Experiential personalisation is essentially leveraging the data you have to create a personalised experience for your customer. Even if all you have is an email address, the strategy is hinged on creating two-way communication as quickly as possible.
This can be easier said than done, however. Getting your customers to cross the anonymity threshold quickly is a big challenge for eCommerce businesses. After years of third party buying and selling of data, customers are wary about handing over their details.
That means you have to work harder than ever to capture something as simple as an email address. Fortunately, advances in website and marcomms technology mean it’s easier to create touch points to capture that information.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the highly transactional nature of eCommerce means even returning customers don’t necessarily trust you enough to want to hear from you beyond order confirmations.
That means you need to build a rapport with your customers very quickly. This is complicated further by virtue of the fact that not every new visitor to your site will become a customer. At least not right away.
That means you need to engage two very different types of users to your website, quickly and effectively. You need to be able to communicate value and capture their data and you need to be able to do so within a few seconds in some instances.
Crossing the Anonymity Threshold
Before you can start personalising your customer experience you need some data to work from. Those customers that already shop with you are relatively easy. You already know what they like and what size, brand or format they like.
You even know how often they buy and how much they spend on average. This makes it much easier to communicate with these customers.
For users who haven’t registered or purchased with you before, you have nothing to go on.
Fortunately there are tactics you can employ to capture email addresses and open that dialogue.
One of the most common tactics is the in-page pop-up asking for a customer’s email address in exchange for a discount code. Although this can work, it’s pushy and tells the user you’re only interested in their money.
There’s little value exchange beyond the transactional and customers expectations are far higher. Users would rather sacrifice 10% off a purchase than give their data to a business they don’t know. Or of being able to browse products without being pushed into buying.
Alternatively you can use the same pop-up but deploy it when users are about to leave the site. This serves as a stronger incentive as if a user was on the fence about a product, an additional 10% or 15% off might be enough to sway them.
You can use a similar tactic if a user is about to abandon their basket. A little money off can make all the difference.
However you approach it, the priority is to capture as much user data as quickly as possible.
Add the option to answer simple questions about why they’re on the site. Who they’re buying for and what products they are interested in are simple enough questions. But they give you valuable insight into your audience’s intent.
Gamification isn’t anything new, which is good news for you. Users are already well versed in how it works which means they’re more likely to engage with it.
Moreover, the research suggests that users are more likely to use a discount code or promotional offer that they have won.
More so if it’s only valid for a short amount of time. Not using it feels like a waste of both the discount and the effort gone into winning it.
Providing you don’t set any unreasonable minimum spend thresholds, the chances the user will purchase and you can start to collect that valuable data. Remember this is about starting a conversation to retain customers, not a one and done sales drive.
Realistically, a single sale or an email address doesn’t put you in a strong position to start delivering an experiential personalisation. It relies on data you’ve earned through cultivating a relationship with your customers.
This takes time. Until you’ve cultivated detailed customer profiles you’ve got very little to talk about. More data you have available the easier it is to identify what your customers are interested in. More to the point, it’s easier to target them with relevant content, products and offers.
The more robust your retention strategy the more frequently your customers will shop with you. Equally your social media and email marketing needs to be on point so you can cultivate those positive conversations.
Harvest as much data as you can at this point, consolidate it and then segment. Providing you can ingest data into a single source, you can segment by any data point you care to track.
The more data points the more you have to talk to your customers about. The content you share will be more relevant and the products in your sales emails will be of genuine interest.
As your customers engage with this content the insight you have on them deepens and your messaging becomes more personalised.
As their buying behaviours change, so too can your messaging which allows you to stay relevant.
Essentially, the outcome is a customer base who feel you know them. Every time they receive an email, an SMS or get product recommendations on your website, they are tailored to their interests and buying habits.
Experiential Marketing and Customer Loyalty
One of the benefits of having an engaged customer base is it makes it easier to foster loyalty. This is a big advantage as generally customers hate the feeling of businesses trying to win their loyalty.
Not least because loyalty is earned. Through experiential personalisation you can cultivate a relationship in which your customers feel good about shopping with you.
These customers will spend 70% more than new customers, they’re average spend and order frequency tends to be higher too.
By engaging with your audience in a meaningful way, discussing products and content that is relevant to them, you stand a much greater chance to boost sales. And keep them coming back for more.
The more those customers come back the more data you have so the communications will continue to be hyper-personalised and relevant. So by keeping your customers happy they continue to shop with you, which makes it easier to keep your customers happy.
This is the power of experiential personalisation.
You can use experiential personalisation to drive loyalty programmes but proceed with caution. Loyalty programmes that exchange pounds (or Euros or dollars) for points aren’t predicated on loyalty at all. Rather the understanding that you’ll get money back on your purchases.
Loyalty programmes based on experiential personalisation should be focussed on value and exclusivity. Fortunately because of the data you have on your customers, this is relatively easy to execute.
Exclusive offers, products, content, VIP experiences and all help to deliver a value based on experiential personalisation. As opposed to the more traditional points systems.
Experiential loyalty programmes are undoubtedly harder to execute. Mainly because you need a steady stream of exclusive content for a vast array of interests.
However, putting the effort in can lead to significant uplift in sales and an increase in customer lifetime value.
Your ability to get personal with your customers hinges on your ability to ingest, analyse and segment your data.
Creating a Single Customer View means you know all there is to know about your customers. Including how they’re interacting with you on social media, what they’ve bought and even what they’re searched for.
Equipped with this knowledge allows you to sustain the experiential personalisation long term. At the heart of this however, must be robust, real-time data analysis. Exporting and analysing the data manually just doesn’t work.
It’s time consuming, expensive and by the time you’ve drawn any meaningful insight that data is obsolete. Invest in a customer data platform that can meet that need.
The ability to ingest data as it flows into your business, wherever it’s coming from and assign it to the correct customer profile will allow you to move quickly. This helps you to keep your communications on point and the experiential personalisation exemplary.
To learn more about experiential personalisation and how it can help you win customers, get in touch to request a demo.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost conversions and retention, check out our latest white paper in partnership with 3Radical.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands across multiple industries. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.