Personalise your purpose

BY Australian Retailers Association
18 September 2018

How to successfully personalise cross-selling strategies to grow revenue

Billboards, posters, emails, sponsored social media posts… we are constantly being advertised to today. But when you think about it, how much do you really absorb? How much do you filter out? If you paid attention to every ad that crossed your path, your brain would overload. People don't have enough time, energy, or brain capacity to take in everything around them.

On the other hand, have you ever seen an ad that spoke to you? I mean, directly to you. An ad that addressed your problem or inspired you to try something you've always wanted? Or something that wasn’t even on your radar? Chances are that you have. This activity is in fact ‘personalisation’ and it can be highly effective for all Australian retailers if you know how to use it properly.

One of the most important things about personalisation is the purpose. Personalisation takes time and energy to get right, so it's crucial that any retailer doesn’t waste time on personalising content if it isn’t fit for purpose. The outcome of personalisation should be something you can measure. For example, a larger contact base, increased sales—more specifically form submissions, newsletter registrations, or product orders. It is a waste of time and resources to personalise the banner on the home page just because you can.

Personalisation makes targeting your audience more effective because it helps you show people what is relevant to them and what they might be interested in. That's why it is so powerful when used to drive cross-selling.

A reason to personalise

So, you want to start using personalisation for cross-selling, but you have no idea when to show your customers personalised content? Cross-selling can be tricky, but can dramatically increase customer purchase behaviour and drive business growth. Retailers can cross-sell before, during, and even after customers make a purchase. The important thing is that timing and placement of personalisation must complement each other.

For example, it wouldn’t make sense to personalise content on the home page of your website when trying to cross-sell to those who are going through the purchasing process as there is little chance they would even notice the personalisation. In this situation, it would make more sense to list related items somewhere in the shopping cart or on the product page. Generally, you would aim to place the personalisation to such a position where it would bring the most value.

Aligning potential customers to your product or service is vital. Base what you are offering on data. What other products do your customers usually purchase with the one you are trying to cross-sell? Can you offer something that would enhance the product or service they are buying? This all comes down to knowing your customers and their behaviour. The point of personalisation is to provide your customers with added value; you want to engage them and offer more than they expected when they came to you.

While cross-selling is a great way to boost revenue, don't get carried away. Think about what is reasonable to ask—conceptually as well as financially. When a customer purchases a new camera, you are not going to offer them a new laptop so that they can look at the pictures. Instead, you would offer an extra lens, cleaning kit, or a tripod. After all, you want a happy customer that feels you understand them, not an annoyed one that thinks you just want to squeeze money out of their pockets.

How to personalise

Personalising content doesn’t have to be difficult. For example, say you are a retail business selling cameras (and related products) with an active online store. There is a tripod that only fits one camera, and it's not selling well. Of course, you could run a campaign to promote this product, but that would be too much of an investment for an accessory, especially since it's only useful to a narrow group of people. Customers that are looking at this particular camera are shown the tripod as a related product, but you want to push it a bit more. You not only want to sell more of it, but you know that a tripod is a must with this particular camera. Therefore, you decide to target those that have purchased this camera but haven't purchased the tripod.

So, you have a reason to personalise, a target audience that would benefit from the cross-sell, the product you want them to buy is within reasonable bounds, and you can measure the success of your personalisation. All that is required now is to identify the key elements on your website that will benefit from this strategy. What pages (and areas of those pages) would be the best to personalise to grab the attention of those that have purchased products, so you can increase your sales?

Cross-selling for success

Australian retailers are all aware of the benefits of cross-selling to customers. It increases basket sizes, can boost revenue and is also advantageous for customers since they can buy supplementary products in one place and save time. However, customers don’t want to feel like they are only being indiscriminately sold towards all the time. They want to connect with retailers and brands that understand them. And the key to doing this today is through personalisation.

Wayne Jasek is the Director of APAC Operations for Kentico. He specialises in helping businesses deliver exceptional online customer experiences that turn visitors into customers. Learn more at kentico.com 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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