The (individual) customer is still king

Dale Carnegie famously wrote in his best seller, How to Win Friends and Influence People that “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.”  

Although authored as a self-help book to assist people in fostering better personal relationships, that insight still applies to businesses and their consumers.  And whilst most businesses claim to have their customers front of mind, many still neglect to treat them as individuals and therefore miss out on effective and successful ways to engage, and therefore influence purchasing patterns.  

Retailers that don’t make a concerted effort to personalize and offer ‘value adds’ will soon start losing existing customers, and fail to attract new ones.  

According to customer data infrastructure firm, Segment, 54% of consumers expect to receive a personalised offer within a day of interacting with a brand, with a further 71% expressing frustration when their shopping experience feels ‘impersonal’.  

With AI, machine learning and data analytics developing as rapidly as they are, personalization has clearly shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must do’, and (if managed appropriately) those trends present businesses and brands with massive commercial opportunities.  

So understanding your consumer is actually an imperative, and utilizing behavioral data, purchase history, customer data and contextual data to drive well-thought-out incentives can have a huge impact on the relationships you build with your customers.  

There’s a unique opportunity to utilize mobile technology in the current retail climate, as on one hand, mobile commerce continues to increase, and on the other, bricks-and-mortar stores experience a resurgence.  

At Plexure, our focus is always on the end user - specifically what we anticipate their desired experience to be and how we can best bring that to life – in a way that’s contextually relevant, and isn’t invasive. We then use that knowledge to achieve our customers’ required outcome. 

For example, an initiative we delivered for IKEA centered around driving more traffic in-store. We utilized mobile technology to geo-target customers within a 5km radius of a physical store, sending them a push notification with a personalized offer. Their arrival was recognized by beacon technology upon entry and the solution saw offer redemption rates quadrupled, along with a marked increase in app engagement (x 1.3) and visit frequency (x 1.5).  

How to Win Friends and Influence people was first published in 1936, but Carnegie’s concept of learning about your targets’ interests ahead of pushing your own agenda is still a remarkably valuable insight.  

The retail driven businesses that can best apply personalization to develop meaningful relationships with their customers and build brand loyalty, are the ones that will prosper and grow ever more profitable.