10 Best Practices to Set Foundation for Effective Retail Personalization
Every single day we would receive at least one promotional email or offer message, which would be about a particular set of products that we were wishing to buy. And we would be wondering ‘how did they know what I like?’. It is nothing but a well-planned marketing program that has an effective retail personalization. This personalization is not just a technological gimmick but a perfect execution of a multi-level plan.
Targeting the right offer to the right customer is the key part of a marketing strategy, and to achieve that these 10 practices should be considered as important.
#1 SET CLEAR OBJECTIVES
Focus on what is important so that all the stakeholders are on the same page. It is also important that all the stakeholders agree to achieve the goals of the personalization program. The goals can be customer-related like customer retention or increasing the value of the customer. It can also be to increase product sales or creating awareness for the brand.
#2 LET MARKETING LEAD THE WAY
Success is directly proportional to marketing. Better the marketing strategy, better will be the organization overall. But instead of keeping marketing as a separate department, prime importance should be given to it and be allowed to take initiatives.
It is highly important that individuals in the marketing team are subject-matter experts. This is necessary because it helps them to plan the marketing campaign better as they see the products from the customer point-of-view. This in turn, results in effective personalization that would make the customer experience better, so does the financial level of the organization.
#3 CATEGORIZE YOUR OFFERS
The success of an effective retail personalization depends on how well you make the offers attractive. But before jumping into promotion, be sure to categorise the offers according to
- customer-product relationship (giving them offers for the products that they do not like is of no good)
- availability of the product
- quality of the product (do not select a low-rated product for promotion).
#4 HAVE CLEAR AND RELEVANT OFFERS
Let’s say that a customer saw an offer for a mobile and he decides to buy it. But only at the checkout he sees that the mobile’s black variant is not eligible for the offer. This will create a disappointment for the customer and this adverse impact is all what your competitor would want. So, do not confuse the customer and be specific about the offer. For example, it must be specified that the offer is only for the white color variant of the mobile.
To avoid confusion, develop a review system to check all the offers before it goes to the market. The offer should be crisp and easy to comprehend. Also, those who review the offers must see it from the customer’s perspective rather than that of the organization.
#5 KEEP OFFERS UP TO DATE
Never use the same offer for all products. From the customer’s perspective, the offers that they see should be unique for each product. So ideally, these personalized offers are created this way: Offer A is created for Product A (Offer B for Product B and so on) and it is used for different customers if they fall into the same personalization category.
As time goes, note the changes in product codes, packaging, and product upgradation. These changes should be reflected in the offers.
#6 SET POLICIES FOR A VARIETY OF OFFERS
Do no repeat the offers to a particular customer. If the offers are predictable, it is not an effective retail personalization. Create a list of offers and the order in which they appear. It should also be noted that dumping the offers on the customers will make them agitated and it will seem as if you are too desperate to sell the products.
Remember these key rules while creating the offers
- Limit the number of offers a customer can get in a single month/week. Also, limit the number of categories.
- Limit the time duration for which the customer can get a certain offer. Once the customer has redeemed it, the same offer should not appear for them.
- Avoid providing two offers for the same product. Also make sure what your competitor has offered for that product.
#7 GIVE OFFERS ONLY FOR WHAT IS IN STOCK
Do not sell what you do not have. It’s simple as that. Promoting a product that is not in stock is a big error and an indirect way of marketing for your competitor. So, keep track of what products are available, what have been recalled and what are in less numbers.
#8 ANALYZE THE EFFECTIVENESS
It is necessary to constantly monitor and analyse the effectiveness of your personalization program. With detailed analysis, the products with high potential can bring higher sales and the stock clearance related issues can be resolved. This analysis will help you to keep the offers up to date.
#9 EDUCATE THE EMPLOYEE ON PERSONALIZATION
The employee must know how personalization works. Most organizations would not consider this as an important task but it has a greater impact on the customer relations. The attendant at your shop is the one who is going to interact with the customer and the billing employee is the one who is going to see to the payments. If the customer knows about the offers you provide, it is equally necessary that you let your employees know the same.
#10 COLLABORATE WITH THE SUPPLIERS
Teaming up with your suppliers is a healthy way to boost your business as well as your supplier’s. Get them to collaborate with the offer cost and streamline your personalization strategies. You can also get them to plan the offers for you so that it creates rapport and helps in business.
All customers will be happy to get an offer for the product they wanted, which they see it as a sheer luck. This positive impact will make them come to the shop repeatedly, which is exactly what a retailer needs to be successful. But behind this ‘sheer luck’ are detailed analysis, effective collaboration, and well-planned offers to create an effective retail personalization.
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