Modern-day consumers don’t just enjoy a personalized shopping experience – they expect it. More than three out of four consumers say they get frustrated when companies don’t deliver personalized interactions, according to research from McKinsey. But retailers are struggling to properly implement personalized marketing at scale.

The death of the cookie doesn’t make personalized marketing impossible – it just means the data needs to be collected in a different way. Most companies are pivoting to zero-party data, which is information that is voluntarily offered up by the customer. And consumers are more than willing to pony up their preferences for a personalized experience:
  • consumers willing to share product preferences to get personalized discounts. – RetailMeNot/Forrester 60% 60%
  • consumers willing to share their data to create a more a personalized experience. – Accenture 83% 83%
  • consumers willing to share personal behavioral data for a cheaper and easier experience. – SmarterHQ 90% 90%

Perks of Personalization

Personalization allows you to craft a bespoke experience in real-time, presenting your customer with the right info at the right time. This benefits your bottom line in multiple ways: Companies that master personalization report a $20 return for every $1 spent, and when executed properly, it can reduce marketing and sales costs by around 10-20%.

Other soft benefits include:

  • Building brand loyalty
  • Increasing engagement
  • Helping customers find the right product, right fit, right style faster
  • Cutting down on returns

The Data Dilemma

But, while there are many benefits of personalizing the customer experience, there are just as many challenges, including:

  • Data management and analytics – One of the biggest challenges is collecting, ingesting, analyzing, and utilizing personalized data at scale.
  • Technology and tools – 67% of retailers admit they don’t have the right tools to execute personalization at scale, according to a McKinsey survey.

Getting Started

Now that you’re aware of the pros and pain points of personalization, it’s time to get started.

  1. First, figure out your personalization purpose, Bloomreach suggests. Where, how, and why do you want to personalize the customer experience? What’s your end goal?
  2. Next, find a tech partner that can help you facilitate mass personalization. Look for a vendor that sees the big picture and is a true partner beyond the implementation phase.
  3. Once you have the plan and the partner in place, you need to build an internal team to manage the process, preferably folks with varying backgrounds and a culture of experimentation.
  4. Start small. Don’t wait for perfection – this step is all about collecting a data sample to test and learn.
  5. Assess results, make tweaks, and perfect the process.
  6. Scale.

Hold on, you’re not done yet. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Once you scale your personalized marketing plan, your team should oscillate between steps five and six to make sure your strategy is continuously optimized.

As third-party data dies off, companies must collect their own data to optimize and personalize the consumer experience. With the right tools, plan, and experimentation, retailers can craft a personalized experience that increases engagement, builds brand loyalty, and spurs sales.

About UnDigital 

UnDigital is a personalized marketing technology for your packages. You choose the audience and the relevant consumer data points and UnDigital provides the software and proprietary printers to seamlessly print personalized marketing inserts for each customer right in your fulfillment center.