The majority of consumers — 80 percent to be exact — say they’re more likely to shop with a retailer that offers personalized experiences. The preference for personalization is so strong that 78 percent of customers won’t even engage with an offer that hasn’t been made relevant to them.
Delivering on Personalization Pays Off
Businesses that customize consumer experiences see an average sales increase of 19 percent, and 77 percent of consumers have paid more for the same product from a different retailer because it came with a personalized experience.
5 Steps to Building Your Retail Personalization Platform
A meaningful brand experience hinges on delivering relevant content such as discounts, marketing, products, content and more to anticipate customer needs and help them meet their goals.
1. Learn about and segment your audience.
The first essential stage of any personalization strategy is to know your target audience so you can organize it into segments to present relevant retail content.
The information to gather about your customers and prospects includes personal and demographic data as well as how they interact with your digital properties, your other customers/prospects, and even your competitors’ properties, if possible.
2. Develop your retail personalization toolkit.
A technology toolkit helps you gather and use this audience data.
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps you develop behavioral insight into customers and prospects. You can also add a customer data platform (CDP) to round out the profiles that your CRM helped you start. Additionally, a data management platform (DMP) deepens your knowledge about your audience by uniting customer information from your digital domains, data partners, and aggregators.
Make sure you build your personalization platform on a strong but flexible foundation. A headless content management system (CMS) uses application programming interface (API) technology to integrate with digital tools that support your personalization efforts.
3. Create content and apply metadata.
It can be challenging to create a large volume of engaging marketing messaging, products, articles, and so on, but you can make sure to use each piece of content effectively.
A headless CMS is instrumental in creating content modules that exist independently of how and where they’re published.
This modularity enables you to create content once then reassemble it in various ways to deliver it to different channels and audience segments.
It’s important to note that modular content can only be effective if it’s labeled properly. Enter metadata, which is information about the contents of the content that describe it to the API. With metadata, when a user searches your site for a “yellow widget under $100,” your API will be able to accurately surface all content that’s been labeled “yellow,” “widget,” and “under $100.”
4. Define personalization rules.
Create rules that determine which content is served to which customer types in which situations. These rules typically follow an “if X, then Y” format. For instance, one of your rules might dictate that if a shopper abandons their cart during checkout, then a follow-up email with a discount code is sent.
5. Launch, monitor, and optimize.
Once your retail personalization platform is live, it’s time to examine the performance of the personalized marketing, products, offers, articles, and other content you’re producing.
A/B testing, heat mapping, and monitoring analytics such as clickthrough and conversion rates help you learn what audience segments prefer and keep improving on it.
Start Building Your Retail Personalization Platform Now
Over half of all businesses report lacking the technology they need to personalize experiences.
This means that the sooner you implement the technology and strategies to build a retail personalization platform, the sooner you can pull ahead of more than 50 percent of your competition.
Brent Heslop is a content strategist at Contentstack, the leading content experience platform.
Brent Heslop is a Content Strategist at Contentstack, the leading Content Experience Platform. Prior to Contentstack, he worked for over 15 years as a Senior Web Technologist at TIBCO Software. Brent has authored 15 popular computing books that have been translated into several languages. He has also taught HTML and Web programming at UC Santa Cruz Extension and has held numerous corporate seminars on Web publishing and programming.