How to create an omnichannel personalisation strategy
The term "omnichannel" may feel like a buzzword in the marketing world, but it's an approach that's becoming increasingly important in ecommerce, as retail businesses look to create more tailored customer journeys. We look at how to deliver effective personalisation across key channels to boost conversions and encourage brand loyalty.
Our Head of Insight, Oliver Lees, has helped countless brands to implement successful personalisation. In this blog, Oliver outlines the building blocks for creating an omnichannel personalisation strategy:
The importance of omnichannel personalisation
Today's consumers expect more relevant customer experiences from their favourite brands and, due to the continued growth of retail giants like Amazon and ASOS, people expect personalisation when they arrive on ecommerce websites and brand channels. Retailers must try to harmonise channels to give shoppers a more relevant browsing and buying experience.
As there are now so many quick ways to search for products online, brands must optimise ecommerce websites to minimise frustrations and make the browsing experience as smooth as possible. Omnichannel personalisation boosts the nurturing process and helps people to find the right products.
Key considerations for an effective personalisation strategy
We've outlined some of the key considerations for retailers who are looking to create an omnichannel personalisation strategy.
What personalisation tools are you using?
We highly recommend Nosto and Episerver, as third-party personalisation solutions. They're both easy to integrate with ecommerce websites and enable retailers to deliver effective personalised content and product recommendations across channels and throughout customer journeys.
Nosto is a powerful tool, proven to deliver successful personalised shopping experiences by analysing a wealth of customer insights, from consumer preferences to browsing and buying behaviours (from over 1 billion user profiles). It's a trusted tool for more than 20,000 ecommerce professionals!
Episerver is another of our favourite solutions, as it's a dynamic omnichannel personalisation engine utilising AI technology to enable merchants to target customers with personalisation across channels. Episerver unifies commerce, pooling data from any digital platform, CRM or social network.
They are similar solutions, but Episerver is more focused more on onsite recommendations and email. Nosto does the same and is great for delivering personalisation through paid social. ChannelGrabber is another good omnichannel personalisation worth considering.
How are you optimising personalisation positioning on key pages on your ecommerce website?
Evaluate where you're currently delivering personalisation and consider which pages and positions on your retail website are most relevant for showing personalised content to visitors. There's a fine balance to be found between a streamlined route to purchase and a tailored customer journey.
Here are some of the key pages to consider for your personalisation strategy:
- Shopping cart
- Product page
- Category page
- Customer account pages
- Order confirmation pages (and automated confirmation emails)
- Even your 404 error page – see example below from Naylors.
Optimising personalisation is key, as you don't want to create distractions that might lead to abandoned carts, but upselling or adding personalised content and product recommendations at the right times can drive up your average order value (AOV)!
What type of criteria can you use in your personalisation strategy?
We've outlined some of the data criteria you can use to drive your personalisation:
- Customer name
- Chosen preferences
- Favourite brands
- Common product categories
- Previous purchases
- Recent browsing history
Learn more about optimising your personalisation strategy in our free Guide to Nurturing Customers with Personalisation.
What channels are you using for personalisation?
The key to creating a unified commerce experience and tailored customer journey is displaying relevant content and personalisation whenever shoppers reach your website or brand channels. Here we look at some of the key channels to use for personalisation:
Email marketing – Email is an effective channel to integrate with your onsite personalisation. Behavioural-based triggers and automated workflows should be set-up to retarget customers with cart-abandonment emails, previous purchases and related products, and even dynamic content. You can use third-party ecommerce solutions like Fresh Relevance to insert live content and real-time offers into email templates.
Google Shopping ads – A great tactic for Google Shopping is to create ads which appear to users based on broad search terms, but which send users to more specific products on your brand website. This can really help to boost conversion rate and reduce bounce rate. Ensure related product recommendations appear at the top, bottom and elsewhere on the product page, giving customers the best chance to find the right product.
See the personalised product page examples below from Effortless Skin, for visitors arriving from Google Shopping ads:
The more you optimised your feed, the better results you'll see from Google Shopping.
Paid social – Use customer insights and research to assess the suitability of each channel for paid campaigns. The great thing about paid social is that you can target different customer segments and audiences, not just your social followers. Nosto will help you integrate your paid social activity with personalisation, through prospecting and remarketing with behaviour-based retargeting ads.
Onsite product recommendations – Displaying personalised content and product recommendations on your key website pages and marketing channels is essential. We've talked about the importance of showing customers personalised content throughout the customer journey and optimising their positions is key.
Integrate your channels and processes to drive omnichannel personalisation
We've outlined some of the key considerations when looking to integrate your brand channels for personalisaton:
- Have you got a single customer view?
- Which channels do want to use to deliver/display personalised content?
- Is your website optimised for mobile?
- What data criteria is used to drive product recommendations and personalised ad campaigns?
- What are your goals and what type paid ads do you want create?
- Have you got an effective third-party personalisation solution in place?
- What budget do you have for paid activity (paid social, search, PPC)?
- What retargeting capabilities do you currently have and which pixels are required?
- Does your data processing and consent for personalisation adhere to GDPR compliance?
Once your channels are fully integrated, your focus should be on optimisation. You can increase the granularity of your targeting as your campaigns drive new insights. The process is self-serving.
With GDPR looming, you'll need to establish what customer data you're using for personalisation and how this aligns with new GDPR rules. Evaluate your permissions and consent regarding the contacts in your database, including how their details were capture and how data is processed for marketing and personalisation. Here are some handy resources for retailers preparing for GDPR:
Relevance is the key with personalisation and creating an effective omnichannel strategy enhances that relevance across channels and devices. Nurturing your customers effectively through personalisation will help increase conversions and boost customer lifetime value. If you want to learn more about nurturing customers with personalisation, grab our free ebook guide!
Space 48 is a leading UK ecommerce consultancy and website development agency, based in Manchester. Our experienced ecommerce experts help top retail brands to create award-winning ecommerce websites and effective omnichannel strategies. Why not get in touch today or even book a free consultation with one of our ecommerce strategists to see how we can help your business to improve performance!