Part II: Leverage Livestreaming and the Art of Personalization Programs
In an industry where almost every moment brings a shiny new objective to chase and strategy to deploy, it's vital for retailers and brands to crystalize the most impactful opportunities and prioritize excellent execution. Whether it's taking a fresh approach to your loyalty program or constantly delivering purpose-driven content through real-time selling, it all should be informed by the wealth of unique customer data you've collected over the past two years. Here's a closer look into two initiatives that are slated to be an advantageous place for brands to stand out with engaging communication and shopping points for customers.
This Isn’t Your Mama’s HSN: It's Finally the Year of Livestream Shopping
The West has been slower to embrace livestreaming, but that’s quickly evolving as more fashion and beauty brands tap into the rapidly shifting medium for its many benefits. While China is dominating the livestream commerce space — which is projected to account for 20 percent of the nation’s e-commerce sales in 2022 — we're beginning to see an uptick in the U.S., with sales expected to surpass $25 billion by 2023. Platforms are continuing to roll out new features to support the demand, with TikTok and Twitter competing for some of the share dominated by Amazon.com, Instagram, and Facebook. Walmart is investing heavily in celebrity hosts to attract viewers to its streams, with Rachel Ray hosting a Facebook event to promote her product line, and tapping Jason Derulo to introduce Cyber Monday deals across multiple categories.
To be successful, brands must use livestreams as additional selling channels instead of the occasional marketing opportunity.
- Strategize how to retain customers by capitalizing on the medium’s immersive and entertaining nature to deliver relevant and consistent content.
- Encourage engagement with viewers by utilizing the chat feature to interact with consumers in real time in order to move them through the purchase funnel more quickly.
- Incentivize viewership by offering exclusive deals to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
- Partner with influencers, celebrities or brand representatives as hosts to establish a trusted relationship between the customer and the brand.
- Maximize the customer insights you have to inform your strategy. For example, if your CRM data shows that your customers respond to newness, consider hosting events when new collections or product drops. Or if they respond to “how-to” educational content, consider an event where a host can walk customers through their favorite products and how they like to use them.
Personalization and Loyalty Programs Are Bringing Sexy Back … Again
If you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of your customers and a loyalty program in place that rewards them at a deeper level than simply points or discounts, you're already behind your competition and your customers’ expectations.
As customers have switched brands over the past two years due to early COVID-19 social media discovery, price increases, and recent supply chain challenges that have impacted stock shortages, developing or improving upon a robust customer retention strategy is essential for 2022. Along with decreasing the dependency on customer acquisition when marketing costs are rising, a 5 percent increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25 percent to 95 percent. In order to retain customers, retailers will need to focus on increasing and enhancing their personalization strategy and loyalty programs.
- Utilize first- and zero-party data to deliver personalized and relevant content to customers. Sixty-three percent of consumers state they're more likely to do holiday shopping with brands that customize the experience to their needs.
- Segment your data to determine actionable customer insights at every stage of the purchase funnel. If you don’t have the marketing technology tools to do so, then invest in them now vs. spending more money on customer acquisition later.
- Unify the online and in-store shopping experience with personalization and loyalty tools — e.g., virtual shopping lists, automatic back-in-stock notifications, product recommendations — to encourage sales.
- Engage and reward customers with relevant loyalty perks, such as first access to new arrivals, sales or limited offers. A report from Inmar Intelligence found that almost 70 percent of loyalty members said that exclusive discounts and coupons are the deciding factor for joining a loyalty program.
However, beyond engaging consumers, it can create a dialogue between brands and buyers to provide convenient checkouts with real-time feedback and data.
Brands and retailers are working hard to retain the customers they won and re-engage customers they may have lost. Tapping into livestreaming and activating a personalization strategy not only provides real-time feedback and data, but nurtures desired long-term customer relationships. Creating this consistent dialogue between brand and buyer with the convenience they’ve grown to expect will be a crucial factor in driving revenue growth through 2022. Make sure to check back in to learn how to excel in a cookie-less future and understand how to arm your brands for the conveniences your customers demand.
Tierney Wilson is senior vice president, client strategy and consulting at January Digital, a digital leadership company that solves business challenges through media, analytics and strategic consulting.
Related story: Part I: Forging the Future of Retail Through Strength
Tierney Wilson is SVP, Client Strategy and Consulting, leads strategic leadership for all client services employees and clients. In her role Wilson is also responsible for the consulting practice which accounts for the agency’s largest area of growth. Prior to her role as SVP, Wilson served January Digital as its Managing Director and Director of Digital Strategy. Before joining the agency, she helped lead e-commerce for Dutch LLC (Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment), Tory Burch and spent time at Condé Nast.