I’m not being controversial when I say that consumerism is different now than it was during the industrial revolution. Back in the early 1900s, companies manufactured, and people bought. But things aren’t quite so one-sided anymore. People want personal.
A factory can’t churn out products and expect people to buy them, because consumers are smarter and more confident than they used to be; they’re more worldly, they review products honestly, and aren’t afraid to publicly vent their frustrations. They’re your best friend if you get things right, but your worst enemy if you don’t.
Having personalised content means you can adapt, stay ahead of the curve and ultimately offer a service to your customers that stays fresh and exciting, without shoehorning partial-fit customers into your set demographic.
The number of consumers with a desire for personalised content from their go-to brands is growing by the day, but only half of brands are rising to the challenge. In our business, staying ahead of the technological curve is vital. Privacy’s an issue, as ever, so brands need to find the perfect balance between providing innovative personalisation and having the right degree of sensitive user data to make it work.
On top of this, all you’ll need is a working knowledge of your audience and how its boundaries fluctuate, a dash of creativity, and a consistent brand mission statement that carries a sense of meaningful purpose through your endeavours. It’s hard to broad-stroke this kind of thing with tailored advice, but here are some general tips to get you started:
1. Put the customer at the centre of your universe. The old adage goes that the customer is king. It’s a saying that stands the test of time for a reason. Fundamentally connect with their desires. Don’t make things people want; make things with a story they relate to. If customers fall in love with your stories, they’ll fall in love with your products.
2. Be trustworthy and transparent. Reassure your consumers that their data is protected and that privacy is a top concern.
3. Keep it simple. When we’re talking eCommerce, simplicity is key. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t have some jazzy, new-wave functionality going on (we love a good scrolling site), but if our customer is king (as above), the user experience has to come first.
4. Decide. Depending on your brand and its consumers, you’ll need to decide what kind of personalisation you might need, whether it’s segmentation of your audience, split targeting content (take a look at DotMailer’s split testing for a bit more on this) or one-to-one personalisation - or else you risk jumping on a bandwagon without knowing where you’re going.
1. is the most important of these by far, so if you remember only one thing from this post, make sure it's that. Personalisation is still a fledgling art, so there’s still much to learn for all of us - but it’s definitely our next stop on the road to the future of retail and digital.
Thanks for reading,