Successful brands not only requires an elegant and intuitive shopping experience, but one that is contextualized for the customer’s specific goals and preferences. Delivering an experience that is capable of understanding whether a person is doing product research, shopping for themselves, or buying a gift for someone else is complex, but achievable with the proper plan and technologies in place.
Businesses are scrambling to figure out how to achieve personalization success. To do it right, there are a lot of moving parts. Identifying and addressing each of those can be a challenge. Here, we’ve broken down the personalization process into easy, actionable steps to get your business started off on the right foot.
Before You Get Started
Prior to starting work, there is some preparation needed to assure success:
Define Your Goals and Strategy - Before you invest in software and technology, you need to define why you’re embarking on this project. What do you hope to get out of a personalization strategy, not just this year but in three, five, or seven years? You need to define your business goals and personalization strategy before you can select the right tools.
Put Your Tools in Place - Let’s assume you already have a commerce platform that can give you all the functionality you’ll need on the backend, and that can grow with you as your business evolves and expands. On top of that, you’ll need to integrate a leading Content Management System (CMS) into your site to give you maximum flexibility and control over your customer experience, and the requisite personalization tools.
Invest in Resources to Manage the Process - Personalization is much more than just a technology project. If you decide to get into the personalization business, then you need to commit to truly being in the business. This means having dedicated resources, processes in place, and KPIs determined to be able to measure effectiveness.
Get Organizational Buy-In - Make sure the senior decision makers within your organization are on board with personalizing your user experience. If they’re hesitant, let them read this and this. You’ll need to be sure your personalization strategy is aligned with your overall business goals, or you’ll never get this initiative off the ground.
Do Some Customer Research - Before you dive in, you’ll need to collect some customer data. This should include:
- demographic information (age, gender, location)
- behavioral observations (browsing and buying habits, cross-channel tendencies)
- psychographic details (interests, activities, opinions, attitudes, values)
- demonstrated affinities and loyalties
Got all that in place? Great! Your foundation is complete, and you’re ready to start your personalization journey.