So you’ve implemented an Omnichannel retail strategy for your eCommerce business, and you can offer a better customer experience. You can now connect with your customers at all touch points on their retail journey, and they know your brand is best for them. You’ve even managed to avoid the common problems when starting Omnichannel commerce, and revenue and customer loyalty have gone up as a result.
No idea what we’re talking about? Check out our introductory article What is Omnichannel?
But making the user experience seamless across different retail channels is only the beginning. Omnichannel marketing has evolved to become more personalized. The next step is to optimize your Omnichannel strategy. It’s time to make it better. And this time it’s personal.
Omnichannel personalization means customizing your retail strategies for each different customer. While Omnichannel is being there for users at every stage on their customer journey, personalization, by definition, takes it one step further to adapt content and experiences based on user preferences. According to a survey by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that can provide them with a personalized service, such as special offers and product recommendations that are relevant to them.
“Personalization is about giving people more of what they want, but also giving them less of what they don’t want”
[Simon Kemp, Founder and CEO of Kepios]
Imagine being able to send your users discount vouchers made just for them, or push notifications at the exact time you know they’ll be looking at their phone and thinking of shopping online, or even directions to the nearest store just when they need it most.
These and other similar examples of Omnichannel personalization will drive eCommerce sales, and maximize brand visibility and the utility it can provide to users.
The trick to achieving Omnichannel personalization at scale is segmenting the data for each single customer. Instead of aggregating data in big bundles and treating customers as blocks of numbers, you have to personalize the data by breaking it down into an individual package for each and every person who uses your services. You could just as easily call the technique “Omnichannel humanization” because it recognizes every customer as an individual and makes them feel cared for.
To start personalizing the Omnichannel approach for each customer, you need to collect data every time one of your users interacts with your brand, no matter what digital platform or offline channel they’re using. You’re probably already getting lots of customer data, from what web pages users visit to what they’re searching on Google and what they buy, both online and in-store. But effective Omnichannel personalization requires smart use of this information.
It’s about recognizing the patterns in consumer behaviour and adapting the business strategy and marketing methods to meet these trends for every single shopper. It’s impossible to do manually because it would take hundreds of manhours and would cost the company far more than the benefits it would bring. That’s why businesses use Customer Data Platforms, or CDPs.
See also: What is a CDP?
74% of marketers in a Gartner report said they struggle to upscale the personalization of their customer interactions, despite pressure from the market to do so due to increased competition between companies for maximum personalization.
Customer Data Platform software integrates all the customer data in one place, and automatically divides them in a program that is easy to manage. Each customer is assigned an ID number and their information is segmented. CDPs have the ability to:
take data from any source;
capture all the detail of that data;
store the data in the system forever;
use it to create personal profiles, and;
share the data with other systems.
In this way, the CDP creates a readymade customer database, so you can see each of your customers as a person and not just one in a set of numbers. This is what we mean by improving technological processes to form relationships with our users, to bring relationships back to the heart of business. After all, it is people who are the end users, and it is to people who we should make efforts to communicate and connect with.
When you see each customer as a separate entity, you can personalize what you say to them and how you interact with them to be more relevant to their needs and interests. This can include personalized marketing tactics such as targeted ads on a user’s mobile phone based on what kind of products they were searching for on their desktop computer recently, or even apology messages in the form of an app notification when the customer had a poor in-store experience.
You have to be careful, though: personalization is a balance between too cold and business-like, and too targeted and creepy. If people think your company has too much information about them, they will be turned off. For instance, around 40% of users don’t like when they get text messages or notifications when they are walking past a brick-and-mortar store. Such tactics could actually hurt your brand image.
The future of Omnichannel personalization will be to give consumers more power over what level of personalization they have with a brand. Letting your customers choose how your company relates to them and being transparent about data usage will truly drive up brand engagement, and is the pinnacle of personalization because it really does treat each user as a person, with preferences and desires.
Consumers are also concerned about how companies use (and abuse) their personal information. While people mostly understand that data collection is needed for the kind of personalized shopping experiences they want, they want to know their information is only being used for the purposes they agree to.
Another good reason to use a Customer Data Platform in your business, then, is that a CDP can help to protect your customers’ personal data. All companies are required to comply with the GDPR and data privacy laws, and using a CDP helps companies protect customer data by storing the user data safely and effectively. Indefinite storage of data according to standard privacy laws is one of the five main data management requirements demanded of a CDP. CDPs keep control of where the data came from and who is using it, who it has been shared with and who has access to it.
Here are 3 examples of the best CDPs that offer a 360 degree customer view:
Antsomi CDP 365: The CDP offering from Antsomi is the first AI-enabled CDP from Southeast Asia, and works by unifying customer data from multiple sources into a single customer view. This provides multidimensional insights in the custom-built Marketing Hub to coordinate 1-to-1 customer journeys at scale across multiple channels, all of which is enhanced by a single set of APIs.
Arm Treasure Data: Arm Treasure Data’s CDP draws in data from external sources and allows users to use filters, create segments, and apply machine learning across the data sets. The program fills in information about missing touchpoints for customers, both online and offline.
Real-time CDP from Adobe: Compatible with the Adobe Experience Platform, Adobe’s Real-time CDP integrates known and unknown customer data in trusted customer profiles, while offering real-time activation across many channels and allowing users to connect custom APIs to internal systems.
Many channels are better than a few, and two heads are better than one. Let’s team up and we can help make Omnichannel work for your business.