Long after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, it will leave behind a significantly altered retail environment. And we’re not talking about your daily operations, either. Shopper attitudes, behaviors, and expectations have changed forever.
Consumers expect more from the brands they choose to do business with now, whether it involves in-store health and safety standards or personalized, barrier-free online shopping experiences.
Retail marketers can meet and even exceed organizational expectations by using three advanced personalization tactics that drive the greatest value for shoppers and brands alike.
This high-level recap documents the retail landscape’s most important shifts over the last 12 months:
Retail marketers who give customers the most satisfying experience possible are the ones positioned for future success. If you’re not quite there yet, catching up may be quicker than you think.
Start with these three personalization priorities you can use to make your marketing strategy move as fast as your customers.
1. Double down on omnichannel experiences.
Your channels are as unique as your customers. Identify a unique strategy for each of the channels you use—email, web, social, SMS, print, broadcast, ads, and out-of-home communications all require different approaches.
Once those strategies are squared away, have a plan for how everything works together to satisfy the demands of both your customers and your company. One suggestion: Deep-link from your email messages to your mobile app for a seamless browsing session.
2. Be prepared to switch gears quickly.
Although many local governments have lifted mask mandates, capacity limitations, and other health and safety protocols, many businesses continue to use them. Use geo-targeting to segment your customer base by region so you can customize content to match local conditions and provide relevant guidelines wherever possible.
Beyond showing shoppers you value their safety more than making a sale, geo-targeting content in real time lets you swap in updated information and promotions automatically—even between the time you press send and someone eventually opens the message. That way, you’re delivering engaging and relevant content without losing time or money constantly updating communications.
3. Create a personalized content strategy for promotional emails.
Advanced personalization generates an additional $20 or more in ROI for every dollar invested. And one of the most effective techniques to drive value through personalization is to populate email content with purchase recommendations drawn from real-time inventory—not a static product assortment or a shallow look at past purchases.
Another way to make your promotional emails stand out from the crowd is by adding targeted, non-product messaging to your sends. Almost all of the Top 25 brands in The 2021 Retail Personalization Index include content that can either influence a purchase or keep customers engaged until they’re ready to buy.
Fabletics Men (#5 in the 100-brand Index) adds a geo-targeted weather forecast so customers can dress appropriately for outdoor workouts. By delivering consistent value throughout every interaction, your buyers are naturally attracted to your brand. And that means more loyal, valuable lifetime customers.
Retail marketers can use these three priorities to engage new customers and keep their current ones loyal. But there are millions of options at your disposal if your goal is to make advanced personalization possible.
If you’d like to learn more about what your customers want in their omnichannel experience, check out Liveclicker and Sailthru’s 2021 Retail Personalization Index Consumer Survey. Unless, of course, you’re not interested in the insights, best practices, and data points we uncovered after talking to 5,000 retail customers…