Innovation in e-Commerce: Building a Highly Personalized Customer Experience


Following is an excerpt from an article by Salesforce Marketing Cloud Vice President of Predictive and Web Products, Eric Tobias. The post was originally published on Journal du Net.

Imagine a world where every advertisement displayed, email sent, store entered, mobile offer viewed, and website visited was personalized just for you. This might seem like an unreachable goal, but this is the future of the customer experience, and it’s what customers are already starting to expect.

Innovative brands are leading the way in defining the next generation of customer experience with e-commerce personalization, delivering more accurate, relevant, and personalized touchpoints both in store and online. These companies are incorporating retail fundamentals like optimizing customer interactions over mobile devices, building brand loyalty by giving each customer a voice, and creating unique customer experiences as part of a customized journey to increase engagement and drive sales.

Voice of Customer
Today, marketers are taking personalization one step further to deliver personalized communications to customers based on real-time behavior, interests, preferences, and customer data. The technology that supports this highly personalized marketing is not only here, it’s pervasive.

In the past, marketers had to apply broad macro categories to customers to create customer segments for campaigns. Now, the explosive growth of customer interaction data from a myriad of channels, sophisticated analytics, and a healthy dose of creativity have converged to make advanced personalized marketing a reality.

One way to capture the voice of your customers is by talking to them directly to find out what they are looking for and determining how your brand can offer assistance. Think of this as predictive intelligence—a way to predict customer interests and needs based on real-time intelligence.

Optimized Customer Journey
Based on observation and conversation with customers, brands can compile customer profiles with unique identifiers that can guide content, offers, interactions, and recommendations across every department of the brand, giving each individual customer a unique journey.

Each profile becomes richer from every interaction the customer has with the brand, adding as it learns each customer’s wants, needs, and preferences. Optimizing the customer journey will ensure that customers think of your brand for all their needs.

Here are just a few ideas to add to your brand’s customer journey strategy:

  • Send an abandoned cart message. Create a remarketing message to encourage customers to return to your site to purchase the items they left in their cart.
  • Recommend products on your website. Before and after a purchase, recommend similar or complementary products based on customer selections while on site.
  • Emulate a conversation with a product expert. Ask a set of questions that reveal valuable insights for future marketing and immediate use in the form of personalized recommendations.
  • Send transactional emails. Use email marketing solutions to thank customers for purchasing and include personalized product recommendations based on their transaction.

Brands that focus on SMS marketing solutions, building brand loyalty by giving each customer a voice, and creating unique customer experiences as part of a customized journey will win over customers every time. These companies represent the near future of the customer experience—one that customers are already starting to seek out and expect. This combined approach of predictive intelligence and customized customer journeys will increase engagement and drive sales, making brands industry leaders.

Looking for more ways to put technology to use in your customer campaigns? Check out our extensive list of online resources.

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