Personalised content has become imperative for retail companies to compete and stay relevant to their customers. In response, I have seen two trends emerge: omnichannel content delivery and first-party customer data collection. What exactly do these encapsulate, why do they need to be considered collectively, and what do they mean for your retail business?
How has retail marketing changed?
Personalisation in the traditional sense, such as adding someone’s first name to your email subject line, no longer suffices. Your customer is unlikely to engage with the email if the content is irrelevant to them. It is not enough to send another message reminding someone they have a shopping cart with items still waiting to transact or show them a list of random deals in the hopes they click on a product.
Instead, you must entice your customer to open an email from you that showcases a list of other items they might want to look at based on their cart or items viewed via your omnichannel ecosystem. True personalisation must target individual wants, needs and preferences. To provide customers with this personalised experience, you must collect and use data to create and deliver content tailored to each channel they use. To do that, you must have content that speaks to these traits, which you have curated to resonate with them.
Your customer personas are becoming more multi-dimensional, and you need tools that store the specifics of that persona to accommodate a complete 360-degree view of the customer. In addition, you need to communicate and tailor your engagement to address these personal attributes.
Where do retailers fall short of meeting these expectations?
I see many retailers struggling to personalise content the way customers expect. Too often, many of us see ads and emails that:
- Market the same product after purchase. If you have bought a pair of shoes from a retailer, you do not need another ad enticing you to buy more shoes.
- Send generic emails about holiday deals or new products without considering what is relevant to the customer.
- Rely on shotgun marketing where they target everyone hoping to glean some success. In reality, such approaches annoy customers and do not build brand loyalty.
- Fail to take into account different buying behaviours. Some people prefer to conduct thorough research and will not shop often; others might make impulse purchases based on images or reviews they see.
How can you deliver personalised experiences to your customers?
Data is the key to personalisation. To understand what your customers want and need, you must collect their data and ensure consistency to deliver a tailored shopping experience. When you focus on providing such experiences, you stand to increase customer loyalty and sales.
The solution lies in brands collecting first-party data and storing it in Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). A CDP creates a single customer view that you can use to personalise their journey. For example, your customer views an item on your website but does not buy it, and when they next open a social media app, they see an ad for that item on their feed. In another scenario, the customer might buy the product on your website, and when next opening their social media, they see an ad for a matching item, but not the item they purchased.
An omnichannel content platform (OCP) provides a centralised location for all your content, making it easy to manage and update. The OCP stores content tagged for personalisation. When you connect your OCP and CDP, you can better plan and curate targeted content based on the vast number of complex personas in your customer base.
Personalisation like this targets people in a meaningful way rather than annoying them with recommendations that do not add value to their shopping experience.
How Creative Folks enables omnichannel retail
Integrating your OCP and CDP delivers the capabilities to improve customer engagement and loyalty, causing you to stand out from your competition.
At Creative Folks, we specialise in content management systems for omnichannel delivery. We have experience implementing and integrating OCP and CDP solutions for our retail customers to help them easily deliver on their omnichannel retail strategy. Our SiPHON Integration Platform is a cost-effective and scalable solution that allows you to quickly connect disparate systems, consolidate data flows and tear down business silos. With this technology, we support you in embedding personalisation into the content your customers interact with.