This is a guest blog post from Iain Moss, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Ometria – a Movable Ink Partner.
Ecommerce has experienced a phenomenal rate of growth in the past year. One upshot of the COVID-19 pandemic is that ecommerce has jumped forward ten years in just three months, according to McKinsey.
As a result of that, many brands have found themselves acquiring new customers over the pandemic, and now find themselves needing to put a fully-functioning loyalty and retention program in place. Blasting each customer with exactly the same message is a recipe for ruining your brand’s reputation, and killing off any loyalty you’ve worked on building.
That is where real-time content personalization powered by Movable Ink, coupled with the insights that Ometria’s powerful AI-based intelligence and orchestration can combine to help brands deliver 1:1 personalization at scale.
Here we explain some of the key tactics you can deploy, using real-time content personalization and intelligent targeting to build a retention and loyalty strategy.
Using brand or product affinity in hero images
When trying to encourage customers to return, using imagery that will provoke a stronger positive reaction will result in a better response. Tying each user to a product category or brand (if you’re a multi-brand retailer) that they’ve shown a strong affinity for in the past helps to create that connection.
Using real-time content to generate a hero image that is customized to each individual customer and their tastes will increase the likelihood of that user returning for a repeat purchase. This is something that Feelunique, the beauty brand did. By using dynamic images that incorporated a beauty brand that each user had an affinity for they were able to increase the repeat rate.
On a category level, Maniere De Voir were able to target customers with categories that they had an affinity for and built customized content for these recipients, and using predictive segmentation were able to increase the revenue per email by 40%.
Post-purchase and aftercare
An important time for building loyalty is immediately after a customer’s first purchase. So many brands use the initial week after a first purchase almost desperately trying to get a second purchase by sending out daily emails that have little understanding of the customer.
When that customer should be enjoying their purchase and trying to find the ways to get the most out of it, this is the perfect time to hit them with post-purchase content that adds value. Using real-time content that leverages recent purchase data and links to specific content can help create more personalized (and automated) campaigns.
Sigma Sports, the premium sports brand did this by using after care guides to help recent purchasers understand how to get the most out of their products, and begin to suggest recommendations for products to complement it.
Create a targeted VIP audience
One way to help build loyalty is to provide unique offers to VIP customers that aren’t available to the general public. The obvious option here is to use discount codes, where you create a range of discounts in proportion to loyalty points, lifetime value, or some other metric of loyalty. This is something Sigma Sports also did with Ometria in order to win back lapsed customers.
But discounts are not the right option for all brands at all times. For luxury brands, discounts can start to devalue the standing of the brand. Instead, using exclusive access to new product lines or new seasons, or adding gifts to orders for particular VIPs. Using real-time content to adjust the offer based on the level of loyalty is one way to capitalize and create this sense of exclusivity.
Emma Bridgewater, the homeware brand, began a lapsed customer win-back campaign where they created a special VVIP (yes, that’s two Vs!) to create dynamic offer banners if customers were showing signs of lapsing. As a result of this and other initiatives, they saw a 19% increase in retention rate and a 94% increase in re-activated customers.
Timing is everything
It’s one thing to get the message right, it’s another to get the timing right. We’ve already spoken about the post-purchase period, but getting the timing right to trigger that second purchase is essential to building long-term loyalty. Understanding your customers’ habits and the patterns in which they purchase and browse will allow you to shape the messaging and pick the right time for the perfect automated email.
Take Seraphine. As they focus on clothing for expectant mothers, their window of opportunity is narrower, and their possible lifecycle with one customer is always going to be shorter.
Using insights gathered through the Ometria platform they were able to identify the optimum time to encourage first-time shoppers to come back for a second time, and send personalized emails at this point. Coupling this personalization with real-time content can make that moment all the more powerful and maximize retention over the short window.
A good retention strategy is key to capitalizing on this new expanded world of ecommerce. Which means using intelligence to work out the best times to send messages, and then coupling that timing with 1:1 personalized content that makes customers feel loved and keeps them coming back for more.
Ometria is a smart ESP that lets retailers increase customer revenue by sending personalized, relevant marketing messages throughout the customer journey. Our platform combines AI-based intelligence and orchestration with a retail-specific cross-channel marketing platform, upgrading a traditional ESP.
To find out more about how Ometria works with Movable Ink, please get in touch here.