The 2018 holiday season is already upon us and as with years past, consumer shopping preferences have shifted in accordance with technology. Specifically, retailers should plan for: a mobile dominated shopper experience, the growing influence of social networks, and artificial intelligence-powered personalized product recommendations.
For retailers to be successful this holiday shopping season, they must leverage the tools mentioned above. Notably, personalization enables retailers to show customers the offers and deals most relevant to them.
Here are 4 of the best ways retailers can personalize offers this holiday season:
1. Don’t forget email
Despite all the buzz surrounding social media today, email marketing is still the number one ROI digital marketing channel, bringing in twice the revenue of the second channel, PPC.
This should be encouraging to retailers, given the email personalization opportunities available today. By combining your company’s existing customer info and content with advanced analytics and AI capabilities, you can create personalized emails at scale using data points such as:
- Purchase history
- Recency of last purchase
- Engagement level
- Preferred incentives (coupons, percent discounts, etc.)
These highly-tailored campaigns offer individualized language, images and offers, providing the relevance and context your customers demand.
2. Keep buyers in the loop with mobile notifications
This year, 46% of all orders placed will happen on smartphones. To make the most of this trend, retailers must ensure their order-placing process is efficient and reliable.
Having said that, customers are more likely to make purchases when they feel they’re getting a great deal.
Retailers should also make way for personalized mobile offerings. Mobile marketing takes more than simply creating a mobile-friendly website, and retailers should leverage apps of their own to keep customers in their space.
Using customer history data, retailers can use push and SMS notifications to let buyers know when deals on relevant products are available. In fact, SMS messages have a 98% open rate!
3. Personalize offers on your website’s home page
Every customer has to start somewhere, and oftentimes they begin on your homepage. Today, retailers can present personalized experiences to customers in several ways:
- Featured or recommended items based on previous purchasing history
- Ads featuring discounts and offers that customers will likely to act on
- CTAs, including alerting someone to complete their purchase
This last point is of especially important, and findings from the Baymard Institute show the rate of cart abandonment falls around 70%.
Through personalization, retailers can remind visitors of their incomplete carts. And although people have an array of reasons for abandoning carts, reminders are typically helpful in re-capturing business that would have otherwise been lost.
4. Personalize up-selling and cross-selling offers on the cart page
Personalization is also a tool retailers can leverage throughout the customer journey, literally right until check-out! Customer carts, in particular, are a great opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling products.
Furthermore, retailers can go beyond straightforward, related product recommendations with customer data, and by using previous shopping behavior, retailers can offer a lot at checkout, including:
- Products based on who the customer is buying for. Say the customer data available shows a shopper is likely a mother, the retailer can show gift ideas for children or her partner
- Deals on related products that are higher-quality or superior-brand, potentially increasing customer satisfaction and profit margins
- Last-minute discounts for customer orders, helping further reduce cart abandonment rates
Personalization starts with understanding data
We’ve gone over just a few of the ways retailers can leverage personalization this holiday season. Keep in mind, consumers expect easier, convenient shopping experiences together with the best deal available.
And with more and more transparency on Black Friday discounts, Cyber Monday specials and more, customers can decide which retailer is best for them in mere minutes.
Fortunately, personalization starts with data, which retailers have been collecting for years. But now’s the time to employ advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver the best personalized experiences possible.
What’s more, these approaches help strengthen customer loyalty beyond the holiday season.