By Jeanette Vivier , Director, Radius Europe
Competition in the market today is fierce. With so many brands competing for shelf space and market share, it is vital that companies do everything they can to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is to provide consumers with a tailored shopping experience.
Whilst this may require slightly more work to ‘get it right’ for the consumer, businesses have the potential to benefit greatly from doing it effectively. Customised, or personalised, goods command higher prices, whilst ‘mix and match’ offerings encourage customers to try new brands. From recommendations based on purchase history to personal profiles, there are numerous enticing options for improving customer engagement through customisation.
Across all sectors the most popular form of customisation is a robust loyalty scheme which allows consumers to obtain preferential deals based around their shopping habits. The success of these schemes is demonstrated by the Tesco Clubcard and Boots Advantage card.
Whilst this may be old news for many, given the proliferation of customised options currently available and the fact that businesses and consumers alike have been exploring customisation for some time, recent research shows that brands are still missing the trick. Nearly half of UK customers are unaware of the tailored options available to them, thus missing out on the benefits customisation can deliver.
It’s apparent that brands can benefit by embarking on a customised marketing strategy that will expose customers to more options and deepen their engagement. However, brands must do their homework to ensure that they offer the right options for their target market. Research indicates that even with customisation, brands only get it right 30% of the time. It’s also important to note that customisation should not equal proliferation – 40% of those surveyed said they feel overwhelmed with information.
Sectors, such as those dealing with fast moving goods, should make sure that they are offering the most appropriate schemes for their target markets. Whilst loyalty schemes have proven popular with consumers across all sectors, personal profiles and ‘mix and match’ offerings resonate well with the FMCG market.
With an increasing number of brands all looking to engage with customisation, it is important that brands are able to get it right for consumers. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd?
Understand your audience. Don’t make guesses based on assumptions. Do your research and find out what works for your target audience.
Know your end goal: determine whether you are focused more on customer loyalty or acquisition, and adjust your plans accordingly.
Consumers want choice, but too much is overwhelming. Focus on offering a smaller number of higher quality options and be sure to look and optimise your current offerings.