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How businesses can benefit from omnichannel personalisation

Omnichannel personalisation has been creeping up on retailers for the past few years, but not all of them have acted on that. With eCommerce and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) at the centre of new customer expectations, retailers must invest in technology that helps them to improve their customers’ experience.

By Lilia Krauser, Marketing Intern

Published May 12, 2021
Last updated May 12, 2021

It’s not surprising that most of us switched to online shopping when physical stores shut down around the world. With that in mind, consumers sought empathy through greater support, a better overall experience and a way to communicate with brands in a way they preferred, accelerating the shift towards an omnichannel and personalised experience. According to McKinsey, 83% of shoppers find value in a personalised experience, with 68% of millennials seeking for an omnichannel experience. If customers want a personalised experience, how can retailers direct their investments towards ensuring it?

What is omnichannel personalisation?

Omnichannel personalisation is a technique that creates a seamless, unique and consistent customer experience across all the channels a customer uses to interact with a brand.

The key to adapting to an omnichannel and personalised strategy is to collect data across all channels a customer uses to interact with a brand. And with the pandemic, customers have been leaving their digital footprints everywhere. Every click, purchase and other information can be recorded by retailers which can allow them to understand their customers better. By collecting this data, retailers can start to look at which touch points within their customers’ journeys are the most vulnerable or influential. This allows retailers to invest in the right technology to enhance their customers’ experience.

Being able to offer great experiences to customers is important in today’s economy, especially because 75% of customers are willing to spend more from companies that provide good customer experience. However, investing in high level technology can be expensive, especially if it’s all used in delivering the same level of experience to every customer. Instead, retailers should focus on finding their best customers and focusing their higher investment in their journey, as these customers can lead to higher profitability. This strategy ensures that retailers keep up with the latest demand by investing not only in the right touch points but also the right customers.

Get to all your customers’ expectations

Customer support being an important aspect of CX, retailers can invest in technology to enhance it for all their customers. A common investment in customer support is artificial intelligence (AI) to ease customer experience through the use of chatbots. Chatbots allow retailers to assist customers with their enquiries and filter out the requests that need human assistance. This investment is becoming increasingly popular as 60% of Zoomers and Millennials agree that automation/bots are helpful for simple issues, allowing customers to solve their issues quickly and alone.

Retailers shouldn’t limit their chatbots to their website as they should be able to provide the same level of service across all their channels to truly become omnichannel. With the rise of millennials and zoomers, social media is becoming an important platform for customer support in retail as 31% of consumers prefer interacting with retailers through social messaging apps.

French cosmetics retailer Sephora introduced Sephora Visual Artist and Sephora Reservation Assistant on Facebook Messenger and Kick to be able to connect with their customers wherever they are. Sephora Visual Artist also allows customers to find makeup according to their preferences, colour match makeup to their skin tones and get a virtual makeover. This is an efficient way of offering a personalised service to customers across different channels, which according to McKinsey can lead a retailer to achieve a 5-15% revenue increase across the full customer base.

Find and reward your best customers

Whilst some strategies can be applied to all customers to keep up with the demand, retailers can identify unique ways to connect with their best customers to build further loyalty. To identify these customers, a common metric used by marketers is measuring the customer lifetime value (CLV) which represents the total amount of spendings a customer has made during its interaction with a retailer.

Keeping the example of customer support in mind, retailers can filter out the most important customers in order to remove their waiting time. Retailers can also tailor specific support to their best customers such as bigger return windows, free deliveries and access to free samples of products. This allows retailers to reward their best customers by investing in more tools to enhance their journey as well as incite more customers to become loyal to retailers.

Adapting to an omnichannel and personalised strategy will be an ongoing process over the next few years as technology changes and enables retailers to offer a unique and seamless experience to their customers. Nonetheless, retailers must react now or risk getting left behind.

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