The beginning of a new year is when many retailers are strategizing fresh, new ways to accelerate sales and maximize customer retention. While there are many tactics out there, creating a unique and engaging customer experience starts with cleansed and enriched data. Today’s consumers no longer consider their shopping and buying experiences as simply transactional — instead, they are looking for a more personalized, “made for me” experience that makes them feel truly valued as a customer.
So, how can retailers achieve this individualized customer experience at scale? It boils down to a couple of things—whether or not your customer data is enriched (and up-to-date) and how you market to your customers (if you are still resorting to a “batch and blast” approach, you are missing out on valuable sales and customer retention opportunities.) Implementing these three key steps will allow you to create a unified experience for your customers and keep them coming back.
Gather (and enrich) customer-first data
You are gathering important customer data every time they interact with your business (even before they make a purchase), but are you using it to its full potential? There may be additional opportunities to collect data that you haven’t put into practice yet.
The data that lives in your point-of-sale and eCommerce systems, can tell you everything you need to know about your customers, such as purchase history, buying frequency, and spending habits. It’s a great way to identify what your customers have already bought from you and determine how to meet their needs on an ongoing basis as well as understand what they don’t need or want. This will drastically improve your ability to market to customers individually.
You can also utilize tools like pop-up and other sign-up forms to collect email addresses, demographics, and even special dates to use for welcome emails, birthday offers, and more. Periodic surveys are another great way to determine your customers’ exact needs.
When it comes to collecting data in-store, it’s important to incentivize and train your staff to collect information from customers, such as their email addresses and phone numbers. This starts with shifting the mindset from adding the customer as another number on a broad marketing list to informing them as to why sharing their information is beneficial to them. For example, having the correct contact information is critical post-purchase for things like equipment tune-up reminders at a bike shop, reservation information at a ski resort, updates on product restocks, and more. The customer needs to know that you will use their information for the reasons they want to hear from you.
Segment customers and automate your marketing
Once you have collected and cleansed your customer-first data, the next step is aggregating it in one place for a 360-degree view of your customers. This data will provide you with valuable insights that will allow you to segment your customers into targeted groups, which can be as straightforward or dynamic and multi-level as necessary to identify specific needs. For instance, you could create a segment that includes customers who have purchased from you in the last 90 days, are female, and have spent over a certain dollar amount. This is only one example of the many types of segments you can create.
After identifying your most valuable segments, automation makes it easy to build customized emails, include dynamic content and images that speak directly to your different segments, and set up your campaigns to automatically run in the background while you focus on the front-end your business. Some examples of the types of high-impact campaigns you can automate and send to your customer segments include:
- VIP customers — those who have purchased recently, buy frequently, and spend the most
- Lapsed customers — 70% of customers return within four months of their second purchase
- Timely promotional offers — birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and more
- Post-purchase follow-up — 51% of repeat purchases occur within 60 days
Unify the customer experience across every channel
Enhancing your customers’ buying experience doesn’t stop at personalized emails — it’s important to have the tools necessary to send targeted campaigns to your audiences on Google, Instagram, Facebook, direct mailers, and even communicate in-person.
For data-driven marketing to be successful, consistency is key. Showing up where your customers spend most of their time, whether it’s email, social media, or another channel, allows you to stay top of mind in a relevant way.
80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Expectations for a consistent and personalized customer experience have never been higher for retailers. Invoca
Truly engaging your audience across channels is a result of consistency combined with the power of personalized messaging that will capture the attention of your customers and help you develop stronger, long-lasting relationships.
Put it into practice with Ascent360
Following these three steps will be a game changer for your marketing, as well as increase your customer engagement and sales. At Ascent360, our platform brings it all together within one comprehensive tool that cleanses, combines, and enriches your data, allows you to build and adjust your customer segments, and automates your highly personalized campaigns. Ready to get started? Try Ascent360 risk-free for 30 days and discover the power of cleansed data and segmented, automated marketing.