Gone are the old-school tactics of homogenized digital experiences where every customer is provided with the same online journey or recipient of marketing campaigns. No one wants an uninspiring, cookie cutter email ad.
Rather, customers increasingly want inspired, targeted, personalized experiences from retailers and brands. Approximately 78% of customers simply ignore offers that are not relevant to their needs, wants, and preferences. What a waste of time, money and resources!
The forming mainstream opinion among marketers now is pushing for personalization, despite companies having problems with its implementation. What constitutes personalization? And what are the best ways to strategize its usage?
The principle aim of personalization is to build similar customer engagement to that of face-to-face relationships between the brand and customer. Talking to customers using their own name; anticipating their wants and needs based on data collected on your site and on their personal accounts; understanding their shopping behavior (are they quick, impulsive buyers or are they cart hoarders who wheel around lots of items but tend not to buy?). Then once interaction has occurred, learn from the experience in how they communicate with you, and use it to mold future interactions.
Just think about it: you receive an email addressed “Dear Sir/Madam” before it rolls off all of their latest products (let’s say they’re a sporting goods retailer). But you only go to that store for a particular product (you’re a hardcore hocky fan and always buy each season’s jersey, but you pay no attention to that baseball and football nonsense). That marketing email that you sent — which you announce your fresh lineup of all sports goods, with hockey goods right at the bottom — is most likely to be trashed before ever being read.
In a recent survey, 28% of companies stated that their goal with personalization was to get higher conversion rates, higher than any other goal, including improved marketing ROI and improved customer experiences.
The same survey shone light on the limitations of companies to implement effective personalization strategies. Only 21% of them are actually using artificial intelligence or machine learning analytics, with a further 28% planning to incorporate these methods within the next two years.
And what’s more, 35% revealed that the main hurdle to providing a personalization strategy was fragmented data across channels.
These barriers to optimization can be cracked and torn down using the correct technology. Discovering the right tools to identify distinct customer behavior are going to be your entrypoint. The best — and most comprehensive — platform in our own opinion to implement a world-class personalization strategy is Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Part of the Salesforce cloud family based in San Francisco, the ecommerce platform is integrated with leading artificial intelligence — which is actually named Einstein, and hints at its depth of intelligence-gathering capabilities. It uses machine learning and deep learning to build comprehensive customer profiles, where customers are located in the buy cycle, and in which communication channels they are more likely to respond to.
Before Einstein works its magic, Salesforce Commerce Cloud gathers all customer data and shares it across all of its platforms. So data is collected and shared from shop floor assistants on devices who interact with customers to marketers who are interpreting data for effective campaigns.
Personalization is profitable; and Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides the best tools to build your personalization strategy.