Personalized marketing campaigns see higher conversion rates, improve customer experience, and ultimately reduce churn and increase loyalty. The key to personalization is truly knowing your customer and what they’re buying. Digital businesses can easily collect browsing and purchase histories to build customer profiles, and deliver personalized offers and recommendations. So what can brick and mortar businesses learn from digital marketing strategies of online retailers? Stick with me and I’ll explain…
Retargeting: Those ads that follow you around the internet
You’ve all seen this one before. I took a look at a jacket on Macy’s website, and not 5 minutes later I saw this ad on Forbes.com.
Retargeting, as it’s called, happens to be one of the most effective online marketing approaches that exist today. Why? Because it’s highly personalized, and based on the user’s actual browsing and purchase behavior. Because these ads are super relevant to the shopper, it’s easy to see why conversion rates on retargeting ads are much, much higher than traditional advertising. The coolest part is that our very own CEO, Yair Goldfinger, patented that technology and is considered the pioneer of the retargeting and remarketing technology. (While we’re bragging, he also invented AIM… yep, AOL Instant Messenger)
How does it work? It’s all about cookies. Every time you visit a website, your browser collects a cookie. You can’t eat these ones, though. The cookie is a unique identifier that is sent back to the web server when you return to a website. Once returned, the server can recall the details of your previous visit, and even present personalized content…like a headline that reads “Welcome Back, Nikki!” or a list of items you’ve recently viewed.
With display advertising networks, online businesses can create lists of cookied users who meet a certain set of criteria (e.g. all users who browsed jackets), and serve a targeted ad (for jackets).
Recommendations: Presenting items that are commonly purchased together
Perhaps the most familiar example of this is Amazon’s infamous “Recommendation Engine.” You’ll see items commonly purchased and items that users also viewed displayed prominently alongside the item you’re viewing. This upsell technique represents nearly 35% of Amazon’s sales.
In fact, if you were logged into your Amazon account, and didn’t buy the recommended items upon checkout, Amazon knows who you are, and has yet another means of communication – your email address. I got this email campaign after browsing for new film for the AppCard company Polaroid (10/10 would recommend this camera – it’s super fun for events and tradeshows!). Retargeting AND recommendations!
This all might seem kind of creepy, but think about how annoying it is when Netflix doesn’t accurately present recommendations that you’re interested in watching. Today’s shoppers expect our favorite brands to know our preferences, and deliver personalized experiences.
Ummm, I run a brick & mortar biz, so how is this relevant for me?
Glad you asked. Remember that guy Yair? Well despite some incredibly successful online businesses, he wasn’t done yet. He, along with AppCard co-founder Amichay Oren, decided to crack the same code of 1:1 communication and personalization for you, the brick and mortar retailer.
In order for brick and mortar businesses to successfully deliver personalized marketing campaigns to shoppers, we’ll need to connect these three systems:
- CRM: The database of your customers and their contact info.
- POS: Real-time purchase information, down to the item-level.
- Marketing automation: Your email or SMS marketing tool.
This is easier said than done for most small businesses, as purchase history is trapped in the POS, and if customer contact info is captured at all, it’s often stored in an email tool that lives outside of the POS. The data points aren’t linked.
That’s where AppCard comes in. With AppCard, retailers can capture line-item purchase data from the POS as well as the customer’s unique identifier (their mobile number). (The technology is patented and works with nearly all POS systems…contact us for a demo if you want to see how it works!)
Now that you know who your customers are and what they’re buying, you’ll need a marketing tool to deliver communications. AppCard’s marketing automation suite gives you the ability to send emails, text messages, or push notifications with personalized offers.
Here’s a fun example…
With this level of insight into shopper behavior, brick and mortar businesses can learn common product pairings and automatically deliver personalized recommendations based on what the shoppers purchase. For example, a baby shop that sells jogging strollers can see that most people who purchase the stroller also purchase the waterproof rain cover in the same transaction. Now, the store owner can set up a campaign to automatically promote the rain cover to anyone who purchases the stroller, but not the cover.
The ROI on these types of campaign is significantly higher than sending a generic promotion to the entire customer base. Here are some more examples of personalized marketing campaigns that you can run once you link POS data with customer identities.
The age of digital retargeting has arrived for brick and mortar businesses like quick serve restaurants (QSR), retail, grocers, and more. This is truly an exciting time for businesses to make the most of their data to communicate with their customers in a personalized, relevant way that improves the customer experience, earns your customer’s loyalty, and ultimately grows your bottom line!