In this article, originally published on Modern Marketing Today, Julia Gebhart, Product Marketing Manager at Sitecore shares her thoughts on how retailers can use omnichannel personalization to improve digital experiences for their customers.
Customer experience is perhaps the most important element when it comes to building brand loyalty. Customers demand impeccable user experience in today and constantly compare retailers based on their impressions. According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of retailers say that their companies compete based on customer experience. However, in a recent webinar, Julia Gebhart, Product Marketing Manager at Sitecore, contended that “100 percent of retailers should feel that way because Gartner’s research also shows that experience beats product two to one and experience beats price eight to one. Gartner further found that people are willing to pay even more money for a wonderful experience for an equivalent type of product, resulting in experience beating brand loyalty three to one.”Watch the Webinar
For retailers to remain ahead, they must deliver on personalized experience across all channels for their customers. Personalization is critical when it comes to making the experience relevant for each individual. Gebhart shared that “it starts with your website. Your website is the nucleus. This is where personalization begins. Then, you move into mobile apps, social, and email.” With this strategy, retailers can provide an experience that customers will want to keep coming back to.
One of the first steps retailers need to take is to understand that personalization goes beyond auto-filling the customer’s name on yet another web form. Over the last two years, customers have grown to desire a personal experience when shopping. Retailers need to utilize the data assets they have to offer suggestions on what customers may want to buy or products they don’t know about yet. Retailers need to tap into their data silos to discover how they can use their customer information. Gebhart commented that “according to Forrester, two-thirds of retailers have no idea when customers switched devices [during their shopping experience,] even though almost 70 percent of purchases are the culmination of a multi-device journey.”
Integrating customer data into marketing strategies will become even more challenging as third-party cookies begin to diminish. As a result, retailers are going to have to rely upon their first-party data more so than ever before to create personalized messaging for their customers. One benefit to using first-party data over third-party data is that it more accurately reflects actual customer behavior since the information is collected directly from the customer.
Data aggregation and insights will unlock omnichannel personalization for retailers. By merging first-party data with behavioral data, retailers can create a complete customer profile based on interactions with the brand. Then, retailers can target customers and follow them throughout their shopping journey. Gebhart commented that “journey mapping is critical…you need to know what your customers are doing, how they’re interacting with you, and what their true pain points are. This way, you can truly personalize and customize their experience.”
Customer habits are ever-changing, so retailers need to constantly evaluate the experiences they are delivering and update their personalization efforts. In a post-COVID-19 world, customers are shopping more online and through hybrid experiences, such as curbside delivery and buying online, picking up in-store. By integrating omnichannel personalization, retailers can deliver a seamless experience that drives customer loyalty.
To learn more about omnichannel personalization for customer experience, click here.