Savvy marketers know that it's ineffective to deliver the same marketing content to everyone. Over the last few years, customer expectations have evolved and shoppers now expect to be treated as an individual, not part of a crowd. Anything less leads to website bounces, abandoned shopping baskets and email disengagement.

Brands that want to see more of their browsers converted into buyers need to be able to understand what their customers want and respond to these preferences accordingly with targeted content and offers. This is the level of personalisation that will lead to a conversion; just mentioning the shopper’s name is unlikely to resonate and encourage a purchase.

Therefore, brands that can deliver relevant marketing messages based on customer behaviour will come out on top. We’ve put together some key considerations that marketers should be aware of when using behavioural targeting to personalise the experience.

Know your audience
To effectively personalise the experience, you need to know your customers. While segmenting customers using demographic traits, such as age, gender and address, has led to some positive results in the past, it has serious limitations. Just because two shoppers are the same age doesn’t mean they have the same likes and dislikes.

A shopper’s behaviour, such as their browsing history, abandoned and past purchases and email click-throughs, can give a far better insight into their interests and preferences and help marketers build a comprehensive picture of each individual.

Leveraging cart abandonment data to trigger a recovery email shortly after the shopper has left the site is a prime example. The effectiveness of this reliable revenue driver can be boosted further by reflecting relevant information, such as the viewed brand or product category, in the hero image of the email. Suggesting items similar to the ones viewed is likely to bring the shopper back to the website to take a further look.

Leverage cross-channel data to build key segments
Using cross-channel data, e.g. collected by their eCommerce system, personalisation platform and ESP, allows marketers to build key customer segments to engage shoppers with personalised content at the moment they are most likely to convert. Some of the key audience groups that marketers should be targeting include:

  • Frequent browsers are shoppers who are very engaged but haven’t made a purchase yet. Win them over by offering a special discount to nudge them towards checking out.
  • Lapsed customers are shoppers who haven’t made a purchase in a while. Let them know they’ve been missed by telling them about new products they might be interested in.
  • Frequent buyers are customers that make a purchase on a regular basis. Show you value their loyalty by giving them early access to new products or inviting them to exclusive events, such as in-store demonstrations. It’s important not to bombard these shoppers with special offers as this will diminish the value of their orders.

Use the right tools
To build a holistic view of individual shoppers, you need to be able to join up the data collected via various touchpoints. A personalisation platform that sits between your ecommerce platform and ESP will help you collect data about shoppers across channels and devices.
Choose a solution that allows you to identify as many customers as possible, no matter which device and channel they are on. The more shoppers you are able to recognise, the better you can follow up with targeted content.

It’s no use building a live picture of your customers if you can’t provide them with timely, engaging offers. Web and email content should update in real-time depending on the individual’s most recent behaviour, your latest offers, and other factors such as weather and geo-location.
Personalisation is here to stay so it’s imperative marketers embrace behavioural targeting in order to stand out from the crowd. When approached correctly, marketers not only take control of their customer data to drive revenue and provide a better customer experience, but also build loyalty, making the shopper more likely to return again and again.


Written by Mike Austin, CEO & co-founder of Fresh Relevance 

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