When the pandemic forced brands and retailers to close physical stores, customers turned to digital channels to fulfill their shopping needs. Pressured by increased competition and heightened consumer expectations, brands had to rethink their digital strategies and redefine one-on-one, personalized customer experiences in an online environment.
It’s critical to personally connect with each customer or risk losing them to a competitor. 48% of consumers have left a brand’s site and purchased from a competitor because of a poorly personalized experience. With advances in technology, companies are finding it easier than ever to invest in digital personalization efforts and quickly realize the benefits. According to Forbes, 70% of executives said that personalization was critical or somewhat important for loyalty, customer retention, and share of wallet.
By focusing on personalization efforts that foster customer loyalty, brands can form lasting customer relationships while improving KPIs. Blue Acorn iCi has identified how and where to personalize the experience to improve customer engagement, lower churn rate, and increase repeat business.
Build customer segments to create distinct customer journeys
Segmentation creates a solid foundation for personalized customer experiences and interactions. Crafting personas based on owned customer data, user research, and third-party data allows brands to build journeys and identify areas of opportunity for personalization.
Once the brand’s personas are defined, the next step is to build segments by identifying customers that share common attributes. For example, “Debbie the Skincare Fanatic” is someone with a customer ID and purchased six skincare products in the last six months. Using the quantity and timeframe, a marketer can build the segment with customers that have those attributes.
Sophisticated digital experience managers enable brands to apply data science techniques to dynamically personalize the customer experience based on real-time customer behavior. With this type of advanced analytics architecture, brands can present the right message to the right customer at the right time to improve customer loyalty.
How to deliver personalized customer experiences to enhance customer loyalty
Data-driven product recommendations
Personalized product recommendations based on customer data, such as previously viewed items, past purchases, or content engagement, allow brands to present products that customers have the highest propensity to buy. McKinsey & Co. found that personalization leaders have driven 5-15% increases in revenue and 10-30% increases in marketing spend efficiency predominantly by deploying product recommendations and triggered communications with singular channels.
Using customer segments allows brands to deliver data-driven product recommendations through their website, email marketing, and paid social media campaigns. When presented with a personalized product recommendation, 49% of customers buy items they didn’t initially intend to buy, and only 5% of these purchases are returned (the average ecommerce return rate is 20%).
With an advanced merchandising solution, like Searchspring, brands can present personalized recommendations across their entire site, from product detail page to checkout. Additionally, applying exclusion and attribution rules prevents brands from delivering frustrating personalized customer experiences. Exclusion rules dictate which products are featured to ensure shoppers only see hyper-relevant, available products. Attribution rules determine the order of product recommendations based on specific criteria. For example, recommending specific pants to match a particular top or recommending brands that customers typically purchase together.