E-commerce Link : Get Personal
Deliver relevant, personalized content and offers to increase lifetime customer valueAugust 2009 By Ken Burke
MarketLive recently researched more than 100 online retailers to evaluate different approaches to increase lifetime customer value. The research looked at tactics such as search engine marketing, sophisticated segmentation and personalization, personalized site experiences, and relevant, targeted offers.
The research shows many merchants are still in “batch and blast” mode—delivering the same site experience and marketing messages to every shopper. The result is lower conversion rates for each campaign. And while relevant and timely messaging and offers are proven to improve overall business performance, segmentation and personalization of marketing efforts are not only tricky, they can be time-consuming for small marketing staffs.
However, by taking a few initial steps to segment customers and target them with offers tuned to their interests, retailers can increase sales. For one MarketLive merchant, implementing advanced segmentation and personalized recommendations as part of its e-mail marketing campaigns produced impressive results:
- 166 percent improvement in clickthroughs and
- 26 percent increase in average order value.
Personalization is a well-established term in direct marketing. However, there’s greater immediacy and complexity when implementing personalization tactics online. Online retailers are able to capture and track unique customer behavior patterns. This, coupled with customer profiles and purchase histories, allows merchants to dynamically offer highly relevant products to customers within appropriate time frames.
As an example, for a customer who recently purchased running shoes from a sporting goods site, the merchant can send an event-triggered e-mail seven days after the purchase, personalized with product upsell recommendations from the specific shoe brand. Upon subsequent visits back to the site, the merchant can dynamically display upcoming discounts or specials on a broader selection of popular running apparel. Research shows this personalization approach can increase total revenue by as much as 15 percent—even at the most basic level.
While it’s easy to identify potential benefits of targeting and personalization, retailers routinely cite expertise and resource constraints as hindrances to their ability to deliver more real-time, relevant offers and messaging to shoppers. Personalization engines, intelligent e-mail packages and relevant site content can help.