Personalization and real-time messaging have been at the forefront of consumer engagement tactics for years, yet many retailers still struggle to unlock the full benefits that come with effective 1:1 marketing. In this article, we’ll address best practices that retailers can utilize to overcome common challenges that W. Capra has witnessed when implementing functionality to strengthen customer relationships and drive sales growth.
Benefits of Personalization for Retailers
Before we dive into the challenges that may arise when implementing personalization and/or real-time messaging strategies, it’s important to align on the benefits that these objectives can provide. “The breadth of benefits that personalization can offer range from increasing customer satisfaction by tailoring experiences and product recommendations to elevating conversion rates by presenting relevant content, offers, and recommendations,” explains Bill Peeler, Senior Consultant at W. Capra.
While increased sales and customer satisfaction certainly help to narrate the story of a business’s success, personalization can also offer less tangible benefits. Peeler continues, “Personalization can foster customer loyalty by demonstrating to customers that retailers understand and value their preferences. When complemented with real-time messaging to optimize engagement through immediate, relevant responses, then you have a true winning recipe.”
The Challenges of Personalization
Effective personalization depends on clean, reliable data. As the international data privacy landscape continues to evolve, one of the key challenges to personalization and real-time messaging has been to ensure that customer data is collected, stored, and used in a way that respects consumers’ privacy rights. To mitigate this challenge, and to optimize long-term program maintenance, it’s essential that retailers map their data strategies early and ensure cross-functional engagement with the teams that are tasked with data privacy compliance.
Accounting for privacy regulations is table-stakes for any consumer-facing program to comply with the law and to avoid reputational and monetary repercussions. “To truly be effective in personalization,” Peeler offers, “Retailers must leverage data analytics and machine learning capabilities to understand customer preferences and behaviors. Once this understanding is established, retailers can then ensure that relevant messaging is consistent across all channels and touchpoints to maximize the quality of omnichannel engagement.” All of this points to mapping your data strategy early and ensuring the right resource capabilities are engaged. To set and operationalize data strategies, W. Capra’s First-Party Data Monetization services continue to assist retailers that do not have data science or interpretation capabilities on-hand.
What Happens If I Wait to Work on Personalization?
As retailers leverage AI-powered chatbots to deliver their real-time support, as they process personalization algorithms to deliver relevant product recommendations and offers, consumer expectations are evolving accordingly. As customers expect experiences tailored to their individual needs and preferences, they will migrate to the brands that provide their desired experience.
No matter where you are on your personalization journey, whether you need to define a data strategy or you are working to optimize existent personalization algorithms, W. Capra offers life-cycle services to ensure that your strategy, technology, and operations are working symbiotically to strengthen and mature existing customer relationships while also attracting new customers.
Bill Peeler is a Senior Consultant with W. Capra, focused on assisting our clients with all things related to consumer engagement. For further discussion, please contact Bill at [email protected].