The concept of personalising your connections with customers isn’t exactly new. For decades, store owners have been building relationships with loyal, repeat customers, helping them to see the value in their products and services. However, the move to the digital world meant that many companies began focusing on the quantity of the connections they made, rather than the quality.
Your customers aren’t looking for the same one-size-fits-all approach to sales that you give everyone else. In fact, around 31% of clients say that they wish their shopping experiences were more customised than it currently is.
If you’ve been wondering how to start personalising your retail experience for today’s consumers, don’t panic. We’ve got some strategies to personalise your offerings and help you build loyalty for your store.
1. Retarget your customers
The unfortunate truth is that many of your customers won’t be ready to buy from you the first time they interact with your store. Today’s customers need to connect with brands a few times first before they feel confident to purchase.
Sometimes, this means you’ll have to reach out to your clients after they’ve already connected with your brand once before. Retargeting is the tool to help with this.
Retargeting campaigns allow you to reach a client a second time after they’ve visited your online store by placing a ‘cookie’ on their internet browser. This cookie remembers what your customers looked at, so you can deliver an ad customised to them.
For instance, if your client was previously looking at a pair of shoes in your clothing store, you can show them the shoes elsewhere, when they’re browsing the web, or hanging out on Facebook.
If you want to incentivise the customer to buy your products, then giving them a discount or a deal, like free shipping on their first order could be the perfect solution. Just make sure that you don’t give away more than you can afford.
2. Let customers know you appreciate them
When your customers buy from you, they like to know that they’re appreciated. It’s the personalised touches that come after a purchase that keeps your clients coming back for more.
For instance, you might send them a message over email or social media to show your appreciation for their order.
If you really want to take personalisation to the next level, you could send hand-written thank you notes with each order. This is a clear sign to your customers that you’ve gone above and beyond to deliver something special.
Chanel often sends hand-written notes from the sales associates that help clients to make their purchases. Often, smaller stores will have more time and scope to send hand-written notes like this, but anyone can get involved with this strategy, as Chanel proves.
3. Offer personalised recommendations
Another way to keep your customers coming back for more is to introduce them to other products that they might enjoy or that would pair well with items they’ve previously purchased.
Many companies send emails to customers showing off some of the new items they have in stock or recently launched products. While it’s great to keep your clients up-to-date on whatever you have to offer, it’s important to ensure that you’re delivering personal recommendations too.
If your clients have already purchased from you in the past, send emails informing them that you have other items similar to those they ordered before. Messages like “Hey, if you liked that, you’ll love this” show your audience that you have their best interests and needs in mind.
If you’ve approached this correctly and have built up trust, you’ll show your customers that it is about more than just an extra sale for you.
Some of the leading brands on the internet today frequently send messages to their clients using their purchase history to offer recommendations to consumers.
4. Give customers more control
Want to make sure that you’re delivering a personal experience to your audience without being overly clingy or frustrating? Give your clients the option to adjust how often they hear from you, and what they hear from you about.
Using a membership platform on your website, you can give your clients the freedom to tell you which topics they want to hear about, and which they’d rather avoid. This is a great way to ensure that you’re only sending emails and messages to the people who want to see them.
Once you have the information on their preferences, you’ll be in a better position to personalise your message and offerings, create more targeted email campaigns, and significantly improve your sales rate.
Many leading retail companies, including Amazon, allow their clients to make changes to their email and marketing preferences. Take advantage of this practice to improve both your customer experience and your bottom line.
5. Make it about more than just sales
Finally, reaching out to your customers with personalised emails doesn’t have to mean just giving them new recommendations based on previous purchases.
Remember that the interactions that you have with your clients in their inbox or on social media also builds a relationship with them. This is your chance to show that you care about the people, not just their money.
An excellent best practice for your sales team is to pay attention to anniversaries and important days for your customer. If your client enters their date of birth into a form when signing up for your email, make sure that they get a message from you on their birthday.
This message might come with a free gift, a discount, or something else to show them that you care.
At the same time, you don’t only have to reach out on special occasions. Instead, you can make an effort to regularly check-up with your audience and send them offers to show how much you appreciate their loyalty.
Today’s customers want to know that companies care about them. If you can prove that you have your client’s best interests in mind with your messaging, sales, and marketing tactics, then your clients are more likely to stick with you, and less likely to rush off to a competitor.
How do you deliver a personal touch?