Retailers are offering customers so much more in terms of shopping experiences. With next day delivery and try before you buy, consumers can enjoy a smooth and seamless personalised retail experience. It seems at times, however, that retailers are offering better and more robust services faster than they are able to communicate what these offerings are and how they can better the consumer experience. Indeed, retail communications fall short of the overall expectations consumers now have of retail as a whole.
It’s time for an overhaul
The batch and blast approach, i.e compiling lists of customers and creating a send to all email, is in no way effective. It is, however, continually carried out by retailers who believe that they simply do not have the technology to create a personalised mailer. Huge data sets require more sophisticated tools that can segment them into relevant categories. This does require more advanced online packages and many companies prefer to keep costs down.
However, a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with your customers can have an incredibly negative impact on sales. You may end up with a situation where a customer gets an overload of messages from a retailer who has not taken into account when each customer has last interacted with their brand and if this customer in question has previously bought in-store or online and received email communications. They will soon be irked by the onslaught of communication that gives no indication that the brand in question appreciates and understands their previous interactions and purchases.
With cutting-edge retailers out there delivering personalised emails that make the consumer feel valued and appreciated, other brands cannot afford to avoid offering similar services out of fear that the effort it takes to convert to new methods will be too challenging. The majority of 18-24-year-olds consider brands who do not send them personalised marketing content unworthy of their hard-earned cash. Considering that these consumers are the future of every brand, no retailers should be clinging to old generic email marketing strategies.
What deters many retailers from moving towards a more personalised email strategy is that pre-existing data is often stored across an array of different sources such as Google analytics, eCommerce platforms and more. Data needs to be unified, analysed and then turned into insights that can be actioned. Overall this can seem like a mountain of work just to produce personalised copy, but personalisation is the quickest way to get noticed and this is not going to change any time soon. Best to start tackling the mountain now.
On the upside, email marketing is still incredibly popular and if you get the personalisation angle right, customers will absolutely open up your message. In the future, fully optimised dynamic campaigns targeted to each individual is the dream, but until then personalisation need not be beyond possibility. By creating emails which let the customer know that you are aware of their repeat purchases when they last made contact with you and what they last bought etc, you can create an intimate relationship with your consumers and this relationship will ultimately achieve brand loyalty.
The current market just about still accepts generic emails, but in the future, they will be redundant and retailers should evolve quickly so they are ahead of the game. Tailor content to the recipients as much as your data will allow and you will embark on a personal relationship with your customers that will undoubtedly yield financial rewards.