Your Customers Want More Of This From Your Business

Chris CrumBusiness

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Personalization. Consumers want offers from businesses to be more personalized. The question is: are you doing your part? And to what degree?

Are you making efforts to ensure your offers are highly personalized for your potential customers? What are your most effective personalization methods and/or channels? Discuss.

Consumers want more relevant offers, but they're also not really into being tracked, so that makes it difficult for businesses to get such offers in front of them. Meanwhile, consumers are losing confidence in business' ability to effectively leverage their personal data. That seems to be the main takeaway from a recent retail survey by Boxever.

According to that, 60% say they prefer offers targeted to where they are and what they're doing, but 62% don't want retailers tracking their location. That's a problem. Unfortunately, it's hard to highly personalize an offer without knowing much about the recipient.

“Retailers are losing consumer trust for failing to effectively leverage personal data; it’s negatively affecting the customer experience and retailers’ ability to market and sell effectively,” said Boxever CEO Dave O’Flanagan. “While today’s consumers crave a personalized, value-added shopping experience, they’re unlikely to continue sharing personal data because they aren’t seeing enough value from the data that retailers already collect.”

The survey found that for over 50% of consumers, 75% of sales offers they received were irrelevant to them. According to Boxever, this means millions are being spammed daily, which is negatively impacting future sales, conversion rates, and customer loyalty. The survey found that 40% are less likely to buy from such a company moving forward, while 50% are less likely to open the next offer they get from that company. 59% said they'd unsubscribe from the company's content, and 31% said they'd delete the company's app.

“The stakes are extremely high for retailers. When brands inundate a customer or prospect with untargeted offers, they may lose the opportunity to ever market to that person again,” said O’Flanagan. “The two biggest mistakes retailers make are failing to personalize offers based on where a customer is and what he or she is doing, and failing to align communications with a customer’s unique needs and interests.”

Email is by far the most preferred channel to get offers and communications from companies, the survey found, with in-store and direct mail following. Only 2% identified mobile as their preferred channel, and only 4% chose social. Those numbers are greater for millennials, however.

Personalization is key to an effective offer, based on the findings. That goes for any channel. 70% said when an offer adds value to something they are already doing or plan to do they're more likely to act on it. 42% said that's the case for when the offer revisits a product or event they've expressed interest in previously. 21% said this is true for when the offer is targeted to what they're doing at that moment in time.

"Location-based push offers can also be valuable tools for retailers, but only when the offers are targeted at the right population," Boxever said. "Of those survey respondents between the ages of 18-29, more than 50% said they would find location-based push offers valuable or extremely valuable, as long as they were timely, targeted, and within reason – which is true for only 32% of consumers who are 45 and older. That said, only one of the 507 respondents identified wearable technology as his or her preferred channel for receiving communications from brands."

“The days of personalizing offers based on high-level demographics are long gone, and continuing along this path will actually hurt, not help brands,” said O’Flanagan. “Brands need complete visibility into the preferences of every customer, and the ability to integrate contextual customer intelligence and value into each marketing offer sent.”

So how can you convince consumers to give you their data, which you can use to provide them with offers that are highly relevant to them? The easiest way is to give them something in return. Things like email newsletters, ebooks, whitepapers, contest prizes, events, and premium content are some of your options. But you have to make this stuff worth their while, and you should educate them about why you're collecting the data you're collecting. Be as specific as possible. If they actually want the kinds of offers you're willing to give them, they'll likely be more willing to give you the data you need to deliver it to them when the time is right.

You have to make good on what they're signing up for though. Make it worth their while, because if you don't, they're not going to want to buy whatever it is that you're selling.

What have been your most successful tactics for getting customers to share personal data? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.