Shoppers today have more choice and more control than ever before.

If they don’t get what they want from you online, when and where they want, then they’ll bounce elsewhere.

In today’s ultra-competitive world of online shopping, it is the brands who provide personalised omni-channel retail experiences that delight the right customer, with the right offer, at the right time, who will boost profitability, and ultimately be the ones to win out.

Consumers really want personalisation

Personalisation is coming of age and is generally accepted as a good thing by consumers. According to a survey conducted by Accenture in 2017, 73 percent of consumers expect personalised products and services in exchange for their data.

So consumers are willing to give over their data as long as they get something back. This is a vitally important insight that all brands needs to take note of – the brand-customer relationship is now built around value exchange. If you take my data, I expect you to improve my experience. If you don’t, well…

When it comes to the kinds of personalisation customers want:

80 percent of consumers like it when emails they receive from retailers recommend products to them based on previous purchases (Internet Retailer)

However, be wary – it’s important that you don’t over-personalise.

A recent survey conducted by YouGov / Pure360 found that just 7 percent of UK consumers are interested in messages from brands that relate to personal details like their birthday, while only 8 percent are likely to engage with online retailers that address them by their first name.

Customers want personalisation, but with so much data and so much opportunity, how do you strike the right balance and not become creepy?

Good personalisation at scale

There are few rules of thumb to follow when it comes to deliver personalisation at scale.

Good personalisation:

  • starts with good data
  • is relevant – adds value to your customer (e.g., personalised offers)
  • is cross-channel to ensure the best customer experience
  • is dependent on appropriate technology

The technology challenge

On average companies are using 14 different technologies to help their digital marketing.

14 different technologies to help with marketing                     Image reference: Sitecore

There’s no getting away from it. With so much data to take into consideration – and, importantly, what not to consider personalising on – you need technology to help you.

Digital marketing and ecommerce platforms that enable personalisation have really come of age in the last year or two. You could either go with a single platform that does “a bit of everything” or you could patch together different systems.

By far the most efficient way to deliver an end-to-end personalised experience for your customers is through the use of as few tools as possible - a single platform.

What you need from a personalisation platform

When it comes to personalisation, you might need some of these features…

Your platform should enable the creation of personas and profiling, against which you can assign goals and engagement values, leading to behavioural personalisation that uses intent profiles (interest areas rather than traditional personas), meaning you can capture in-the-moment intent that you can use to personalise the current or next visits to your website for the customer.

Your system should allow user journey analysis. A path analyser can track all journeys and be used to find the journeys that really deliver value – rather than the journeys that create traffic but may not actually convert as they should. It will help you to focus your on-site efforts.

A platform that allows testing is a given. Your all-in-one personalisation platform needs to monitor and optimise, and let you use A/B or multivariate testing to test pages, versions, modules, and personalisation.

Personalisation platform features                     Image reference: Sitecore

And your platform needs to support email marketing, marketing automation, campaign management, and all the good stuff to drive repeat visitors and repeat custom.

Where do you start?

There are a number of different customer experience and personalisation platforms out there.

Your choice needs to be dependent on your strategy, and you need to define the KPIs you want personalisation to help with. Do you want to increase revenue, conversions, and customers? Do you want to decrease technology costs through one solution or decrease time-to-market?

Whatever your reason, it’s important to follow a process, like our 10 Steps to Digital Success:

  1. Start with strategy
  2. Define your KPIs
  3. Prioritise your key customer segments
  4. Understand your customers’ needs
  5. Define your Digital Relevancy Map
  6. Create a Content Strategy Map
  7. Deliver the right message at the right time
  8. Meet the visitor’s expectations
  9. Plan your digital experience activities
  10. Embrace an ongoing optimisation process

Get in touch with us to ask us more about our 10 Steps to Digital Success.

Want to learn more about personalisation for retail & ecommerce?

Our experience with the Sitecore Experience Platform – which enables you to use everything you know about your customers to deliver personalised shopping experiences shaped by both their browsing and purchasing interaction history and context, transforming people into lifelong brand fans and repeat shoppers – is unparalleled.

If you’d like to talk to us about how personalisation can take your revenue sky high, then get in touch today.