More people are now shopping online than ever before, and the number is growing. What’s more is that people are becoming more mobile in their shopping habits. In fact, more people are now using mobile devices to do their shopping than desktop computers. As a result, stores and marketers are coming up with increasingly innovative ways to tap into the potential revenue from people that use the internet for shopping.
Much of the time, online ads involve financial incentives such as discounts and promotions to encourage people to make the purchase. While these can be quite effective at getting the sale in the short term, they do little to encourage customer retention in the long term.
In order to help with longer term marketing goals, many marketers are looking more toward a personalized shopping experience for their customers. Personalisation helps to improve the shopping experience considerably for customers, and it is their experience that is likely to determine whether or not they return in the future.
Making the Most of Data
People using the internet to do their shopping gives marketers access to a very powerful tool: data. This data then gives marketers valuable insights into peoples’ habits. Peoples’ online habits are collected and stored, and this data can then be used to help deliver the right experience, to the right people, at some point in the near future. The information that can be used is varied, and can be used to great effect. If somebody has recently made a purchase for garden furniture, for example, then marketers know that they are, or at least have been, doing some work on their garden. Show garden related ads to these people and there’s a good chance that the ad will have the desired effect.
Right Place at the Right Time
Being able to show ads for products that are relevant to a customer’s recent purchases is now quite standard in online marketing. Marketers are taking it further, though, and making efforts to create ads according to even more specific information about the customer. Contextual data about online users can give information about more than just shopping habits. Having access to information about a customer’s surroundings, for example, can also be extremely effective if used properly. Where are they located? Which stores are close to them? What is the weather like? What are the local seasonal trends.
Such precise information can help marketers to target their ads even more precisely. Not only can they show the right ad, they can also show them at the right location, and at the right time. This helps to add make the ads even more personalised, improving the customer’s experience further.
In order to create the best customer experience possible, marketers are able to tap into information that has been obtained from more than one source. For example, somebody could be considering making purchases from one source, and receive a discount voucher at a local store from another source. With the customer already considering making purchases, the discount voucher helps to seal the deal and the customer goes ahead with making a purchase.
Shopping online looks set to stay and, if anything, is only going to grow. This means that marketers world-wide will be looking to make the most of the potential revenue by coming up with increasingly innovative ways to personalise shopping experiences to enhance the customers’ experience as much as possible.