Mind the Gap

I am passionate about personalization. How’s that for some alliteration to start this post? As all of you who follow my blog know, personalization is a huge focus for most big merchants. Customers expect more. Now more than ever customers expect retailers to also know about their offline purchases and factor that information into their marketing efforts.

How can retailers factor in offline purchases? It all comes back to the data and how well it is managed. It can be a struggle to have everything in place, but to be really successful at connecting online + offline, there must be a connection between consumer profile data, purchases and email.

Geo-targeting (or location-based targeting) can help bridge the gap. It’s possible to provide a customized experience for an online shopper based on where they live. For example, “Seattle Sam” should have a different experience in an online store than “Brooklyn Benjamin.” I’m taking alliteration to new levels today.

There’s another way that geo-targeting can provide a better in-store experience for customers. I’m a fan of abandoned shopping cart emails. Why? They usually bring me better deals than I would have received the first time around. What it should also do is provide a nearby store (if there is one) where I can go and try on, or physically touch the products I left behind online. Right now this is a huge challenge because retailers don’t understand how to provide more value to nearby customers to actually make this work.

Marketing emails can also use this same strategy. Not only should retailers know customer locations but they should pay attention to the devices their customers are using. These two factors combined will allow them to serve up consumer-specific content. For example Seattle Sam might receive more deals on rain gear during the rainy season. If he is consuming the content on a computer, this is the time to blow out the product details. On a mobile device, he could get more streamlined content … maybe a video or a a handful of images.

My team has the means to help you bridge the gap between online and offline efforts. Our TO Print technology works with your marketing automation system and provides offline solutions that connect with your online programs to deliver impactful, relevant, and personalized communications.

No matter what software you use, everything needs to work together in order to provide a connected experience for today’s digital consumers. Connecting the data at your consumers’ fingertips is really the key.