Meeting customer expectations is getting tougher every day. Regardless of their spending habits with you, customers want to feel valued and special. Finding the right way to engage your customers is further complicated by the fact that not all shoppers want the same level of personalisation – millenials and boomers might need different approaches. So how do you effectively deliver personalised loyalty programs and use data to deliver the full omnichannel retail experience?
The pro’s and con’s of loyalty schemes
It’s hard to argue with the fact that loyalty schemes are a fast track to gaining customer data, and many customers are joining up, in the pursuit of best offers. Most consumers say that rewards improve the likelihood of purchasing with a specific brand, and correspondingly the vast majority of retailers offer some kind of program and believe that it’s the preferred way to engage with customers.
But, then there is often a disconnect. Even as sign-ups for loyalty programs increase, this often doesn’t convert into regular sustained engagement, with loyalty schemes left unused by consumers. Clearly there is a lot of potential with loyalty programs for building a long-term engagement with customers that results in continuous sales improvement, but in many cases, even with the largest retailers, this is not happening. Why is this?
It all comes down to data.
Remember when customer profile meant basic information like age, sex, location? When shopping went online, everything changed. Multiple sales channels (online, mobile, social media and bricks and mortar) created a new breed of shoppers with unpredictable behaviours and preferences, and ever-increasing level of expectation, means that the sheer quantity, source and range of data is staggering.
Different levels of personalisation
You also need to cater for different types of shoppers. Millenials are very comfortable with receiving shopping suggestions, while the more traditional, and experienced, boomers prefer to feel they are making their own decisions, and are less likely to switch from trusted brands. As digital natives, millenials are also much more relaxed in sharing personal information, with a lower fear of identity theft. This means that retailers need to tailor their collection of customer information to their market and customer.
There are ways you can address the data security concerns of shoppers:
- Make sure you explain your security processes and protocols to customers
- Let them know how you will use their data
- Put the choice in their hands – over how you will use their information and what you will send them on what device
Managing all the personal data
With data being key to a customer-centred approach, you need to be able to draw and manage it from many sources – your CRM, your inventory systems and your loyalty schemes – and merge it into a single user-friendly location for access by the right people, at the right time -whether they are shop floor staff or senior executives responsible for driving sales through customer engagement.
Technology now exists that gives you the ability to harness this data and deliver a truly personalised shopping experience. Cloud-based retail intelligence and sophisticated in-store mobile apps bring together consumer data from a range of sources to give you a better understanding of your customer’s entire shopping journey. Because the information is located in the cloud, you can access it whenever you want, whereever you want, on whatever device you want.
From here, you can personalise in any way you can think of – offer delivery options for purchases ,send tailored special offers based on their order history, or wish them happy birthday in store.
These types of solutions give you centralised, real time data that puts you in a position to take personalisation to a new level, and capitalize on any and all points of customer engagement.