Multichannel Marketing: Three Personalization Tips for a Better Customer Experience
Looking for tips from the top? Three chief executives from online and multichannel merchants fired out ways to increase profitability by creating a unique multichannel experience through personalization, at last week’s Mid Market eTail conference in San Francisco. On hand were: Hannes Blum, CEO of online bookseller Abebooks.com; Josef Mandelbaum, president/CEO of greeting card marketer AG Interactive; and Mike Stamn, CEO of multichannel auto supplies merchant The Eastwood Co. Following are their recommendations:
1. Organize customer information to provide better personalization. Eastwood produces multiple catalogs, sends different messages and provides separate offers depending on whether the targeted customer is a consumer, a small business or a large business. “We’ve started working with a data center that helps us do a better job with product affinity from customer to customer,” Stamn said. “For example, our e-mails work best when they’re personalized by product.
2. Use site search as first-line personalization. “Creating a one-to-one shopping experience for every visitor to your site is expensive and can slow it down if you have heavy traffic,” Mandelbaum said. A better solution is a robust site search and easy navigation. “If you give the consumer the means to find the products they want, that’s a personalized experience,” he added. Mandelbaum pointed out that you can track these searches and learn the best way to present products to your customers based on how quickly they were able to find what they wanted.
3. Don’t personalize too much. “Too much personalization can backfire,” Blum cautioned. He displayed the example of Amazon.com doing just that. “If you buy a book on horses for your niece’s birthday,” he said, “the next time you go back to Amazon, all the latest and best-selling horse books are featured on the home page. That’s not necessarily great personalization, and it hasn’t worked for us.”