First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 450 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Do you remember what the world was like a long time ago? We dialed numbers on a corded phone to order a taxi, conducted business in paper diaries, bought groceries in local stores, and went to large shopping centers if we needed to pick up something special. We used printed maps while traveling, listened to downloaded music on MP3 players, and learned good movie recommendations from friends. Nostalgia aside, it is interesting to see how quickly and confidently our habits and expectations from interacting with various services have changed.
The development of technology has allowed product and marketing teams to create an entirely different level of service and communication between businesses and customers. And customers’ expectations were short in the beginning, but what at first seemed like a miracle is now a necessity—which, without, will simply cause your business to drown in the competition. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what omnichannel personalization is, and why companies today can’t afford to miss out on this concept if they want to continue to grow and be successful.
What is Omnichannel Personalization?
The concept of omnichannel personalization brings in two ideas.
Personalization – The process of creating a unique experience for each client based on their preferences, history of interaction with your business, demographics, and any other information about your customers that you own and can leverage.
Omnichannel – The distribution of this experience in a consistent way across all your touchpoints of communication, such as a website visit, an email newsletter, an advertising campaign, or even a visit to an offline store.
Omnichannel should not be confused with multichannel. When you use many ways of communication, but they are isolated from each other, this is not an omnichannel approach. In order for your communication to be omnichannel, each touch point must be connected to others and complement the previous story.
What lies at the heart of Omnichannel Personalization?
The practice of omnichannel personalization is based on data about the behavior and preferences of customers on various channels. This data may include information about pages viewed, items added to the cart, purchases made, as well as customer demographics, interests, and additional actions.
Based on the collection and analysis of this data, companies can create personalized marketing campaigns and offers that are tailored to the specific needs and desires of each individual consumer.
Various tools and technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, can be connected to automate these processes, predict behavior, and create and deliver personalized recommendations and ads.
How do different industries leverage Omnichannel Personalization?
The omnichannel personalization approach is being successfully used across various industries such as retail, hospitality, telecommunications, and many more. Here are some examples:
Creating a personalized seamless experience is a goldmine for the retail industry. Companies may use data about purchase history, interests, or website behavior to send customers personalized offers, discounts, and product recommendations.
Retailers can even create personalized store pages where each customer gets an individual shopping experience. It can be based on both personal preferences and preferences specific to a similar group of buyers or to a particular region.
Thus, in warm countries, an online store can display shorts and swimwear on the main page all year round. And for geographies where the seasons change, show hats and scarves in winter, and t-shirts in summer.
The hospitality industry uses omnichannel personalization to create unique offers and experiences for each guest.
The hotel service team can use customer data to offer additional services based on guests’ preferences, prepare and serve food in line with their wishes, and take care of the room in accordance with specific requirements. This kind of service creates strong relationships and makes guests the hotel’s ambassadors among their circle.
Subsequently, hotels can also send customers personalized offers for discounts and special prices for the next stay or based on a certain loyalty tier
In the telecommunications industry, omnichannel personalization helps increase sales and tailor offerings to customers’ needs.
Many mobile operators use personalization to provide clients with customized rates based on their internet, calling, and messaging needs. They can also offer personalized bonuses and discounts based on customer usage history. Many ISPs also create customized plans including speed, traffic, and price.
For healthcare companies, omnichannel personalization helps to achieve their goals of improving patient care and increasing sales.
Based on purchase data, pharmacies can offer special discounts on medicines to their customers. Medical centers can leverage data on a patient’s medical history to provide personalized treatment recommendations as well as send medication reminders. Research centers may use personalization to remind clients of medical research that may be of interest to specific patients and provide recommendations for participation in it.
In the banking industry, omnichannel personalization can be used to create personalized offers based on a customer’s banking history, as well as create customized financial plans for each customer based on their needs and goals.
Banks can provide clients with recommendations for managing financial investments or create customized loan schemes that take into account the needs and behavior of each client.
Automotive companies can create personalized pages on their websites where customers can select individual vehicle options as well as receive personalized offers based on their interaction history and other data.
Why do you need Omnichannel Personalization?
Each industry uses omnichannel personalization to achieve different goals, but they all strive to improve customer experience and increase sales. Omnichannel personalization allows brands to understand their customers more deeply and with that improve their business, increase customer loyalty, and grow revenue.
- Improve your CX: With omnichannel personalization, you get a better understanding of customer preferences and needs and can leverage this knowledge to create personalized content and recommendations.
- Run effective marketing campaigns: You can optimize your marketing campaigns by taking into account the behavior and desires of customers across different communication channels. This allows you to create ad messages that will hit the heart of buyers at the right time and in the right place.
- Increase Conversions: Personalized content and recommendations based on customer preferences increase the likelihood of conversions and the average purchase value.
- Build customer loyalty: A personalized brand experience increases customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This reduces the risk that the client will go to competitors and improves long-term profits.
- Get better analytics: Collecting and analyzing data about customer behavior across different channels allows you to improve analytics and make more informed marketing and business decisions.
Risks of Omnichannel Personalization
While there are many benefits to using omnichannel personalization, there are also risks and downsides to consider:
- Data privacy breach: When you use omnichannel personalization, you collect a lot of customer data. However, if this data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to a breach of confidentiality and leakage of personal information.
- Data accuracy issues: Successful omnichannel personalization requires data to be accurate and reliable. However, there may be issues with data accuracy if customers provide incorrect information about themselves or if the data is collected incorrectly.
- Limited availability of communication channels: Not all clients use all communication channels, which may result in some clients not receiving personalized content and recommendations.
- Risk of customer fatigue: Sending personalized messages and recommendations too often can tire and sometimes even scare customers, resulting in a negative reaction.
- High costs: The development and implementation of omnichannel personalization require a significant investment in technology, tools, and personnel.
Almost all of these risks can be minimized by proper selection and tuning of tools and processes. A professional and experienced team of technical specialists can be an invaluable asset in creating a working ecosystem, ensuring data quality, and setting up security processes.
Where should you start your journey to Omnichannel Personalization?
Creating omnichannel personalization for your business can seem like a daunting and costly process, but there are certain steps you can take to get started:
- Define your goals and strategy: Determine what you want to achieve with omnichannel personalization and how to approach it. For example, you might want to increase conversions or sales, improve the shopper experience, or increase your brand awareness.
- Understand your current data situation: Determine what data you will need and whether it is available now. Collect the data already available and decide how you will collect the missing part. Set up the needed tools and processes and start gathering new data. Apply analytics tools to analyze collected information and identify key trends. Don’t forget to take care of data security.
- Create personalized content: Use customer data and insights to create personalized content such as personalized recommendations, discounts, offers, and other promotions.
- Define communication channels: Determine which communication channels will be used to send personalized messages, such as email, SMS, instant messengers, social networks, and others.
- Leverage technology and tools: Use marketing automation tools such as CRM (customer relationship management) systems, DXP (digital experience platforms), and more to make it easy to segment your audience and send personalized messages.
- Measure results and optimize: Measure the results of your marketing campaigns and optimize them based on the data. Use A/B testing to discover the most effective strategies and tactics.
Omnichannel personalization Tools
Some of the tools required for collecting and analyzing data and delivering personalized experiences include:
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems that manage all customer data at different stages of interaction.
- Marketing Automation Platforms to automate marketing processes, including collecting data, creating and sending personalized messages, and testing the effectiveness of campaigns.
- Analytical tools to collect and analyze data about customer behavior and preferences across different communication channels, as well as get valuable information for marketing and business decision-making.
- Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence Technologies to automate data analysis and create personalized recommendations and offers.
- Cross-channel content management platforms to create, manage, and deliver consistent content across multiple communication channels such as websites, social networks, and mobile apps.
Investments in omnichannel personalization pay off companies by attracting new customers, retaining existing ones, and increasing the average purchase value. But in order for the transition from the point of investing to the return of funds and making a profit to go smoothly and quickly, you must be confident in every step of your journey—from selecting a pool of tools and ensuring the quality of the data, to deploying personalized marketing campaigns and using the collected information in sales, service, and support processes.
If you’re not willing to take the risk, consider bringing in a team to design and fine-tune the entire personalization process. At First Line Software, we have all the necessary expertise to create such projects from scratch. We work with data management, security, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. But most importantly, we have robust expertise in digital experience platforms, e-commerce, and retail digitalization. To learn more about the successes we have already helped our clients achieve and to discuss your goals, please contact us.
If you want to learn more about the possibilities of new technologies in creating customer experience and enhancing marketing communications, subscribe to our Linkedin page, where we share insights and useful materials.