Lyris Connections Blog

The Future of Retail: Mass Personalization in an Omni-Channel World

Jun 04, 2014 by

Let’s imagine we’re on our way to a supermarket, to do our weekly grocery shop. We have a list and we know what we want. But there’s something unusual about this supermarket. We walk in and – puff! – like magic, the supermarket aisle transforms around us. Suddenly, everything on our list is right in front of us. The shelves are giving us exactly what we want.

Stand out in a crowd

This concept might seem far-fetched in the retail bricks-and-mortar world, but in the digital world, technology coupled with the right customer strategy is allowing retailers to provide this level of consumer experience today.

Web Personalization Directly Targets Your Customers’ Needs 

Unlike the old days, when it was customary to greet customers on your website with a single landing page or home page, today’s retailers are cashing in and tailoring their Web content (and other content, like that for email marketing and social media) to suit the desires and needs of their individual buyers.

Just as our imaginary supermarket aisle magically “transforms” around each shopper, so too are Web pages transforming around specific visitor information and behavior. Such is the wonderful world of Web personalization.  

From research conducted for Lyris by The Economist Intelligence Unit, we know that only 24% of marketers actually use the information that they collect from their customers to deliver value back, and over 70% of shoppers are jaded by superficial and generic marketing. So what are our consumers saying to us?

 “Use the information I give you, but do it in a way that adds value to my life!”

eConsultancy statistics

More than 98% of inbound online visitors are anonymous. However, that doesn’t stop retail marketers from providing personalized Web content that speaks directly to exactly what the customer wants. As in the imaginary supermarket aisle, savvy online retailers dangle the right products and services right in front of their customers’ eyes.

Customization and personalization are proven to be more effective in motivating customers to purchase, much more than offering them something they might be only minimally interested in when they land on your website. If you do it right, you can dramatically enhance your on-page conversions and sales, simply by personalising.

A recent survey conducted by Econsultancy shows that 94% of companies feel that “personalization of the Web experience is critical to current and future success.” 

This can also be seen through massive retailers like Amazon that are also mastering data and Web content personalization to meet consumers’ needs and drive their digital sales: “In order for interactions to feel individualized and human, they must be well informed. That makes data about the customer you’re talking to right now the most useful data of all.”

Knowing How to Personalize your Content

At Lyris, we’ve seen many retailers make the mistake of thinking that personalized Web content simply means displaying the customer name, like “Hi Bob,” or “Welcome back, Jane.” Wrong!

Personalization is much more than this. It’s customizing the actual products, offers, and promotions on your retail pages so that they are completely relevant for each individual shopper (or at least that particular customer segment) and unique to his or her user experience. 

How do you know what your customers want, so that you can figure out how to personalize your content?

  • Collect and analyze powerful Web analytics data to uncover insights about your customers and what they are interested in. Data can include:
    • Demographics
    • Location
    • Behaviors that suggest lifestyle and product preferences
  • Look at customers’ specific buying behaviors and past purchases; this will tell you what category of customers they are and what products they are really interested in:
    • What are they buying?
    • What do they want to buy?
    • What pushes them to decide to buy?
    • What might they find appealing? 
  • Communicate and engage with customers via other means, such as through social media channels or when they are in-store, and use these opportunities to collect even more valuable information.
    • Are you listening to what your customers are saying?
    • What other data is available from these channels? 
  • Look at channels, such as social media, that customers are using most to engage and interact with your brand; this will give you the ability to also personalize the ways in which you communicate with them and make your on-page personalization much more relevant. For instance, you may want to develop a personalized landing page that promotes a Facebook offer.
    • Which avenue is best for reaching out to each customer or segment?
    • What does your customers’ use of this channel tell you about their behaviors and desires?

Are you ready to personalize, retailers? Contact Lyris today to find out how we can help you manage Web personalization and messaging automation strategies that can give you a competitive edge

Ramak Capodicasa

About the Author: Ramak Capodicasa

Ramak is Regional Director for Lyris APAC, and has responsibility for nurturing and growing Lyris’ business in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific region. Her experience is working with leading retailers with traditional marketing focus and helping them transition and develop digital strategies to ultimately increase engagement and online conversions from automated marketing initiatives. Ramak has over 15 years of experience in marketing, having gained insight from working with leading Global IT software and hardware vendors, and in marketing and sales disciplines for both direct B2B, B2C, and channel organisations.

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