A recent survey indicated that only 40% of personalised marketing messages actually feel personal to the recipient. Geri Tuneva, Director of Demand Generation at Qubit, discusses how personalisation can be deployed effectively to make the most out of personalisation techniques, providing insight into techniques that make this possible and siting their work with Mothercare as a proof point.
The latest industry findings reveal that only 40 per cent of personalized messages ‘feel personal’ to customers, which, by definition, suggests that the technology isn’t fulfilling its purpose (according to research from Periscope by McKinsey). This is not to say that personalization doesn’t work, it’s an incredibly powerful tool, but it would appear that some of the companies using it are not making the most of it. There is a disconnect between the experience companies are providing and the experience customers are expecting. Sending a ‘personal’ message to every customer who visits a site does not constitute a strong customer experience. Rather businesses need to look at what they can do to ensure that their personalization is personal.
The importance of segmentation
Data is a company’s most valuable asset, and at Qubit we place great importance on the data layer, which collects, enriches and validates every visitor’s activity. The level of customer context the data layer provides empowers ecommerce professionals to create precise segments and persuasive experiences. This data then enables behavioral segmentation to ensure that customers are receiving relevant and helpful messages that actively aid and tailor the experience. Segmentation helps to divide customer bases into smaller, more focussed groups, that have a unique set of needs or preferences, allowing companies to target them with messaging about the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way. Our customers can deliver this to their visitors in real time, guiding their digital journeys based on behavior and intent. This forms an essential part of the personalization journey, creating experiences that are useful and personal to a visitor’s goals.
How Mothercare segmented their way to personalization success online
One example of how companies can use segmentation to better understand customers is Qubit’s work with the British retailer, Mothercare. Mothercare deployed Qubit’s Visitor Pulse technology for first-time browsers, which enabled users to self-segment themselves into either ‘parents-to-be’, ‘parents’, or ‘gifters’. Straight away, the user can select an option that best applies to them, directing them to the information that will be most relevant, and bypassing thousands of products that simply aren’t of interest. Data was then collected from the Mothercare website, to understand the purchasing and browsing behaviors of different groups of visitors. Mothercare used these insights to create 9 more brand new segments specific to the needs of its customers, for example prenatal mothers, postnatal mothers, or mothers due in 4 weeks, drilling down into the fine details of what different customers were looking for.
Personalization techniques that deliver results
Once segmentation has been used to understand visitors’ preferences, companies can look to deliver persuasive personalization at scale that resonates. Techniques such as social proof, highlighting popular or trending products are effective because they persuade visitors, guide behavior and create a sense of urgency. This approach works best when partnered with segmentation to deliver the right product to the right person at the right time.
Research from Qubit shows that implementing a range of personalization techniques can result in a healthy 6 percent uplift to total digital topline revenues. While this number doesn’t seem that impressive, in the context of a multimillion pound retailer, this is huge. It highlights the importance of having a comprehensive personalization strategy; customers are better-served, can find what they want easier, and businesses can increase their revenue.
Customers want and expect a personal experience when they shop, but as the research shows, many end up feeling short-changed. What many retailers refer to as personalized messages might not be personalized at all, and therein lies the problem. It’s vital that companies gain insight into the habits of their users in real time, to deliver true personalization that feels relevant. To do this, retailers need to ensure their customer data collection is comprehensive, grounded in contextual behavioral data and incorporates customer feedback to inform interactions, campaigns and user journeys.
By Geri Tuneva
Director of Demand Generation