5 Important Post-Sale Personalization Strategies for Retailers

Image courtesy of iStock

Image courtesy of iStock

Are you looking for ways to better engage your customers both in-store and online? Here are five great post-sale personalization strategies to help omnichannel retailers better connect with shoppers this year.

#1: Pay Attention to Demographic Trends

Like Millennials before them, Generation Z has become a consumer force to be reckoned with. According to Forbes, they “hold $44 billion in buying power” and “will comprise 40% of consumers by 2020.” In the article, Retail Insights for Connecting with Generation Z, we gave advice on how to engage this demographic of mobile natives, including offering mobile point of sale options, building shopping apps and websites in more mobile-friendly ways, connecting with Z’ers on social media platforms they use, and supporting their interest in environmental issues.

#2: Leverage Simple Customer Surveys

In Voice of the Customer: 5 Keys to Capturing More Retail Customer Survey Responses, we outlined effective ways to increase post-purchase survey completions. All of the topics covered in that article are crucial for capturing the voice of the customer (VoC), but one suggestion in particular stands out - offering customers simple prompts within post-sale emails which are then linked to short surveys (2-3 questions long) has proven to be a particularly  effective capture method for retailers.

#3: Use Transactional Communications to Boost Customer Loyalty

In addition to driving VoC, transactional communications (e.g. digital receipts, packing slips, order and ship notifications) can also drive loyalty program adoption. According to Entrepreneur (cited from Experian), personalized emails (like digital receipts) “lift transaction rates and revenue six times higher than non-personalized emails,” making customers “less likely to unsubscribe, consequently boosting customer retention and LTV.” In fact, Retailer brands using flexEngage report up to 80% opt-in rates for digital receipts with those receipts being opened around 70% of the time and clicked on an average of 15% of the time (figures far higher than other retailer marketing). This approach is particularly effective within younger demographics.

#4: Enhance Personalization through Digital Clienteling

Unlike Amazon and its intuitive algorithms, most physical stores lack the ability to convey each shopper’s preferences and buying patterns to associates at the store level. As Adweek puts it, “[Nordstrom’s] staff may recognize your face and even greet you by name as they direct you throughout the store,” but “they probably don’t know what you bought last month or what’s still sitting in your online shopping cart.” Thankfully, there are new and promising ways to integrate in-store and online purchase data.

In our post How to Connect the Dots for an Effective Retail Clienteling Program, we discussed digital clienteling, an effective approach to in-store personalization. This method seeks to bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping experiences. Like traditional clienteling, which is used by luxury brands to cater to their best customers, digital clienteling would help mainstream retailers better connect with individual shoppers. A key part of this strategy includes dynamic digital receipts with bounce back incentives. This approach offers customers shopping in physical stores a level of personalization they’ve come to expect from retailers like Amazon, but enhanced with a human touch that online retailers simply cannot provide.

#5: Boost Store Reviews with Google

In How to Boost Store Reviews to Help Drive Retail Traffic and Sales, we cited research saying that websites with more positive Google reviews rank higher in a local search. We also outlined ways to garner more positive Google reviews and improve search engine rankings, such as review engines and digital receipts. Although review engines are a convenient way to aggregate customer reviews, retailers should be wary of the ones that filter out negative reviews. Not only does a store with no negative reviews look fake, but this practice is also in violation of Google’s latest terms of service.

Sending review prompts through post-purchase emails, on the other hand, is a far more effective way to boost positive reviews. If the shopping experience was good, customers can write about it while it’s still fresh in their minds. But as effective as post-purchase emails are in general, digital receipts in particular, can provide retailers with even more positive reviews and greater visibility.

Moving Forward

Engaging shoppers immediately after purchase is crucial for omnichannel retailers. As retail brands kick into high gear for 2019, we will continue to share important strategies to help retailers go beyond the sale, and even the receipt, to establish lasting, fruitful customer relationships.