Business is becoming more like ‘personalize or die a slow death.’ Whether for good or bad, buyers want experiences that reflect their personalities, beliefs, and aspirations.
You guessed it:
It’s the age of personalization.
Deloitte says that 80 percent of customers prefer to buy from brands that provide personalized experiences. In the same study, 90 percent of customers said personalized adverts appealed to them.
Now you’re wondering, who’s doing personalization right? What are they doing right?
This article provides you actionable answers and insights. Let’s get to it.
Table of Contents:
- Personalization Can Help Your Brand Achieve 8x ROI on Your Marketing Spend
- WARNING: Use Hyper-Personalization with Care
Personalization Can Help Your Brand Achieve 8x ROI on Your Marketing Spend
Eight in ten buyers prefer businesses that offer personalized experiences. Relevance influenced 69 percent of buyers’ brand perception. Via Deloitte.
Hyper-personalization isn’t just a marketing theory. It’s the new normal for marketers who must engage their audience.
But personalization can take many different angles.
It could be top-down personalization, like Stitch Fix—which you’ll learn about soon—to niche personalization, like offering web hosting for freelancers. The goal isn’t to become who you’re not, but to offer more relatable solutions to your customers.
Deloitte’s study shows that well-executed hyper-personalization can yield up to 800 percent ROI on your marketing spend. It can also boost sales by, at least, ten percent.
Hyper-personalization can deliver up to 800% ROI. Importantly, one in five customers would share their data to receive more personalized experiences. Via Deloitte.
Creating personalized experiences is tough work. Consequently, companies must rely on AI, big data, and machine learning or run the risk of losing their customers to smarter competitors.
Some businesses have mastered and profited from personalization. Others have taken personalization even further, offering super-relevant personalization experiences to their customers.
These brands go far, above, and beyond.
For them, personalization isn’t about calling customers by name or sending birthday greetings. It’s more. They create complete customer-centric experiences for each customer.
I bet you’ll want to learn from these guys.
#1: Stitch Fix brings Data to Build the Perfect Wardrobe for 2.2M Customers
Stitch Fix caters to the styling needs of individual customers, for each shopping event that happens with them. Via Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix uses data to improve its consumer’s buying experience. The company has a unique business model:
Use AI to select clothing items for their customers and mail them the selection.
Stitch Fix would send you well-packaged clothing and accessories they think you’ll like. And then you can buy the items you love and send the others back.
With your style, price range, and size, you can get a fix anytime you want. Stitch Fix offers free shipping, returns, and exchanges.
But how has Stitch Fix gained some much traction with this model?
Here’s How It works
Stitch Fix in 3 steps: customers feed in their data, Stitch Fix sends them clothes based on the data, they choose and return the rest. Via Stitch Fix.
Stitch Fix uses data from multiple sources. During signup, the company collects customer data including
- Price range,
- Style preferences, and more.
Stitch Fix also gathers data about shoppers’ lifestyles using:
- Social media,
- Pictures and other channels.
With data, they can align their offerings to each buyer’s fashion needs.
Another strategy that has helped Stitch Fix achieve success is customer feedback. Stitch Fix gathers data from customer purchases and returns.
The company then uses the data they gather to achieve two things:
- Understand customer’s preferences
- Offer boxes with fewer returns in the future.
After every purchase or return, the company requests feedback from shoppers using surveys. With survey data, the company can identify opportunities for improved personalization experiences. Stitch Fix’s customers provide feedback because they see results and enjoy their shopping experiences.
The company employs a team of talented stylists and experienced data experts. And the team works together to analyze customer preferences and make recommendations.
Stitch Fix Results and Why It Works
Relying on accurate customer data, Stitch Fix has enjoyed massive success with hyper-personalization. The fashion brand grew its customer base to 2.2 million in July 2017 and was already enjoying a 103 percent CAGR in 2014.
The company has automated its critical processes, from inventory to customer feedback. By combining AI-powered data with human experience and judgment, Stitch Fix
- Meets customers’ needs
- Increases conversion and sales and
- Increase customer retention rate
Look at the brand’s performance against its competitors:
Stitch Fix has better customer retention than competitors, Trunk Club and Gilt Groupe. Via Goodwater Thesis.
The company had a high customer retention rate of 30 percent within the first six months. The graph above shows a higher customer lifetime value as compared to competitors in that space.
Lessons and Takeaway
Collect as much data as possible from multiple sources. Stitch Fix’s customers provide more than 85 data points on their profile.
Get expert hands to help you utilize the data. Let your team make decisions from their place of expertise using the data you collect. Stitch Fix’s stylists make design and stylistic decisions, and their data scientists make other high-level decisions from their data.
#2 WES Hyper-Personalized Digital Badges to Make Credentials Publicly Verifiable
WES shows the benefits of its digital badge to both individual users and employers. Via WES.
World Education Service (WES) offers credential evaluation and verification badges for users. The WES badge confirms that WES has evaluated and verified your educational credentials. It also affirms that the credentials were awarded by a recognized institution.
WES encourages its clients to use their digital badges in their email signatures, digital resumes, and social profiles.
Who Can Use This Type of Hyper-Personalization?
If your business provides authentication, awards, recognition, or verification services, then you can offer digital badges. Think of
- Review sites like G2, GetApp, or Capterra
- Business databases like Crunchbase, AngelList, Glassdoor, or Owler
- Professional certifications like PMP, CCNA, SHRM, and the like
- Industry certifications like HubSpot or Google certifications
- Academic evaluation bodies like WES, NAFSA, ICES, and others
- Organizations that offer courses or training services
Any business or organization that awards some recognition can use this hyper-personalization idea.
WES Results and Why It Works
WES evaluates professional credentials. It authenticates academic and professional records for use in North American institutions. Via WES.
Organizations can use digital badges to drive sales and customer engagement. A study by IBM revealed that digital badges increased sales and downloads in an online training site by 64 percent.
WES digital badges drive value for both individuals and businesses. According to one user, Kunle Ifesanya, WES credential evaluations helped him achieve his professional goals.
Digital badge motivates employees and customers to develop vital skills. Also, users can build expertise to meet dynamic market demands.
Lessons and Takeaway
The benefits of using digital badges:
- Gives clients the opportunity to make verifiable claims
- Propagates your brand awareness
- Earns your brand extra authority as other recognizable brands begin to feature your digital badge
Staff and associates can also use digital badges. This can help brands:
- Beat impersonation
- Promote brand awareness
- Drive traffic to specific landing pages
An attractive email signature can give you the perfect first impression you need to connect to your customers. To ensure consistency across your company, you can use a free tool like WiseStamp’s signature editor to get a professional email signature.
#3. Naked Wine Hyper-Personalized Their Purchase Data, Review, and Email
Naked Wine uses hyper-personalization to bring winemakers and buyers together. They aim to create unique experiences for each buyer. Via Naked Wine.
Naked Wines is an online wine community and e-commerce store for selling wine. The platform supports and provides funds for winemakers. The company uses a unique hyper-personalization strategy to drive sales and customer retention.
Naked Wine shows customers wines they’ve bought and encourages them to leave their reviews. Via Naked Wine. Via Naked Wine.
They have partners called Angels who crowdfund to support independent winemakers. In exchange, they get,
- Thirty-three percent savings for every purchase
- Free drinks every month when they order a case.
- Access to Angel Exclusive wines
- Invitation to exclusive wine tasting events
Naked Wines relies on customer reviews to personalize wine tasting and buying experience.
Here’s How It works
Naked Wine uses each customers’ reviews to inform their recommendation engine. Customers see wine suggestions that they’ll want to buy. Via Naked Wine.
When customers buy wines, the company asks them to rate the wine. Shoppers can give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Also, they can leave detailed reviews about the wine.
When you rate wines you drink, Naked Wine uses that data to recommend other wines they think you will love to drink. You will find other recommended wines under your profile. The review and recommendation help the winemakers improve their products.
Naked Wine also uses customer feedback and transaction data to personalize emails. You will receive product offers and messages tailored to your preferences and budget.
Naked Wine Results and Why They Work
Adestra used data from Naked Wine’s customer purchase history to build a hyper-personalized email campaign for Natked Wine. Via Naked Wine.
Naked Wines’ hyper-personalization revolves around using data effectively to achieve results. The review-based hyper-personalization approach helped Naked Wines
- Increase customer feedback and engagement
- Align sales with individual customer wine preferences
- Increase sales and profits
- Drive customer satisfaction, retention, and brand loyalty
The numbers speak for itself. Naked Wines works with more than 197 independent winemakers in 17 countries. The company has a loyal and growing customer base across its three markets- US, UK, and Australia.
Naked Wines has enjoyed 14 percent sales growth in 2020, so far. Also, the company amassed a 14.7 percent consumer contribution growth.
Adestra, Naked Wine’s campaign coordinators, said after Naked Wine plugged in their customer data to their email to create custom wine recommendations these happened:
- Email engagement improved,
- Campaign conversion rate went up 40 percent,
- Profit per customer increased by 7.9 percent,
- Nake Wine’s sitewide conversion went up 5.2 percent,
- Contribution per customer saw an 8.5 percent boost, and
- Conversion to order improved by 7.2 percent
You’ll agree that’s a lot of conversions there.
Lessons and Takeaway
Naked Wines teaches us to connect our data. You can use your review and customer purchase data to offer personalized experiences that your customers will vote for with their money. Bring everything together through your strongest customer or client communication channels; Naked Wine’s strongest channel was email.
#4. VI Hyper-Personalized Fitness
Vi uses hyper-personalization to help its users commit to their fitness goals. Via Vi.
Vi is a digital fitness training app and virtual running coach. The app motivates users to run more often. Also, it offers a personalized training plan to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Their hyper-personalization strategy encourages customers to engage in daily exercise and fitness programs. Vi combines AI and real-time tracking to personalize their users’ fitness activities.
Users can choose from a variety of running workouts. They’ll have access to a level by level training plan. Via Vi.
When you register on Vi, the tool collects personal data and your fitness goals. With this data, the app provides virtual coaching as you run.
Additionally, users can get
- Real-time updates for extra motivation
- Feedback on their fitness journey, progress, and milestones achieved.
- Rewards as they become consistent runners
The app tracks the user’s speed, distance, heart-rate to personalize their exercise recommendations. Users can join a running community, race virtually, and compete with other members.
Vi Results and Why It Works
Hyper-personalization worked for Vi as users describe their experience as fun and enjoy committing long term to using the service. Via Vi.
Vi’s hyper-personalization strategy has yielded positive results. And here’s why it works.
Customers want to enjoy that personalized experience with your brand. With real-time data, Vi targets runners with messages about their activities and performance.
Delivering the right messages at the right place and time has helped Vi
- Increase conversion
- Gain positive customer feedback
- Drive customer loyalty and brand trust
The company has a large community of runners. Plus, the app has garnered positive reviews among users and helped users run over a million miles.
Vi users start with setting a goal. This helps them align their hyper-personalization efforts to what the user already seeks to accomplish. Via Vi.
Lessons and Takeaway
Drawing insight from performance and giving your users feedback can help boost their engagement. Real-time feedback can be effective for instantaneous customer engagement.
Moreover, you can rely on data to draw insights from how to offer better experiences. Specifically, Vi showed how you could use personalization to achieve these goals:
- Target each customer in a unique way
- Deliver more personalized and relevant communication.
- Improve customer experience
- Drive positive word of mouth for their brand.
WARNING: Use Hyper-Personalization with Care
Hyper-personalization drives value for new and emerging businesses. Albeit, it could hurt businesses when the strategy and implementation are flawed. There is a thin line between engaging customers and annoying them.
For example, some customers are very privacy-conscious. You have to do the extra work of helping them open up or find those who are willing to be served.
Hyper-personalization that comes off as spying may lead to customer churn and negative word of mouth. Also, unauthorized use of customer data represents a violation of their privacy.
Keep your data fresh and updated. If your database has inaccurate data, personalization efforts may appear insensitive and annoying.
To achieve effective results, brands must
- Develop a realistic hyper-personalization strategy,
- Collect and analyze data from multiple sources and update them always,
- Test personalization campaigns to determine what works and what could go wrong, and
- Gather customer feedback and make improvements.
Hyper-personalization is not a one-size-fits-all marketing idea. It requires a company-wide strategy and roadmap, consolidated technical solution, and flawless implementation.