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Personalization: Creepy or Customer Centric?

Zach Kamphuisclock 3 min

Oct 16, 2019

Digital transformations are not simply about integrating new technology. They’re about creating and providing new value to customers through technology. One of the most powerful ways to create value for customers is to use technology to personalize their experiences.

Personalization results in meaningful experiences, individualized content, and real-time, relevant offers. When done well, consumers love personalized experiences, and they’ve grown to expect them.

69% of consumer say they want brands to offer them an individualised experience online. 64% consumers say they expect this.

Meeting these expectations can reap great rewards. When you provide personalized shopping experiences, you generate impulse purchases, create loyal repeat customers, and foster brand promoters and advocates.

After a consumer has a personalized shopping experience:

  • 44% will be likely to become a repeat buyer.
  • 39% Will be likely to tell friends and family.
  • 32% Will be likely to leave a positive review.
  • 22% Will be likely to post a positive comment on social media.2

Providing these experiences can be difficult. Done wrong - a personalized experience can come across as creepy, invasive, and annoying. If a customer feels you used their personal data in a way deemed inappropriate, you will lose their trust. 75% of consumers will give your brand 1 chance, and if trust is broken they will leave for a competitor.1

There’s a fine line between delighting your customers with a personalized experience, and scaring them away. Here are three tips on how to stay on the positive end of the spectrum.

Know where the line is

When it comes to sharing information, consumers are data selective. Not all data is weighted equally in their eyes, there are some things consumers are okay with you using, and other things they’re firmly against. Product preferences, previous purchase data (with that brand), communication preferences, and basic demographic data are all types of personal data consumers are most comfortable with you using. You need to be more cautious when collecting and using, behaviour, location, and web browsing data.

Be transparent

Trust is the foundation of the information sharing relationship you have with your customer. If your consumers trust you - they will be willing to share more information, and will be comfortable with you leveraging it further. The key to building trust with your customers is to be open and transparent about what data you’re collecting, and for what purposes. Hiding this information in your terms and conditions doesn’t cut it. This info should be easy to find, easy to view, and easy to understand.

Align with your customer's values

Make sure information you use aligns with the value customers are looking for. If you ask your customers for information - you should be giving them something of value in return. Information you collect from your customers should serve at least 1 of 3 purposes. It should help you reward your customers with highly relevant offers, it should help you remember your customers, or it should help you understand your customers.

Done right, the benefits of providing personalized experiences far outweigh the cons. Increasing revenue from impulse purchases, the rate of repeat customers, and the number of brand promoters/ambassadors are all significant reasons to begin crafting personalized experiences today. Following these three tips will put you on the path towards being customer centric with your personalization efforts, not creepy.


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