Customer Experience: “You have my data, figure it out!”

As a marketer at a customer data and engagement platform, I find myself being aware of how I engage with brands, and how they engage with me. I was thinking about the many brands that I have had choppy customer experiences with, and a simple question came to mind: Why aren’t they utilizing my customer data? That’s the first step in building a personalized and relevant experience. In this blog post, I’ll dive into a few examples of times brands missed the opportunity to leverage my data (shopping patterns, purchase history, declared data (my name, for example), etc) and how they could have used it to enhance and personalize my experience, and keep me coming back.

When it comes to engaging customers throughout their lifecycle, timing is everything. We have all had the experience of browsing online, and the next week all you see are the items you looked at; you get pummeled with emails and retargeted ads with the exact or similar items. However, like I said, this all depends on timing right? If you’re a retailer, you want to be using the data collected on this customer to influence their behavior and your bottom line.

Nordstrom Rack

I was recently shopping for a cocktail dress for an event I have coming up. As an indecisive shopper, I decided I’d buy four dresses I liked, keep my favorite and return the others. The picture below shows my order confirmation.  

I ordered the dresses on February 20th. The next day I got an email asking “Is this the one?” with pictures of the dresses I bought, and the call to action, “Why not go for it?”. Hmmm..maybe because I already bought all of them?

This is a clear example of a bad use of my data, and in-turn, bad personalization–not to mention my name isn’t even included in either emails (and I’m a Nordy Club member!). According to MarTech, 48% of people expect brands to use their data to make their experience more personal, yet are also put off by the way they are retargeted online. Sending an email trying to influence a customer to purchase something they already have is certainly an example of what not to do.

To take a step back, I’m aware it’s nearly impossible for a marketer to manually target a customer at the best time with the most relevant content. This is where having unified and actionable data, along with AI & Machine learning technology comes in. It enables brands to first know who this customer is across channels, and leverage the data to serve relevant content to customers on a 1:1 level to increase engagement and conversion. The tough part is, I know a company like Nordstrom Rack uses technology to manage their customer data, and they are not alone. This is something brands struggle with across all verticals. Here are a few additional examples of brands who could improve how they leverage technology to deliver more personalized engagements.

B.Good – If you looked at my purchase history, you’d notice I have only ever ordered a grain bowl, salad or smoothie. However, I only seem to receive offers for a free side of fries, or a free burger in attempt to bring me back in.

Shopbop – Same situation as Nordstrom Rack. My coworker bought a new phone case, and then got retargeted ads about that same item. She was annoyed that they sent her something she already purchased.

JetBlue – They sent my coworker email confirmations for her upcoming flight from New York to Boston, when she had  already landed in Boston! You’re right in thinking she was a bit confused.

Brooks Running – After purchasing a pair of sneakers online, I got an email welcoming me to the Brooks family. However, they emailed “Hi Runner”, despite having my declared data: name, address, email, etc.

These are just a few examples of brands who are collecting data, but aren’t using it to their advantage. Working at a customer data and engagement platform makes all SessionM employees tough critics, yes, it is what all brands are striving to do. The smallest details from someone’s First Name, to utilizing purchase history and interaction across channels with your brand, are important factors when it comes to customer engagement.

For Nordstrom Rack specifically, wouldn’t it have been better if they first sent me a more personalized email including my name (especially as a Nordy Club member.)? And secondly, instead of an email retargeting me, they could have sent me an email thanking me for my purchase with other recommendations that could go well with any of the items I bought – perhaps some shoes, a purse, or earrings. Something like this is more likely to get me to come back, rather than write this blog post for the world to see.

Today, when customers know how much data brands are collecting, they expect something to be done with it. At SessionM, we have seen one client increase revenue by as much as $300M via personalized email recommendations and another client  increase spend by $7 per targeted customer via a spend challenge. This could be you too! Now that you know it’s possible..we’re here when you’re ready to learn more. Request a demo!

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