The Power of Omnichannel Personalization

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2 The Power of Omnichannel Personalization Introduction The omnichannel consumer has arrived. In addition to websites, people can connect through smartphones, tablets, s, social networks, and contact centers. In fact, according to Forrester Research: More than 60% of US consumers who like to interact with brands do so through multiple channels [1] 48% of repeat customers hit multiple touch points before purchase [2] 33% of new customers hit multiple touch points before purchase [3] Consumers are having connected digital experiences more and more in stores. They can research products, compare prices, read reviews, and share what they re doing on social networks. Mobile has helped tie together the new customer journey with brick-and-mortar. As a result, omnichannel shopping is the new normal. This constant connection and rapid adoption of technology by consumers brings a new challenge: the expectation of a seamless, individualized experience across all channels. They want a relevant and cohesive experience as they engage different touch points. Understanding this, retailers have to figure out a method to integrate channels to maximize revenue and conversions on this new purchase path. Omnichannel retailing is the answer to this challenge and this report outlines the five defining characteristics of omnichannel personalization and how they drive engagement and conversions. 2

3 Omnichannel personalization is integrated The consumer s journey crosses an increasing number of channels. Retailers have kept pace, adding , social, and mobile as demand for these channels arose. In going multichannel to reach consumers across all touch points, retailers leveraging personalization began to improve the customer experience and conversion rates. Omnichannel personalization is the evolution of this multichannel approach. Leveraging it means data silos will be broken down and have personalization integrated in three important ways: Channel integration Instead of a search strategy or a mobile strategy, omnichannel considers all channels as part of one experience. Channels are not personalized in isolation. They are integrated to create a single, relevant experience across all touch points. Strategy integration Omnichannel unifies the departments within your organization and focuses them on common goals of increased revenue and an enhanced user experience. Instead of concentrating on separate channels in isolation, teams coordinate their efforts to create a delightful experience for the buyer (translating into boosted revenue). Data integration Data is at the heart of omnichannel personalization. To effectively tailor the experience, data is collected, scored, and applied in real-time. Channel-specific data sets are combined and organized to give a complete view of each consumer s behavior. Consumers don t live in one channel and they don t expect retailers to do so either. It s become imperative to have everything be interconnected and consistent from messaging, to look and feel, and, of course, the shopping experience. Omnichannel personalization is consistent The underlying promise of omnichannel personalization is a consistent brand presence and experience across any channel, anytime. While people tend to immediately associate brand consistency with uniformity in color scheme, logo use, and general look and feel, the backend cannot be forgotten. In Abderdeen Group s report Omni-Channel Retailing The Quest for the Holy Grail, an IT Manager at a Tier 1 Fashion Retailer in the United Kingdom touches on this idea: Exceeding the customer expectation and always delivering on the customer promise can drive brand loyalty, and personalizing the customer experience enhances both. Omnichannel allows retailers to bring it all together in one or many, or any channel When well executed, this can increase customer satisfaction and sales. Retailers cannot however lose sight of the basics of operational efficiency and product availability. 3

4 Delivering a consistent and optimal customer experience requires that your order information systems accurately align with product information systems across all channels at all times. Ensuring this functionality, as challenging as it may be, is essential because it establishes a single version of the truth for product attributes and descriptions regardless of channels. Putting this into context, having a single truth guarantees that your customers are always getting the most up-to-date information about your products. This means that they will be able to walk into your brick-and-mortar storefront and find the product they just researched and found online on your website. Taking it a step further, when integrated with personalization, customers will see products and content that are both individually relevant and available. An omnichannel personalization solution will doubtlessly enhance customer experiences, bolster loyalty, and drive up revenue. But, for it to provide the ideal channel agnostic experiences that are expected, consistency needs to be kept at the forefront of retailers minds. It is a foundational element of omnichannel success. Omnichannel personalization is automated Today s retailers sell large catalogs to even larger audiences making manual merchandising an enormous undertaking. With an omnichannel personalization solution, this laborious task is minimized. It will sift through your product catalogs and, based on your set rules and algorithms, serve up the most ideal recommendations. Automated testing and optimization Automation also refers to the self-optimizing nature of an omnichannel personalization platform. As content is tailored and delivered, it will continually monitor the results of its suggestions and factor them into its next selections. Controlled automation Hands-free automation is not the same as blind automation. Retailers and merchandisers must maintain control of the algorithms and recommendations where necessary. Omnichannel personalization empowers them to allow optimization to occur automatically, or they can adapt the system to suit their specific needs. Omnichannel personalization is flexible Since every brand is unique, omnichannel personalization is also flexible. Every retailer can weave in their unique key business drivers, merchandising rules, and other goals to aid the platform s content and recommendation decisions. Custom business rules While the option to just pick out certain algorithms (which can be different per slot per recommendation box) and let them run is an option, retailers need to be able to influence them in order to fulfill their business goals. 4

5 Omnichannel personalization is optimized If data is the heart of omnichannel personalization, then optimization is the soul. It is the on-going process of making the experience as relevant as possible for the individual in every channel. It constantly improves the choices made in your personalization strategy by analyzing real-time behavioral, historical, and catalog data as the consumer engages with a brand. From the web to the contact center, marketing and all other touch points, omnichannel personalization will consistently delight the consumer. Conclusion Omnichannel personalization delivers a superior experience that drives customer loyalty, conversions, and revenue for retailers. Forrester Research says the value of a multichannel customer is often five or six times that of a single-channel customer [4]. As omnichannel shopping goes mainstream, retailers are presented with a massive opportunity. Those who seize it will flourish in the new marketplace. Those who ignore it will struggle to hold their ground. 5

6 References 1. How To Engage Your Omnichannel Consumer. Forrester Research. Nov. 26, Less than 1% of Online Purchases Come From Social Channels. Forrester Research. Sept. 25, Less than 1% of Online Purchases Come From Social Channels. Forrester Research. Sept. 25, Developing an Agile Commerce Business. Forrester Research. Sept. 19, CERTONA 9520 Towne Centre Dr., Suite 100 San Diego, CA certona.com 6

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