Strategies for omnichannel personalisation. Once the main vehicle for how brands connected with visitors online, these days, your website is now just one of many channels used to nurture relationships and influence purchase decisions.
From email to mobile app, call centres, digital kiosks, and more, brands are discovering the key to acquiring and maintaining customers requires delivering a tailored experience, regardless of whether they are interacting on-site, or off.
Establishment of a cohesive data set
Much like how proper website personalisation relies on a complete 360 degree/single view of the customer, so too does experience optimisation across channels. It is, therefore, incredibly important that vital information such as real-time behaviour on-site, online and offline conversion history, geography, product affinities, cross-device activity, or any other piece of data acquired about a visitor is able to flow freely throughout your marketing stack to maintain consistency and relevancy in experiences from one channel to the next.
However, the more systems of engagement (SoE) employed to handle various areas of your customer experience, the greater the likelihood you will face issues with data fragmentation. Built to integrate, consolidate, and unify data from any available source, an omnichannel personalisation platform is recommended to achieve this level of cohesion.
The shift to APIs
As more channels are added to the customer journey, Product & Engineering teams must now work in tandem with Marketing to build experiences that will engage audiences in new and meaningful ways. To do this with a greater degree of flexibility and control, many are turning to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), allowing them to embed personalisation and user-level data.
Identify strategic areas of opportunity
Before attempting to get in front of consumers in as many places as possible, you should carefully balance the need to optimize existing traditional digital channels and those that are considered emerging. For even though expectations are constantly rising, this pressure to be everywhere can often have adverse effects on the overall customer experience, especially if teams don’t have a clear understanding of how business value can be derived from a specific channel.
Cross-channel personalisation use cases
Now that you know which channels you’d like to scale your efforts to, it’s time to determine the types of use cases you can implement to maximise your impact. Below, we offer a few personalisation examples of how leading brands are delivering tailored experiences across a variety of channels and touchpoints.
Tailor email content by predictive personalisation
When compared to other channels such as social media, display ads, and video marketing, 59% of marketers cited email as their biggest source of ROI. Yet despite the demand from email, there is often a disconnect between what happens on-site and in the inbox.
uTo close the gap and ensure high engagement, you can test sending emails with personalised content and recommendations, or trigger automated emails based on real-time behaviour and important lifecycle events. Predictive personalisation is the acknowledged leader in the field, determining exactly what products each individual consumer is most likely to purchase next on a personal basis and offer it at exactly the right time.
However there are many excellent alternatives, that are content to segment audiences with corresponding diminished in return, but still exceptionally viable. For example, if a visitor leaves the site with items in their cart, use the chance to remind them of what has been left behind and offer promotional deals to help close the conversion loop.
Optimise retargeting campaigns on paid media
While WordStream claims retargeting ads are, on average, 76% more likely to be clicked on than a typical display ad, a separate study from Nanigans found that 88% of consumers see ads for products they’ve already purchased.
Without accurate audience data, ad campaigns can quickly become “spray and pray” rather than finely tuned to a specific audience segment or individual. But leveraging a unified and up-to-date dataset from which to build experience, you can deliver correctly targeted campaigns for even greater results.
For example, you could run a campaign based on purchase history to avoid shoppers who already converted, recouping potentially wasted media spend and improving the overall end-user experience.
Recommend personalised items within chatbots
In a report by Juniper Research, chatbot interactions are forecasted to generate £112 billion in retail sales (in the form of cost savings) over the next few years, representing a huge area of opportunity for marketers.
An excellent tool for providing answers to simple questions, easing the communication process, and quickly resolving complaints, while great for streamlining support, chatbots can also be utilized to personalise the customer experience.
Imagine a customer is waiting to be connected to a sales representative – you can capitalize on the valuable time and attention by showcasing additional items of interest from within the chatbot screen based on contextual and behavioural data.
Tailor call center communications
While chatbots and self-service solutions continue to grow online, call centers remain a major point of customer interaction for brands across industries such as financial services, travel and hospitality, media and telecommunications, online retail, and others.
However, many times, customer service representatives lack the critical user information necessary to contextualize inbound phone calls, creating a frustrating support experience.
Now, let’s consider the impact of having access to a caller’s complete data profile – using information captured on-site along with their past purchase history, preferences, and more, you can better facilitate the shopping journey by tailoring communications and even recommendations to the individual over the phone.
Dynamically change mobile app elements
According to Smartinsights, mobile apps now account for 63% of time spent with digital media, a 13% increase from last year. Additionally, time spent consuming retail content via mobile apps has reached 62%, 2X more than that of desktop and 4X more than mobile web.
With a surge in mobile app usage, consumers have made their preference for navigating the online experience clear, and teams should do their best to employ strategies that provide channel-specific value and are optimized for smaller screens.
As an example, the process of clicking through category pages and layering in filters can be time-consuming on mobile. So instead of forcing the user to start this work from scratch, personalise the navigation experience, surfacing filters according to each user’s unique affinities.
There is no one customer journey
If the influx in channels and touchpoints has taught us anything, it’s that there is no one path to purchase anymore, presenting additional opportunities to engage with and influence consumers in a multitude of places. But if teams want to extend the customer experience beyond their existing scope, they’ll need to do some work up front to make sure the data, strategies, and resources are in place to succeed with every new outlet.