And consumers are now even more likely to share personal data with businesses to get tailored offerings. Sixty-three percent of millennial shoppers are willing to give companies information about themselves if it means receiving more personalized deals in exchange.
There are many ways to deliver more personalized touch points with customers. Here are six:
If you want to instantly improve your marketing ROI, start personalizing your email sends. An Experian study found that personalized email has a 29-percent-higher open rate and a 41-percent-better clickthrough rate than generic, mass-blasted email.
The best way to personalize email is to segment your customer lists based on shopping behavior. Square Email Marketing, which automatically buckets customers into loyal, casual, and lapsed, makes it simple to target certain messages for specific types of customers.
You can also send out automatic happy birthday email containing a special discount code. These personalized happy birthday messages have a 2.5-times-higher open rate than generic email sent through Square’s software.
Offer personal shopping appointments
As a small, local business, one of your key selling points is your in-depth expertise on a specific niche of an industry. Use that to your advantage by offering personal styling or consulting services to clients. Allow them to book online ahead of time and enter notes so you can prepare for the appointment or pull items you think might be a good fit.
Offer custom products
Consumers covet limited-batch items (especially if there’s buzz around them). Go even smaller by offering people the option to order custom items. This is an opportunity to let your unique craftsmanship shine — especially if it’s a skill that sets you apart from the mass retailers.
Invest in your sales associates
One of the easiest ways to deliver a personalized shopping experience is to have sales associates who know your products and can connect well with customers. To achieve this you need to hire really good, experienced people and then train them well.
Before they hit the showroom floor, make sure they’re well versed in your company’s history, production practices, and the stories behind the products. A recent survey found that 40 percent of consumers believe knowledgeable salespeople make shopping experiences more positive.
Reward your regular customers for their continued business. Loyalty programs (like Square Loyalty) are an easy way to do that. They’re also particularly effective with millennials. In data released by Bond Brand Loyalty, 68 percent of 20- to 34-year-olds said they would change where they shopped if it meant getting more rewards.
Integrate beacon technology
In-store beacons send messages to customer’s mobile devices (if they have Bluetooth or certain apps enabled) based on where they are in the store. Lord and Taylor, for example, sends customers personalized promotions for specific items when they’re in certain departments.
Beacons like these are catching on as an increasingly effective way to reach customers. According to an Accenture study, 60 percent of U.S. consumers said they want a more personalized shopping experience with real-time promotions and offers.