Home Improvement Retailers usually have access to a treasure trove of customer data but often do not use the information to their advantage. In the “good old days,” it was enough for store owners to greet shoppers and help them make a purchase as they entered the store. However, digital technology and e-commerce have made it essential for businesses to collect data to understand customer behavior better and supply a more personalized in-store and online experience. While Fortune 1000 companies and big conglomerates have funds to hire organizations that compile big data and track trends, these resources are often unaffordable for smaller businesses. However, there is simple information readily available for retailers to analyze and gain insight into how customers think and what stores need to deliver a good customer experience. Use this information to build a customer database:
- Email lists
- Customer transactions
- Social Media Contacts
- POS data
Rather than viewing creating a list as a waste of time, it’s important to focus on the benefits to your customers and the positive impact on your business.
Create Personalized Messages
Consumers are flooded with marketing messages, so it’s difficult for retailers to break through the clutter to get shoppers’ attention. Sending mass emails can be ineffective since they are often deleted or automatically go into the spam folder.
When consumers can identify the sender, they are more likely to view the message as relevant to their lives. Research conducted by Salesforce, a business software company, shows fifty-two percent of consumers expect marketing to be personalized. And two-thirds believe companies they patronize should know what products and services they want and need. “Small businesses using customer data to personalize experiences are better positioned to strengthen their customer bases and build brand loyalty, says Momchil Kyukchiev, co-founder and CEO of Leanplum, a mobile marketing automation platform.
Increase Response to Emails
Email campaigns are a budget-friendly way to update and send offers to existing customers. Personalized emails can also persuade shoppers to visit your business for the first time to buy hot deals or other products and services. Tying the information in the email to products of interest to specific customers makes it more likely to be opened, read, and actionable.
- First name in the subject line (26 percent more likely to be opened}
- Most recent purchase
- Gender or location, if relevant (ex., Ladies’ Night, Seasonal merchandise)
- Other personalization options
Creating effective emails can increase your open and click-through rates. These messages have a measurable impact on return on investment and revenue. Study results indicate personalized messages are twenty-six percent more likely to be opened, and revenue is 5.7 times higher than emails without personalization.
Identify Areas to Improve
Tracking customer complaints about specific products or employees that perform below standards can help owners detect patterns that may be difficult to discover without feedback from shoppers. Reviewing customer data provides an opportunity to alert manufacturers to potential product defects or to support employees by providing additional training. It’s best to be proactive and address issues as they occur. Send a message inviting them to visit your physical store or shop online by extending an exclusive offer to return.
Generate Repeat Sales
Checking POS data to review what products customers buy and the date the merchandise was purchased can help retailers alert them to purchase a replacement. Store owners can also contact customers who haven’t shopped their business for a specific period. Since customers have an existing relationship with your organization, they tend to view these reminders as a valuable service. Taking these measures creates connections and promotes loyalty to your establishment, which can be beneficial.
Understanding your customer by using existing data is good business on many levels. Use the information to market and sell products, train staff, improve business operations and take customer service to the next level by taking advantage of available resources.