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Strategy | 5 MIN READ
Retailers around the world are adapting to a new economic reality brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as longer-term industry changes like the growth of ecommerce, evolving consumer behavior and increasing demands for personalized experiences. As retailers reopen stores amidst uncertainty, many brands are exploring innovative ways to apply data-savvy strategies to attract new customers, build loyalty and drive repeat purchases, while also working to maximize their marketing dollars.
Here are 4 ways brands are using consumer data for better personalization and tighter targeting that lead to more effective marketing spends and higher conversion rates.
Our current reality has altered how consumers shop locally. More than ever, consumers are counting on retailers to provide up-to-date information about the status of stores, new safety measures, and when and where they will be able to connect with their favorite brands in person. In addition, since COVID-related restrictions can vary by state (and in some cases by county), geo targeting and regional messaging are even more crucial for retailers looking to provide real-time, relevant information for shoppers during recovery.
Brand example: West Marine
Water sports retailer, West Marine, created personalized emails that dynamically populate content and status updates based on the subscriber’s closest store. With the subject line: Your Local West Marine Store Status, the email highlighted what to expect as local stores opened. Consumers located in an area where retail locations have not yet opened (as pictured below) were encouraged to order from the website.
Brand example: Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor took the opportunity to request important location data from subscribers to ensure they will receive locally relevant store updates.
Even as states begin to lift restrictions, some consumers may be reluctant to get back to their pre-COVID 19 shopping habits. Demographic segmentation can help retailers hit the right note with different sets of consumers. For example, young consumers may be the first to resume in-person shopping for non-essential items, while older populations may be more hesitant. Retailers can target younger consumers with in-store offers or communicate how they’ve improved the online shopping experience to older consumers who may be more reluctant to return to stores.
Brand example: REI
Senior citizens control over 70% of disposable income in the United States, but less than 5% of advertising is directed towards them.i Retailers who neglect older generations may be doing themselves a disservice. Small changes to images and content can make a big impact on seniors who are too frequently ignored by marketers. Brands can implement demographic personalization in their email, web, paid social, and display campaigns to customize their creative and messaging based on the demographic attributes of the specific audience member. This ad from REI, part of their Force of Nature initiative which shares stories from women who are frequently under-represented in the outdoor space, features a striking image of an older outdoor enthusiast, a great strategy for the brand to connect with older audiences.
In a recent Yes Marketing survey, more than half of shoppers (53%) say they would pay more to purchase from a retailer they’re loyal to. As the retail industry grapples with dramatic changes, the key to building deep brand loyalty is personalized messaging that speaks to consumers and demonstrates an understanding of their needs and challenges. Retailers who make the most of data to improve their targeting and deliver exceptional customer experiences can set themselves apart from the competition and weather the storm.