Opinion: Personalise your eCommerce content or lose customers

(c)iStock.com/Prykdhov

With 30% of internet users now shopping online weekly, eCommerce is enjoying something of a golden age.

But in today’s new world of growing consumer demands, fierce competition and endless choice, brand loyalty (as we know it) is dead.

According to Ometria's recent study of consumer attitudes to digital marketing, 46% of UK customers will leave their favourite brands if they don’t understand them, signalling a significant shift in consumer attitudes towards even their most beloved brands.

If you don’t offer your customers personalised content based on their different interests, likes and needs - like pirates - your competitors are ready and waiting to thieve your lost treasure.

The mass-consumer society has been delivering insincere, impersonal and irrelevant messages for too long. Consumers are calling for change.

Email still rules

While our study confirmed what many of us already knew - with 72% of Brits citing email as their preferred marketing channel - it only serves to remind us just how crucial it is to nail this trusty steed of communication.

But brands are getting email wrong. Customers are being turned off by too many emails, messages littered with products they don’t care about and ones without recommended items they actually want.

Brands now have the means to bring back the personal experience. Don’t miss this golden opportunity.

It’s the “millennial” audience that feel most strongly about this, with 70% of 18-24 year olds saying that the brands which fail to personalise their marketing will lose them as customers.

Data is the key

Brands are failing to use the data they collect on their customers to provide tailored content, products and services to encourage the shopper to make a purchase. Many brands know basic customer information - such as whether they are male or female - but consumers expect more.

Bringing together all the data that you have about a customer - from demographic details to their interactions with your site to their purchase history and more - and consolidating it all into a single record lets you build a rich profile for each contact in your database. The all-important single customer view.

Having a more complete view of your customer allows you to pinpoint where they are in the customer journey, and extend their customer lifetime value by targeting them with timely, relevant messages. It also lets you learn who your best customers are to help you create strategies to keep them active. As we all know, customer retention is key to profitability.

Get personal

Every time you send a customer or potential customer a marketing message that isn’t relevant to them, they’re less likely to connect with your brand, less likely to open or click on your emails and less likely to buy from you. People are complex. They should be addressed accordingly.

People will respond better and bring greater value to your business when they feel their needs and interests are being specifically addressed. Our study found that British shoppers are 56% more likely to buy if email content is tailored to the types of products they’re interested in.

Getting personal isn’t just about pretty emails and positive engagement, it’s the key to profitability, according to Forrester’s recent report, which underlines how personalised experiences will be the key determinant in who wins a slice of the growing wallet in 2016 (and beyond).

Marketing today should utilise the power of customer data and nurture a continuous cycle of interactions, drive deeper engagement and treat individuals like...individuals. Blanket messaging is out, sincerity is in.

In today’s interconnected age, marketers have the power to track customers’ activity and respond to their different needs and tastes.

Brands now have the means to bring back the personal experience. Don’t miss this golden opportunity.

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