On the road to converting customers into fans, if you have successfully inspired your customers and differentiated yourself from the competition, the next step is personalisation.
With the shopping experience becoming an increasingly tailored affair, what steps can you take to ensure that your customers feel special, and prove that you understand what they’re after and what they like?
The rise of brands like Amazon, ASOS and Netflix isn’t just down to having a great offering, it’s down to how that offering is presented to the consumer, how relevant it is to their individual needs and how the company converts the customer’s interest into a sale. With modern technology providing greater customer insight and data than ever before, it’s all about using this data to improve customer experience.
Success in marketing is often down to timing. Approach a customer too early and they might not pay attention, too late and they will have already made a decision. Informed use of customer data can really help to prevent this. Whether it’s information on page views and shopping habits, or more topical information, the provision of a genuine service to customers when they actually need it will help to drive sales.
A notable example of using data in a timely fashion, and an example we have featured elsewhere in this blog series, is Mothercare, who used data to formulate the My Mothercare parenting club. By using supplied data, including due date and dates of birth, the club could not only make product suggestions to parents and provide much-needed advice at a very important time, but also facilitate introductions between expectant parents and relevant experts in store. While this did help to drive sales, the big win in this campaign was a massive increase in customer respect for Mothercare.
If you have ever been tempted by an Amazon customer email, you’re aware of the power that personalised marketing can have. By focusing on products viewed or shortlisted by the customers, the chance of tempting them with an extremely relevant offer is high. 35% of Amazon purchases, as well as 75% of Netflix views come from tailored recommendations.
Providing customers with exactly what they’re looking for, and removing frustrations around sourcing information makes the odds of their returning and making a repeat purchase significantly higher. In fact, our findings have shown a transaction rate 6 times higher than rivals without personalised emails.
Although the abundance of customer data available can make the individual experience much more tailored, less frustrating and more effective, there is also a certain amount of fear about what data might be used for. Our ability to collect a variety of data vastly exceeds our ability to use this data, so carefully consider what data you actually need. Every time a company has its servers hacked, and personal information is leaked, there is a backlash against that company, the more data that leaks, the bigger the backlash. Thus, it’s worth allowing customers to precisely control what they give you in order to affirm their confidence in your brand.
It’s also worth considering how often personalised communications are made to the customer. Going back to the Amazon example, suggestions based on product views are usually emailed within a few weeks. Beyond that, it’s usually safe to assume your potential customer has made a purchase elsewhere and moved on. Any communication after this time is more likely to irritate.
To summarise, personalising your customer’s experience using data is a bigger opportunity today than it has ever been. The systems required to make it work effectively are not easy to master, but the rewards for doing so are great. A less frustrating consumer experience, with the user feeling more special, leads to a large increase in consumer trust and is a big step on the path to converting customers to fans.
We’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks and for now you can find more information about retail excellence in our infographic here.
Contact your Amadeus account manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss the journey from travel agent to successful retailer and how Amadeus can help.