Managing information to deliver authentic personalisation

By Jake Athey, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience at Widen

Personalisation. Everyone is talking about it, most people acknowledge that it is important, but very few are doing it well.

When it comes to serving customers today, the challenge isn’t just how to do it well online, it’s how to manage it so well across all the online channels, that the brand remains consistent, and the customer experience is personalised. No mean feat. But for those retailers who are doing so successfully, sales conversions are high and brand loyalty is solid.

Our online world is based on, and gives us access to, a plethora of information. That might be customer information, product data, or a product’s digital assets. Or most likely, a combination of all of these things. And the challenge retailers face is how to manage all of this information — in all of its forms — to ensure the right details and content hit the right customer, on the right channel, at the right time.

The good news is that it’s not an insurmountable challenge. But it requires both the right strategy and the right tools.

The right strategy
When we’re looking at strategy in this case, what we are talking about is having a comprehensive multichannel strategy. One that takes into account and plans the management across every single customer touch point. And at its core, this strategy will leverage information from both customer and product to deliver insights that ultimately lead to sales.

Which brings us to the second part of the solution. In order to get — and effectively use — these insights from the wealth of information and data available, you need to have the right tools in place.

The right toolset will ease the purchasing process: from identifying a product, and checking it’s in stock, through to buying it and having it delivered to your home at a convenient time. But with a growing number of customer touchpoints and expanding banks of digital information, marketers have to be increasingly sophisticated in the way they engage and serve content to their audiences.

Technology at work
Technology plays a pivotal role in creating a central source of truth for content and product data, ensuring that information is consistent, no matter where it’s being used along the customer journey. Providing the same information to all teams at every point in their workflow allows them to create meaningful customer interactions. Digital asset management (DAM) software, for example, helps a company by providing an asset hub for its brand photos, product images, videos, marketing materials, and other assets.

Alongside this asset hub, a product information management (PIM) solution provides a single location to collect, manage, and distribute all the information that is crucial for communicating product attributes such as descriptions, colour options, or product dimensions. By capturing everything in one source, integrated product information is displayed consistently in all locations, keeping everyone and every channel on the same page.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve at pace, the role of technology in managing customers, experience and personalisation will only continue to gather importance. For the retailers who meet this challenge head on and deliver a truly personalised experience for customers, the opportunities are plentiful and the future looks bright.

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