A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Store
New Personalization Tools Are Shaping the Customer Journey
Posted by Mary Ann Kelly
Leading eCommerce agency Fluid recently hosted a webinar about the new rules for brand interactions across channels. Bottom line: Marketers without the ability to deliver real-time personalized messaging are going to miss out. Old-school segmentation, where we make assumptions about who our consumers are and what they need, is no longer going to cut it.
Here are some key findings:
- The majority of consumers begin online with product research, but will complete the purchase in-store. (Pure in-store purchasing is shrinking.) Now more than ever, marketers have insight into the customer journey from awareness to consideration to sale. They can use the data collected to inform future interactions. The most powerful campaigns will reach customers at the exact place they are in the purchase funnel, and surround them with relevant messaging across site, social, online and mobile platforms.
- Don’t creep the customer out, even though you can. Marketers want to be cautious about how they use behavioral data from customers. If a customer didn’t supply it, it might spook them to realize their research and purchase activities are being watched and recorded.
- As such, marketers must create tools that allow customers to self-identify. Some good examples of these tools are the Stop & Shop scanners or Starbucks mobile app. These use purchase data and geo-location to serve up timely messages and promotions. The customer sees it as a win because they’re having a better experience with the brand… as if a concierge is intuiting and serving up exactly what they want at that moment.
In summary, Fluid says:
“Brands today are being defined by the online and offline experience they deliver to consumers, as well as their ability to meet and exceed the expectations of the modern, digitally-savvy customer. As such, creating rich personalized experiences – unique to each customer – has become the hallmark for leaders in digital commerce. Old ways of doing business are being left behind; replaced by new standards for systems of engagement that include multiple sources of customer data, real time processing power, and the ability to offer individualized functionality, content, and guidance at every touchpoint in the customer journey. In other words, completely shifting the mindset of what personalization means for today’s ebusiness professional.”
More advice on achieving synergies between online/mobile and retail channels.