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Relevance or death - The importance of relevant experiences

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There is increasing pressure on the retail sector during the peak holiday season, commencing with Singles Day and Black Friday in November and ending with the January sales.

With the busiest time of the year for planning holiday marketing campaigns behind us now, it is worth reviewing which strategies could be helping marketers maximise return on ad spend (ROAS), following the peak holiday season.

Customer centricity which includes focusing on relevancy - an umbrella term for personalisation throughout the entire ecommerce experience - is vital throughout brand-consumer communications.

Courtney Hopkins, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Rokt, explains why and how marketers will need to leverage technology that monitors and analyses customers' behaviour online in order to make better-informed decisions that align with their expectations.

Constantly evolving shopper expectations

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Omnichannel buying and the massive uptake of ecommerce show no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to recent research, post-pandemic ecommerce transactions from new or infrequent users are expected to rise by a staggering 169%.

Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of customers who expanded their usage of digital and omnichannel services, such as home delivery or purchasing via social media platforms, anticipate continuing to do so in the future.

Brands need to break down silos and synchronise marketing channels with their broader company strategy if they are to satisfy the demands of today's savvy customers. A full-funnel approach to marketing - known as holistic channel integration - includes interactions with your brand throughout the entire customer journey across several channels and platforms.

Brands need to anticipate developing signals in consumer data to stay ahead of the curve and act promptly. Online retailers should employ a framework that enables them to efficiently deploy performance and behavioural insights at a mass scale in real-time, in order to respond to emerging trends, breaking news, and industry shifts.

Personal touch with relevant communication

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With over 75% of shoppers leaving their shopping carts, cart abandonment rates are at an all-time high. Converting product views into sales is a key strategy for any company that sells products online. AI is widely employed in ecommerce for targeted marketing and product suggestions to drive sales.

Relevancy in marketing is crucial. Reminding customers of items they explored but didn't buy is one of the most popular personalisation strategies. Although a tried-and-true method, it has a lot of room for error and, if used carelessly, may easily come off as irrelevant or upsetting.

Customers don't always respond well to seeing advertisements for items they've previously looked at or purchased, especially if they occur too early, too often, or too late in the purchasing process. Retailers must employ more sophisticated recommendation algorithms to provide complementary products or services rather than simply the items the client has already viewed or purchased.

Relevance increases customer loyalty: the transaction moment is the happiest point of the checkout experience - customers are actively engaged and more open to new offers, making it the best moment for brands to create new connections.

Instead of sharing the same generic ad after each event, focus on sharing the right offer for each customer. When customers see a personalised and highly relevant offer, they feel valued and continue to interact with a brand that knows what they want.

First-party data

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Personalisation can be a significant advantage for both customers and retailers when executed correctly. What’s more, targeted communications that are valuable and pertinent may increase revenue by 10-30% while building long-lasting consumer loyalty.

It is not the best practice to assume the customer’s needs. Leveraging technology and intelligent algorithms that optimise in real time to decide what's the right offer for each consumer is a better way to approach constantly evolving consumer behaviour. By observing what customers interact with during the transaction, brands can leverage that knowledge to provide more relevant offers and further personalise their customers’ experiences in the future.

First-party data is a consent-based approach that allows retailers to generate an image of the client based on their interaction with the brand's website. Every transaction moment allows retailers to collect information about the user's journey through the website to the checkout, which provides additional information about potential interests that may not have been fulfilled due to a lack of sufficient information in the discovery stage.

Offering customers the most relevant products at the last stage of their shopping experience gives ecommerce a greater chance of making additional sales and not missing out on any opportunities.

How to customise relevant messaging

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A message's timing is just as crucial as its content. By offering customers only relevant products at the happiest point of the shopping experience retailers can be sure to maximise the potential of each transaction.

The utilisation of technology that enables tracking customers' interactions with the website content will allow retailers to treat each visitor individually as they would when entering traditional stores. In a cookieless world, organisations have to consider new technologies that develop their software to assist retailers in those challenges.

James Johnson, Managing Director at MarTech Breakthrough said, “The truth is that most companies are not treating their digital customers as the unique individuals they are, and they are missing opportunities because of this.”

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