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“74% of customers get frustrated with websites when content appears to have nothing to do with their interests”

by on June 14, 2016 in Business, Latest News, Lead Article, Nuggets, Retail

How personalisation has helped UK brands enjoy business uplift

Iain Lovatt – Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board at University of the West of England

If you aren’t using personalisation in your marketing, you’re losing business. As blunt as this sounds, more and more customers are demanding an online experience that is suited to their needs.

A survey by Janrain revealed that 74% of customers get frustrated with websites when content appears to have nothing to do with their interests, while 73% of consumers surveyed by Digitaltrends said they prefer to do business with retailers who use personal information who make their shopping experience more relevant. Via article in LinkedIn

But just what are these personalisation tactics, how are brands using them in the real world and how have they benefitted from them?

Budget airline Ryanair is one example making headlines, for its Always Getting Better (AGB) programme. Launched two years ago, AGB involved building a new digital platform with a focus on a seamless customer journey and user experience across all its channels.

For the programme’s third year the attention is on personalisation, with the introduction of My Ryanair. By creating an account, customers can set travel preferences, manage companions and payment details. Complementing the airline’s new personalised website, it allows Ryanair to serve contextually relevant content and improve its ability to sell ancillary products and services. The success of Always Getting Better is clear – a 34% increase in net profits year-on-year, with ancillaries up at 24% of revenue.

In the world of retail, clothing retailer JD Williams concentrated personalisation efforts on its mobile channels, by offering computer  phone and tablet visitors a bespoke web experience that has had dramatic effects on conversion rates and customer loyalty.

Just two weeks after the new platform was implemented, the brand saw an 18% uplift in new visitor conversions on mobile devices, along with an 8% lift in overall conversion, a 12% increase in revenue per session, 4% increase to basket size and 5% increase to its average order value.

British online fashion retailer MandM Direct is also benefitting from a personalisation and optimisation strategy.

Casting aside a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the brand introduced a number of tactics to encourage sales. The company implemented a campaign management and customer analytics platform to help accurately segment its customers, along with an email marketing solution that uses real-time data to send tailored messages.

Tactics include sale countdown timers, category specific recovery emails based on gender and personalised by country, along with personalised product recommendation emails.

These combined strategies helped MandM Direct record a 9% increase in sales to £119m and 21% rise in earnings in the 2014 financial year.

Personalisation isn’t just helping the newer retailers on the scene. Established brands like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have also acknowledged a need to tailor its communications rather than bombard its customers with untargeted and irrelevant deals.

Towards the end of 2015, M&S launched Sparks – a loyalty scheme that awards points for every pound spent with the brand. Along with an aim to boost loyalty and retention, registering with the scheme requires customers to divulge their hobbies and interests, allowing M&S to determine the best deals to send to them.

Similarly, high-end grocer Waitrose is reaping the rewards of personalisation for improved customer engagement. Rather than collecting points, the myWaitrose loyalty scheme collects data from a customer’s shop in order to create targeted deals and discounts.

The grocer’s ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ promotion, where cardholders can choose which shopping items they’d like to save money on, has been called a ‘ground breaking move’ by the Waitrose MD. You can see why he’d be happy – the company can now boast a 30% uplift in new customer conversions and an increase in online orders of up to 25% for early stage shoppers.

So, with better conversion rates, improved customer acquisition and retentions, shoppers spending more time on their site and an enhanced brand perception as just some of the many benefits of personalisation, organisations that don’t do it should be asking ‘when’ they will, rather than ‘if’.

Iain Lovatt

Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board at University of the West of England

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