Imagine receiving a birthday present from a close friend that perfectly matches your personality, tastes and interests. How did they know exactly what you wanted without asking you? The answer lies in the power of personalisation—the ability to create tailored experiences that cater to each individual's unique needs and preferences.
In digital commerce, personalisation provides a similar level of attention to customers, by leveraging data and algorithms to deliver customised recommendations, content and promotions. This creates a win-win situation where customers feel understood and valued, while brands drive shopper loyalty, revenue growth and competitive advantage.
However, personalisation also raises issues and challenges such as data privacy, accuracy, and meeting the expectations of customers. Read on to understand why personalisation is important for e-commerce companies to succeed in the ever-changing digital commerce landscape and how you can implement it with CINNOX.
What is personalisation in digital commerce?
Personalisation in digital commerce means tailoring the buying experience to each customer's unique preferences, interests, and behaviours. By using data analytics and artificial intelligence, you can provide targeted product recommendations and personalised help based on a shopper's past interactions with your brand.
Say a returning customer browsing for new shoes clicks to chat with your agent, who warmly greets them by their first name. The customer then asks about the fit of a new design and the agent, able to access their purchase history, recommends sizing up for a better fit. This demonstrates a tailored and customised approach to customer service.
Benefits of personalisation in digital commerce
Personalisation in digital commerce can lead to increased customer engagement, loyalty, revenue growth, and a more satisfying shopping experience, while also providing you with valuable customer insights and avenues for optimisation. According to SmarterHQ, 72% of surveyed consumers say they only engage with marketing messages that are personalised and tailored to their interests!
For example, a coffee subscription service can use a customer's sleep patterns and daily routine to suggest an ideal coffee blend and delivery time. By analysing the data collected from their wearable devices, the coffee service can recommend a blend with higher caffeine content for morning consumers or a decaf blend for evening drinkers.
The service can also deliver the coffee at the customer's optimal time according to their daily routine, guaranteeing timely delivery. This personalisation can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and repeat orders. Furthermore, the brand can use data to improve its product offerings and marketing strategies, meeting its customers' preferences.
Ways to personalise the digital commerce experience
1. Offer a uniform customer experience
To achieve personalisation, you should offer a smooth and consistent customer experience across all platforms shoppers might use, including social media, email, mobile, and web. By providing a seamless experience throughout, customers are more likely to return and become loyal to your brand.
In addition to the popular communication channels above, CINNOX integrates traditional and digital telephony for a complete, omnichannel customer experience. Regardless of which channel a customer uses, for example, your agents will know what was said earlier in Facebook Messenger and they don't have to repeat themselves.
2. Don’t forget social media
Businesses are rapidly adopting social commerce, investing in marketplaces, and leveraging data to achieve their business objectives. The growth of social commerce has been significant in the past years, with 64% of social media users reporting purchasing something through a social media channel in 2021.
CINNOX can help you consolidate all your social data in one place as well as provide seamless offline-to-online experiences. You can also add intelligent chatbots to social messaging, enabling customers to get answers faster. Or add web links and QR codes to let customers get instant help from an agent without having to be online all the time.
3. Leverage customer data
Using customer data is a way to achieve personalisation, which can be done by collecting interaction information through website cookies, chat history, purchase history, and email engagement. In fact, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that offer relevant offers and recommendations to them.
When you unite all your touchpoints with CINNOX, you are also consolidating all your interactions and data in one place. This avoids data fragmentation and disjointed experiences when sales data, for example, is not shared with the customer service team to understand what was said earlier by customers in their buying journey.
4. Explore artificial intelligence
AI and machine learning analyse customer behaviour, preferences and purchases to suggest relevant solutions, increasing conversion. These insights can be provided across multiple channels and improve over time, driving up to 31% of retailer revenue and offering greater growth opportunities.
Using chatbots, CINNOX can help you capture and qualify leads at scale. It's a win-win situation for you as customers get faster service while your agents are free to work on more value-added tasks. The experience is tailored for the customer as the chatbot considers the lead's interactions, browsing behaviour and interests shared.
Best practices for data-driven personalisation
1. Remove departmental and data silos
A unified view of customer data leads to personalisation strategies that improve satisfaction, retention and revenue growth. Plus, mining data gives you a holistic view of customer likes and behaviours for informed decision-making in product development, marketing, and inventory management.
By breaking down silos between your marketing, sales and customer service teams, you can more effectively track customer interactions and preferences. A common customer complaint about the functionality of a product, for example, could be due to a mismatch between customer expectations and the marketing message of the product.
2. Save all customer and employee interactions
Such interactions provide valuable insights for targeted personalisation. Data reveals optimisation opportunities, leading to more efficient and effective customer interactions. Consistent record keeping allows for faster issue resolution, improving customer satisfaction, better loyalty, and revenue.
For example, analysing agent interactions may reveal inappropriate behaviour or violations of company policies, enabling you to take corrective action and avoid legal or reputational risk. Similarly, reviewing customer chats may suggest a suspicious activity, allowing you to take proactive measures to prevent fraud and protect customer data.
3. Include dark data that may be overlooked
Dark data—information that is collected but not utilised—can provide unique customer insights for personalisation. Analysing and leveraging it may reveal undiscovered market opportunities and create a competitive edge, improving decision-making and the customer experience.
An e-commerce store, for example, could analyse the geographical location data of visitors to its website. This could show untapped markets with high demand, allowing the company to expand their product selection to meet its specific needs. They may also recruit agents that speak their language, gaining a foothold in those regions.
Challenges of personalisation in digital commerce
Personalisation is a powerful tool in digital commerce that enables you to provide tailored experiences that meet the unique needs and preferences of individual customers. However, personalisation also poses several challenges that must be addressed to achieve success. Understanding these challenges is crucial if you want to leverage the power of personalisation effectively in your digital commerce strategy.
1. Balancing personalisation with privacy concerns
Customers expect personalised experiences that cater to their needs but also value their privacy and data protection. To meet this balance, you can implement privacy policies, obtain customer consent for data collection and use, and provide transparency and control over personal data.
2. Ensuring the accuracy of data and algorithms
Accurate personalisation in digital commerce requires error-free and unbiased data and algorithms. To achieve this, you can implement quality control measures, conduct regular data audits, and use transparent algorithms with human monitoring to ensure the ethical use of personal data.
3. Managing customer expectations
Customers demand hyper-personalised experiences, but you must ensure that they are realistically achievable! To manage this, you can communicate how their data will be used and offer transparent opt-in/opt-out options as well. This fosters trust and loyalty by creating a better customer experience.
Personalisation is critical to the digital commerce experience. You must deliver unique experiences that connect with customers, and meet and delight their needs! This builds loyalty, drives revenue, and differentiates you from competitors.