A Gartner study released way back in 2015 stated that companies that “fully invested” in all kinds of personalization outfits by 2018 will outsell companies that haven’t by 20%. Now this is a huge number – irrespective of the fact that there is a large amount of B2B and B2C businesses functioning currently. And with 2018 just around the corner (well, not technically – it is still 8 months away), it is vital to embrace personalization faster than ever.
You will agree that we as customers are surrounded by companies that approach us through the medium of personalization. It is quite clear that businesses have been impacted rather positively because of this! According to a Demand Wave study, 29% of B2B marketers implement personalization in their strategy and a whopping 49% of them find that to be effective!
Brands that top the “personalization” race
Look at Amazon and Netflix. Currently, they are winning at the “personalization” game for having implemented it in the form of “Recommendations for you” on their websites. That’s pure genius! This was totally unimaginable till about three years ago, and now it is a phenomenon!
Amazon’s product recommendations, for instance, are no joke! First time visitors on the website will find generic recommendations such as “What other customers are looking at right now?”, “Best sellers”, etc. But if old visitors or customers land on the website again, then they are shown products they previously showed interest in!
Multiple studies by Gartner and Forrester have shown that such a strategy can boost the revenue by 300% and rev up the conversion rate by 150%. No wonder, both Amazon and Netflix have gone big with recommendations.
More stats on personalization
Personalized messaging and offerings present an excellent opportunity to marketers and businesses to engage with their customers and potential buyers more effectively. 72% of web users get annoyed with impersonal websites. 72% of consumers don’t like to receive impersonal messages. Seriously – if you are communicating with an entire target market, rather than one single consumer – you are not going to achieve much success!
Personalized content marketing = personalized selling
For the whole selling strategy to be personalized, it is important for the entire content marketing strategy to be based on consumer interests and preferences. A 2016 Demand Wave study states that 80% marketers believe personalized content is more effective! Of course, it is.
In this time and age, if marketers can’t fill the customer journey with content that is optimized and personalized just for them – it doesn’t make any difference! A/B testing, content recommendations, automated email campaigns – all form a part of this personalized strategy. Today, it is vital to engage with the consumers at all touch points.
Personalization is a data-driven approach
Marketers need to study the audience segments, behavioural data and digital channel performances to be able to decide where and how a consumer should be targeted. This makes use of technologies such as machine learning and automation and thankfully, there are many software like Wigzo to help the companies with this.
Without further delay, let us take a look at how you can engage with your customers at the right time with the right message:
Casually browsing through an online store is pretty fun, but if the visitor feels there’s nothing on it for him, there goes a loyal customer in him who will never come back to that website. Therefore, you should make sure the website experience for visitors is personalized and relevant to each of them.
Amazon makes use of browser history to study customer behaviour and website activity, and on the basis of that, the eCommerce giant makes product recommendations to its returning visitors and customers. This does two things – firstly, if a visitor who showed interest in a product but forgot about it can be reminded of it using this personalization tactic.
Secondly, Amazon will also give suggestions of other products based on the visitor’s likes and interests, just to keep him or her engaged on the website a little longer, with the hope of boosting the brand’s conversion rate.
Exit intent of Customers
80% of the times, online shoppers who land on an online store are looking for something but once they start browsing through the website, they tend to forget about it. They get strayed due to poor attention span (which is even lesser than that of a goldfish!) and even leave the website sooner than decided. To make them stay glued to your store, display an exit intent banner.
The banner could ideally showcase products they were previously searching on the website. It could even contain details of a discount! Tempt them – give them a reason for why they landed on your website in the first place! Try hard to keep them interested in your offerings, and exit intent is an excellent marketing tactic to ensure that.
Personalize the shopping cart page
Target potential customers who have filled their carts and are now moving towards the checkout process. Showcase complementary and supplementary products to them in a bid to promote contextual shopping.
Appealing push notifications
70% of customers expect personalization from any business. No wonder, the push strategy has become a common, rather an inseparable part of the marketing strategy of both B2B and B2C companies. The importance of “push” has seen a steady rise in the last two years.
eCommerce to content-based (news) websites seemed to have adopted this strategy. It is also effective on both web and mobile. Just go and check your phone right now – you will find at least 2 push notifications right now!
Some of the positives of using push notifications is that the subscribers will always stay informed or updated. Whether it is about a flash sale or a natural calamity – the subscriber will be the first to know – if you implement it well!
Push allows the companies to act on the feedback provided by the customers quickly. It raises the brand recall value if the messaging is personalized. It makes the prospective customer take an action by tempting him or her with price dips, discounts, etc. Here’s how you can apply the push strategy:
Reduce cart abandonment rate:
This is perhaps the biggest headache for any eCommerce firm. People keep products in the cart and never finish the purchase cycle! The reason to forget about the products may be genuine but as a marketer, you must ensure they come back to it! Send a reminder message repeatedly, so that they know what they are missing out on!
Nudge your subscribers to take an action:
Send messages regarding a new product launch, discount deal (58% of shoppers want companies to better focus on their discount deals!) or highlight how their favourite product will soon be out of stock. The key is to tempt them. Create a sense of urgency with your messages. Keep them on their toes.
Validate your customers:
Whether they have made an account on your website or shared contact details with you, it is vital for you to incentivise this activity. First, thank them or send them a welcome note. Along with that message, share a coupon code or notify them of a discount deal.
This is perhaps the best way to enter a consumer’s mind – his or likes and dislikes, preferences, etc. It is a great way to understand what your target audience is really looking for! Is it free shipping? Is it FLAT 50% off? It could be anything!
Send out price alerts in real time
Notify the subscribers of slashed rates of previously liked products, ongoing flash sales, fresh coupon codes, etc. Keep them informed. Even if they don’t buy from you immediately, they would still recall your brand. Send out alerts on products that they may like and when those products are on sale. Make them take an action – after all, it is all about the push.
Keep them posted of latest happenings
If you are running a news website and you are able to keep your subscribers notified of every big and small breaking news via push notifications, then you are doing your job well. Brands such as BBC, Tripoto, and Inc42 make heavy use of the push strategy to stay ahead amidst the cut throat competition.
Generate location-based sales
This makes use of geo-tracking technology. For instance, if a visitor lands on your website and browses through some products and leaves, he or she will get messaged about paying a visit to your physical store, if (s)he is in the vicinity.
Engaging Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
According to a Quettra report, an average mobile app loses 77% of Daily Average Users (DAUs) in the first three days after the install. If that is what is happening with your mobile app, then all your efforts have gone to waste. No business can succeed like this for a very long period of time.
But wait – there is a way to engage such users. It is by implementing the PWA technology or converting your mobile site into a progressive web app. Forget creating a mobile app for your business. Focus on a PWA – which has all the functionalities of a native mobile app.
It can be accessed just like a conventional website. Here, all the interaction data can be stored to give a better customer experience. Flipkart, Inc42 and AirBerlin are notable brands that have implemented this technology. Fortunately, there are software like Wigzo in the market that can create a PWA for businesses.
So if you want to boost your engagement rates, get more sales, hop on to the PWA bandwagon. Here are its three solid benefits:
- It fills the content on the site as and when it loads. This keeps the visitor glued to the screen.
- 3/4th of customers in the market see push notifications as a valuable way to connect with the brand. PWA sends periodic messages just like how a mobile app would.
- The content on the PWA is updated as and when the visitor uses it. This means the content is never old.
Contrary to popular belief – emails are here to stay! Yes – there is no doubt that in the last 5-6 years, social media has managed to create quite a digital disruption. However, it hasn’t dimmed email’s light at all! Emails are still considered a powerful communication channel for businesses. According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent, email generates $38 in ROI – which is quite huge!
Do you know customers who receive email marketing spend 83% more when shopping, Their orders are 44% larger. They order 28% more often. The more personalized your emails are, the better it is!
Hence, start with the basics: address the customers directly in the subject line. Say something like, “ Hey Tom, check out these designs!” or “Hey Tom, your favourite product is almost of out of stock!”. Consumers want the communication from each brand to be personalized for them. In 2017, 1:1 marketing or hyper-personalization is going to take form.
You can create a series of trigger-based emails to support the diverse customer behaviours. From “welcome emails” to “cart abandonment messages” – there is a lot of scope for sending out emails for marketers.
Just make sure the content in your emails is different from what you send in push. If nothing else, just unify the two marketing tactics and see how your conversion rates soar. Don’t email too frequently and always keep the option of opting out of your emails – don’t be too pushy. Otherwise, the overall popularity of your brand will go down.
Over to you
Dedicate 2017 to experimenting with all the resources that you across multiple digital channels. While you may have all the consumer data you need at your disposal, if you don’t experiment enough, you would never really know what works for your target audience and what doesn’t. Personalize your messaging and strategy wherever and whenever you can.