.14 billion people made online purchases in 2021, which was significantly higher than the 1.6 billion that made online purchases just five years earlier. This means that it is more important than ever to listen to your shoppers and customers.
Keeping up to date with the ever-changing habits of our now digital savvy shoppers and looking for innovative ways to take your marketing strategy to the next level can make you want to pull your hair out. With so many things to consider, from which marketing channels to use, to creating personalized content that resonates with your customers, it can be a minefield and may be tough to figure out where to begin. Adopting a customer-centric approach which leverages the voice of the customer is a good place to start.
Customers are constantly promoting your brand and leaving feedback in many different forms, known as user-generated content (UGC). This ‘feedback’ doesn’t have to be in the form of reviews, or testimonials, this can be images on social media, product review videos on YouTube, podcasts, blogs, you name it. By incorporating your customer’s voice into your marketing strategy or even business practices you are automatically on your way to becoming a successful customer-centric brand.
Top tips to use UGC to meet the needs of your digitally savvy shoppers:
- Look beyond likes and shares and use this content to provide social proof and validation in buying journeys.
2. Don’t limit UGC to social media.
3. Integrate UGC into your eCommerce site, CRM campaigns, paid advertising or mobile app.
4. Understand content. Focus on tagging and indexing UGC to ensure it can be delivered to the relevant shoppers.
5. Build data around your customers to understand what content will best resonate with them and influence their purchase decisions.
6. Make decisions about your brand and products by taking your customer’s point of view and feedback into account.
Dynamic Yield research reports that 71% of consumers say a personalized experience would influence their decision to open and read brand emails and that almost 90% of consumers are influenced by eCommerce personalization.
Coca-Cola is an example of a brand who stepped into the shoes of the digital savvy customer by connecting with them with their genius ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Coca-Cola shared that the purpose of the campaign was to create a more special relationship with their customers and inspire shared moments of happiness – they gave the customer what they wanted which turned into social media sensation.
Yes, Coca-Cola is a prime example of using UGC to provide social proof and validation to shoppers, inspiring confidence and fostering product discovery. However, this is not the only use of UGC. This content can be used as inspiration for your brand and a way to inform decisions within your brand and products. UGC can help you understand issues with products, highlight new use cases, and inform product innovations. Key takeaway…make decisions about what your customers want and need by taking their point of view into considerations.
Ok, to summarize, using UGC to validate purchase decisions is all well and good if you’re delivering the relevant content to the right shopper. However, no two shoppers are the same, which begs the question, why are brands continuing to deliver the same messaging, content and product recommendations to every single shopper? This is where data comes in to play. It is vital to understand your customers and shoppers in order to provide each and every one of them with a hyper relevant experience – only showcasing the content and products which are relevant to them. Let’s talk data shall we…?
Customer-centric approach. Where to start?
The foundation of personalization & customer centricity is the oh so glamorous data collection. To become customer-centric you must build an in-depth understanding of your customers to really grasp how your decisions, as a brand, impacts them. Gathering customer data and segmenting it is essential to create targeted and hyper relevant campaigns. Once you get an understanding of your customers and their behavior you have the foundations to implement personalization tactics into your marketing campaigns.
But first, you must understand:
- How you are going to track data – is it a specific tool or a platform?
- How often to track data – most effectively is in real-time of course
- What to track
By building intelligence around your shoppers and customers, you will have the foundations to start building a robust personalization strategy which will keep your customers coming back for more, driving conversions while delivering greater Return on Investment (ROI), as well as Average Order Value (AOV).
91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. – Accenture
However, we have to caveat this with the fact that building an in depth understanding of your customers at scale can be extremely time consuming and resource intensive and that’s not even taking into account the time and resource involved in the execution of the marketing campaigns, which is why brands are turning to innovative technology driven by AI and machine learning to track customer data and deliver personalized buying experience in real-time and make this process achievable and scalable.
How does AI help brands scale their customer-centric approach?
You could strengthen your strategy one step further by looking at the various eCommerce platforms available in the marketplace which use AI and machine learning to streamline, simplify and improve the customer-centric approach.
If you think about it, the majority of our most ‘can’t live without brands’ have mastered personalization, for example:
- Amazon’s personalized recommendations.
- Netflix’s tailored user experience.
- Google’s individualized search results.
- Airbnb’s suggested destinations.
- Facebook’s tailored newsfeed.
You can bet your bottom dollar they don’t have a team of marketers working in the background sifting through customer’s data and manually personalizing buying journeys. No, they use predictive analytics and AI to build an in-depth understanding of their customers to help personalize their buying journeys, in real-time. It’s no longer just the industry giants who are capitalizing on personalization, which means brands who are still ‘thinking’ about personalization need to watch their backs and start thinking about scaling their customer-centric approach to not get left behind.
51% of marketers say personalization is their top priority. – SmarterHQ
What about the other 49% of marketers who don’t see personalization as a priority? Well, these brands who shy away from personalization or don’t see it as a priority run the risk of getting lost in the noise.
Without sounding like a broken record, personalization is something brands can’t afford to forego. It is a sure-fire way to drastically improve brand loyalty, while positively impacting your brand’s bottom line.
98% of marketers say personalization advances customer relationships. – Evergage
Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default or standard calls to action. – HubSpot
Now is as good a time as any to take your brand’s personalized eCommerce marketing strategy to the next level, by enhancing your customers’ experiences, increasing conversions, as well as your ROI. Quite honestly, you really can’t afford not to. Epsilon research finds that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experience and Smart Insights notes that 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.
It is true that eCommerce marketing is constantly evolving as new technologies and platforms are introduced. It can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and know what will work best for your brand.
8 Tips to Keep in Mind
When designing an effective personalized strategy for your brand, keep these 8 tips in mind:
- Data is the foundation: build intelligence around transactional and behavioral data
- Map your customer journey
- Identify your target audience and create your buyer personas
- Make customers part of the solution
- Listen to your customers
- Use the voice of your customers
- Evaluate regularly. Test, test, test the various aspects of your marketing campaigns
- Consistently analyze and optimize campaigns
Or…you can adopt a platform that takes care of everything for you! Enter Knexus.
Create smarter buying journeys with Knexus
Knexus leverages the voice of your customers to validate purchase decisions across individual buying journeys. Knexus uses machine learning to build intelligence around each shopper & customer through the use of transactional & behavioral data. With a single view of all content & an in-depth understanding of each shopper and customer, Knexus uses these insights to pick the most relevant influencer, UGC & brand content to deliver to the shopper at the key moment of their buying journey. Learn more: Knexus | Fully Automated Visual Commerce Platform | For Ecommerce
It’s a win-win with Knexus!
It’s a simple formula with Knexus, turning passive online window shoppers into confident customers with personalized buying journeys through hyper relevant content & product recommendations – inspiring confidence & fostering product discovery.
According to Instapage, approximately 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. Take action to elevate your personalized eCommerce Marketing strategy today.