Building loyalty is the clearest and most effective way to maximize customer lifetime value, and as marketers we seek every advantage we can find to increase that value. Customers want to know they are appreciated, and we can show that by demonstrating an understanding of who they are and what their needs and interests may be.
In this article we’ll look at how web personalization can influence the last two phases of the buyer’s journey – creating repeat customers – as well as some examples of how relevant engagement can transform into loyalty to your brand.
Repeat customers: How do I keep you coming back?
One way web personalization can influence repeat business is by helping you integrate customer service into your online marketing strategy. Remember, visitors aren’t only coming to your website in search of a product. They come seeking value, and what they value most is an exemplary customer experience.
For example, if customers visiting your website have accounts, web personalization can help you deliver relevant updates and real-time offers enabling them to get more value from their membership. You can even provide a highly differentiated shopping experience by enabling them to see what other like-minded customers are viewing and purchasing on the site.
Or if a previous purchase on your website is a product that requires replenishment, engage returning customers with timely offers to refill or replace. For example, I’ve previously purchased water filter cartridges from the Sears website. When I return, Sears recognizes me and asks if I’d like to replace my water filter, offering a 10% discount.
Loyal customers: How do I earn your brand commitment?
To create loyalty to your brand, the formula is quite simple. Save the best offers for your best customers. You have the data that tells you who your best customers are — the ones who visit frequently and spend the most. Use web personalization to create real-time offers designed to surprise and delight them on their next visit.
For example, remind them about the reward points they’ve earned and encourage them to apply those points to today’s purchase. Alert customers whose warranties are coming up for renewal, and offer them a discount if they renew today. Or best of all, show them a welcome back message with a special discount, just for them.
Case example: Rue La La
When it comes to earning loyalty through customer service and value, few brands do it better than Rue La La. And web personalization plays a prominent role in how the members-only fashion retailer earns customer commitment. Rue La La’s customer experience is layered with real-time personalized messages designed to collect customer feedback: product reviews and targeted satisfaction surveys followed by thank-you messages that include small gifts such as future discounts.
Some of my favorite examples from Rue La La, however, are the real-time engagements that recognize loyal customers just for being loyal. For example, frequent buyers are invited to purchase a year of unlimited shipping for only $30 once they reach a repeat purchase threshold.
Smart considering they are already demonstrating a penchant for your brand and multiple purchases. Or how about this? Account credits awarded to loyal customers just to make them feel good. Appreciation for business is the most effective way to ensure that business returns.
Transform your buyer’s journey
There are numerous ways web personalization can effectively improve your buyer’s journey and increase revenue for your business. Best of all, you can implement solutions today that will deliver dramatic results without breaking the bank. Make a web personalization strategy your priority in 2015. Your company and your customers will appreciate the results.
Andy Zimmerman is CMO of Evergage.