Maximum ecommerce ROI from personalisation. You’ve most likely read the statistics on consumers being more likely to spend money (and more of it) with brands that offer personalised content and experiences. While this in itself sounds compelling, creating high-performing personalised content is easier said than done.
Once a company gets beyond embracing personalisation theoretically, it can often get mired in resource and process constraints because individualised content often requires creating more variations of assets. This requires more time from internal and potentially external resources, which adds time, cost and complexity to planning campaigns and initiatives that may have already been complex to start. In other words, doing personalisation well can be a daunting task if you haven’t put in place the people, processes and platforms to extract ROI from your efforts.
In this article, we discuss how you can ensure that you are getting real business value from your personalisation efforts.
The cost of personalisation
While you may be familiar with the promised benefits of personalisation — increased loyalty, per-session sales and more — it is also important to understand and be realistic about what doing personalisation well can cost in terms of time and resources.
Remember that each unique piece of information or content that is shown to an individual or unique audience segment must be generated somehow. In many cases, images are still being created manually, copy is being written individually and more. In other cases, planning must be done to generate variations that make sense in terms of localisation. When information or data can be automatically generated, there must still be planning involved to generate personalised variations that are useful.
All of this can involve potentially big changes to the way an organisation manages its content creation and marketing approach. This means people, processes and platforms need to be evaluated and potentially modified to fit the needs of personalisation. When done well, however, these changes within the organisation and the time spent on creating content can generate returns well beyond the investment.
While creating personalised experiences doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive, it is important to go into your efforts with a fuller understanding of the time, effort and costs associated with doing it well. This may influence you to start with a pilot project that is less resource-intensive, which is often a good idea anyway when testing something new.
Realising the full potential of personalisation
Personalisation has the potential to increase the time or money new customers spend. Remember, though, that it’s not just about new customers. Existing and repeat customers offer a huge opportunity to use personalisation to drive business value, and often provide the best opportunities since you know more about them because of their history with your product or service.
Additionally, personalisation on a single channel is useful, but we’ve found that the best results come when a customer is able to have a consistent experience across multiple devices and platforms. Omnichannel personalisation unlocks potential that a single point of contact or channel simply can’t.
For those organisations that are behind the curve on personalisation, it makes sense to start with a small set of communication channels at first, but the goal should be to increase this as soon as feasible. Remember, your customers are switching between screens as well as online and offline channels multiple times throughout the day. It’s crucial to keep up with this behavior.
Catching new customers with a tailored offer or call to action can make the difference between making or losing a sale. Once you know more about your customers, and are able to reach them through the many different channels and communication methods they use throughout their days, the opportunity to benefit from personalisation improves greatly.
Determining the ROI of personalisation
As we’ve seen by exploring the costs of personalisation, no matter how compelling the use cases may be, personalisation can’t just be a box to check. It needs to have measurable returns or else it will simply drain resources and time away from other marketing efforts.
These benefits of personalisation that can demonstrate return on investment can include more sales per customer, more sales per visit, improved experience measured through net promoter scores or customer satisfaction, more referrals, and many other metrics and methods.
Need a way to get your personalisation and associated measurement efforts off the ground? You can start your efforts by comparing how a specific audience performs when presented with personalised content and offers versus standard ones.
You may need to incorporate several methods of tracking to do this well, including multi-touch attribution that gives more details about the different customer touchpoints that contribute to a conversion (as opposed to only using first-touch or last-touch attribution, which only tell part of the story). The move by organisations toward customer data platforms that integrate tightly with their marketing channels also helps with measuring and fulfilling personalisation across the enterprise.
Ultimately, you can measure ROI through increased customer lifetime value, where your audiences find what they need more easily, they have better products recommended to them and the path to purchase is frictionless.
Personalising the customer experience is often touted as a surefire way to gain more loyal buyers and increase their spending. Despite this, getting a true return on investment from personalisation efforts can be easier said than done. If you consider these points, however, you’ll be well on your way to personalisation success and the business value that creates.