Personalize The Shopping Experience
You know the drill, it happens every year. You have a huge rush during Christmas time and just when you thought you couldn’t take anymore, the returns start coming in. And while there is nothing worse than expending energy on something that actually eats into your profit, what if it didn’t? What if you were able to turn a return into another sale. You’re probably thinking “yah right. It’s a nice fluffy thought”
Actually it’s not that fluffy or unrealistic to think your customer would buy something else. After all they did buy something, at least once already. So what might entice them to take another stab at it? Well certainly something on sale might do it. That usually works on just about everyone. Now let’s see, what would they want? Here’s where it gets tricky. You could look at previous orders and try to guess what they might like but who has time for that? Further, that method could just as easily tell you what they don’t want since you could alternatively say they don’t want anything they have previously ordered. Yes believe it or not, not everyone wants two of everything.
Get to Know Your Customers
In order to be the most effective at selling, we need to know a few things about our customers. By personalizing our interactions with our customers we stand to sell more and create long standing profitable relationships with them. More importantly, our customers are demanding it these days. Tailored messages to them are well received, instill loyalty, and best of all increase your sales.
You’re probably thinking, easier said than done right? Well not really. Is tracking your sales hard? Is offering 10% off in exchange for setting up an online account difficult?. The first step to better data collection is to just do it, and stop talking about it. Installing google analytics on your website and saying that you are effectively collecting data isn’t 100% accurate. You are collecting general data about all your visitors and while it can be helpful to know popular items on your website or offers that produced high traffic, overall this data does little in the way of personalizing a shoppers experience.
Open the Lines of Communication With a Profile
So what is the first step to personalizing the shoppers experience. Well as mentioned above, in order to personalize any experience you need to create a vehicle for communication between you and your visiting traffic. The easiest way seems like an online profile or account that you host on your website. From here, you can tailor the experience accordingly. For example you might have them create an online profile from which you can gather various types of data. By learning their birthday from that profile you can create your first personalized experience.
You might even have them upload a photo of themselves to help you gather even more information you would find useful if you are a clothing retailer. Then, if you sell pet supplies, you would have them upload a picture of their dog or cat. These profiles can be as extensive as you want them to be, however, don’t wear your customers out. Be sure to only gather data that you can make use of. There is an invisible line and if you cross it, you just might piss them off. The bottom line is, each retailer’s personalisation will look slightly different according to many factors like what you sell, who your market is, and what your goals are.
You’re probably wondering how you will get your customers to fill out an online profile. Well it’s not as hard as you think. By making some quick redesign changes on your website you can improve your personalisation efforts exponentially. For example making the search feature on your website more prominent or just making it simply work can provide loads of data and can help you sell more products.
Incorporating Inventory Management Tools For Help
If you sell products that make great gifts, host an online calendar that your customers can use to remember birthdays with. Each time a birthday gets close, you can send out a friendly reminder to your customer while also making suggestions on appropriate gifts, thru email messages. How will you know what to suggest? By asking a few small questions upon addition of that birthday to the calendar. You need to know a little bit then about each of these individuals starting with the basics. Male or female and age are two basic questions you might consider asking when your customer adds the date to their calendar. With inventory management software reporting features, you can learn a lot about your customers by looking at their order history. This personalization feature should be fairly simple to implement for just about anyone. Here’s a tip. Don’t forget to take the opportunity to learn your customers birthday in the process since they probably won’t add their own birthday to the calendar.
Funnelize to Monetize
Creating pre-designed pathways that funnel traffic based on specific characteristics of their search or search behavior, allows you to tailor your messages to them and thus give them the message they want to hear, at the exact moment they want to hear it. Each time you funnel your traffic into segments, you’ll want to be sure to capture at least an email address from them for future marketing efforts. You can capture them at the top or bottom of your funnel. If you capture them at the bottom however you stand to learn a lot more about them.
Capturing the Profile Example
Here’s an example. You could put together an offer that you show to someone who searches for dog bones.
To start, the user searches on your website for dog bones and arrives on a landing page with 4 links to 4 different types of dog bones. Additionally you present a 20% off discount on their order just by setting up their online profile. Not only do you have an excellent opportunity to capture information from your visitor but you already know they have a dog. You could even make it sound less threatening by saying “Set Up Your Furry Friends Profile Fur Even More Discounts”
After clicking the “All Natural dog bone link, your customer now resides on the relevant landing page where organic dog treats are. This funnelized page flow creates an easily tracked opportunity to present relevant information to your customer.
Then the customers chooses the dog bones by adding them to the cart. Now’s your chance to again present your message about setting up their profile. Using your best hook you might say “Get the Best Discounts for Your Furry Friend Sent to Your Email” Or “Get a 20% Discount on Your Order Today” Next to that text is the magic button. When clicked, the user will be whisked away to the blank profile where they begin telling you, the retailer, all about what makes them tick.
Alternatively, you could make it a requirement to login before checkout. Upon logging in you could present them with the discount offer.
Using the online profile to capture the dog’s breed you can then tailor your marketing efforts to that breed of dog, dramatically personalizing and thus improving your sales opportunities. If you don’t get their information with your first attempt, be sure to continually offer the discount until they finally give in. And believe me they will finally give in. Passing up discounts will only go on for so long before the guilt of not taking advantage of them, ends up getting the better of them.