When we translate these actions into an eCommerce language, we end up with data collection and personalization. We think these two should be building blocks for any successful eCommerce business. You may ask why, and here is the reason:
Relationships are the most valuable asset of your business.
If you can transform your communication into a two-way interaction that your customers can relate to, everything else – engagement, conversion, retention, referral- will follow naturally.
Friends and customers
Why are you best friends with your best friend? I know it's a weird question but the answer will nail down the foundations of our argument. Let's name your best friend Jake (did I win the lottery?).
You know Jake for 20 years. You know what he likes, dislikes, what sport he's good at, his secrets, beliefs, favorite color, and what he did last Friday. When you two have a conversation, you know what to recommend, advise or how to react. The same goes for Jake; he knows you like a book. Simply because of one thing: you have accumulated 20 years of data and grew a mutual information library.
As a result: Jake loves and trusts you. You can have an impact on his decisions and make his life better by being a good friend. Probably you see where I'm going with this. But it's crucial to understand this paradigm shift:
Your brand should be building friendships.
You should see your customers as your friends. Since you know how to start a friendship and maintain it, you already have the fundamentals. However, in this article, we'll show you how you can build better relationships in the eCommerce atmosphere that will make you everyone's favorite.
Here is the list of things you'll learn:
- Fundamentals of data collection.
- Three great examples of collecting data + building relationships.
- A framework of our thought process.
- Fundamentals of personalization
Let's start with data collection.
Engagement and data collection
Somebody has to start the conversation, and in the eCommerce business, that somebody is the brand. But you already have a conversation starter from the start because you know your customers are interested in your brand.
Say you're selling pet food, then you can talk about pets.
Or you're selling sports equipment, then you can talk about sports.
Although, one thing is essential: your conversation should be intriguing enough to keep your audience interested. Below you'll find some ideas for pet food, sports, and furniture retailers to inspire you. With each example, we'll show you the intention behind the campaign.
Pet food: button in emails
Simple and effective.
This example will show you how to transform the smallest opportunities to build better relationships. Say you're sending your weekly newsletter or an all-segment promotional campaign to your audience.
You can wrap up your email with a simple button question such as:
Are you a dog or cat person?
This may seem like a small question, but it could be an icebreaker for your next campaigns. Now you can create more personalized campaigns for dog and cat owners.
Sports brand: reactions on F.B. ads.
Reactions on F.B. could come super handy for data collection. Let's say you're a Belgium-based sports retailer, and you're running an advertising campaign with football equipment with a twist.
You ask, "Who will win the cup this year?", furthermore you ask them to leave a reaction for each.
Club Brugge – Like
Antwerp F.C. – Love
Standard Liege – Haha
R.S.C. Anderlecht – Wow
By doing this, you trigger football fans to compete against each other and could get tons of interactions to your Facebook ad. Moreover, you could collect data and use it later to create products or campaigns targeted to specific teams.
How to leverage this data: If most of the audience supports Club Brugge, you can create a limited edition product, organize events or create Club Brugge-specific promotions. Or you can retarget those customers with specific ads that fit their preferences.
3 examples of data collection: games and quizzes
These tools are excellent two-way communication tools to get to know your audience. There are lots of clever ways to help your customers with checklists and quizzes. Here we'll give three examples to open your eyes to endless possibilities of data collection.
Checklist for the new school year
The process of getting ready for the new school year is total pandemonium. When to buy, what to buy, did we buy anything, are we sure, is there anything missing? Without a doubt, it's an anxious process for parents.
But the question is, how could a school supply retailer help those parents to overcome this hustles and bustle?
Our solution here is a checklist. As a friend and brand, you could create an easy-to-follow list that encompasses all the supplies needed for the new school year. Then you can make this list interactive by linking back your products to matching items in your checklist.
Can you see what happened there?
- You helped desperate parents and made life easier for them.
- You sold the missing items in their checklist and increased your sales.
- You collected tons of data from clicks. Now you know what are some potentially forgotten items for the next year. Therefore, you have a better understanding of where to focus your efforts next year.
The effectiveness of checklist campaigns lies in their repeatability. Based on trends and periods of a year, you can create fun checklists to help your audience and increase your revenue.
Which sports will you discover this summer?
The summer is around the corner, and so are the new beginnings. As you would personally know, with every new cycle, people get an itch to try new hobbies. And as a sports retailer, you can help them to find their next thing with a personality test. It's a win-win.
Personality tests are an unbeatable data collection strategy for a single reason: people love to find out more about themselves. And meanwhile, they're finding out more about themselves, guess who gets to know them better? The sports retailer!
These kinds of tests generally contain more than five consecutive questions with options such as:
What kind of sportsperson are you?
- Twice a week
- I'm in for fun.
I like to be around of
- Mountains, cliffs, and trees.
- Sea, ocea, river, and summer breeze.
- Streets of my city.
- Home sweet home.
After they answer all the questions, you can tell them about their personality and redirect them to the page of your website's given sports category with a sweet promotion code. These tests and quizzes feed your data machine with a huge amount of information and create a foundation for better campaigns.
The completion rate of these kinds of quizzes is typically between 50% – 75%. That, for us, is a chance you should take advantage of. If you want GrowForce experts to create tailor-made data collection campaigns for your brand, you can schedule a free consultation here.
Your ultimate home office setup
This is an excellent example for furniture retailers. In the pandemic period, offices into home offices, and many people are open to try new ideas or buy new accessories. As a furniture retailer, you can help your customers build the dream home office they want and, meanwhile, can collect data seamlessly.
Imagine a tinder-like quiz with ten different styles of home offices. Rustic, modern, traditional, natural, minimalist, industrial, Scandinavian, and so on. You show your customers these different styles one after another and let them swipe right and left to help find what they like. In the end, you analyze their likings and redirect them to related categories on your website.
Just like a friend, you help them build their dream home office. On the other hand, you can deduct heaps of insights to create new products, campaigns, or promotions.
Being a brand and a friend at the same time.
Engage too much, and you'll become an annoying stalker. Engage too less and your customers will forget you soon. You see, there should be a balance. To find the right balance, you should define what a friend is first.
Everybody has a different definition of a friend, but let's keep things simple:
- A friend knows when to call, and she calls regularly.
- A friend sends or forwards you messages that are potentially interesting for you.
- A friend sends something that can make your day, it could be a funny video, gripping story, or anything you like.
- A friend makes things easier for you. If she knows that your favorite artist is coming to your town, she'll let you know and even send the whereabouts.
Here are the things a friend does for you in common sense. By looking at that list, you can also figure out what you should not do.
Now, based on this strategy, we'll show two of our favorite engagement strategies. These three strategies work like a charm because they tick all the boxes above.
How to use this data for personalization
You've generated tons of information with the data collection strategies above. Now it's time to transform that data into meaningful insights and then actionable marketing campaigns. There are countless ways and marketing tools that could help you in this process. However, in this article, we'll primarily focus on CRM (customer relationship management) tools.
As a growth marketing agency, marketing tools are the butter and bread of our approach. The immutable law of growth marketing is simple: we don't do campaigns that we can't measure. So, if you want to learn more about other marketing tools for tracking or measurement, you're welcome to read our article about Martech stack and our 50 favorite marketing tools.
Ok, back to the CRM tools. Your CRM tool is the memory of your business. In short, it's the smart and tireless bookkeeper of your relationships. It automatically creates customer profiles, saves interactions, enriches data, and helps you generate insights.
Let's review the furniture retailer example and see what we could create with a CRM tool. Remember, we provided customers with 10+ home decor styles. In that case, your CRM system measure and tagged your customers regarding
- Favorite style
- Favorite furniture
- Purchase cycle
- Conversion possibility
- Least favorite style
- And many more metrics you can customize.
Now, these metrics might not look meaningful on a personal level, but when you connect the dots, you could end up insights such as:
- 30% of your customers like the Scandinavian style.
- The most liked or clicked item was the adjustable desk.
- Only 5% of your customers like Rustic style.
- 18% of your customers engaged with your quiz.
- 4% of your customers have converted.
You see, now you have a better idea of what your customers like or whether you should relaunch a quiz campaign. As a result, by looking at the insights above, you can create more personalized and accurate offers in your future campaigns. In the long run, the accumulation of this quantitative and qualitative data will reveal lots of insights about your business and audience. We've seen in many cases, the data piled up and led companies to make crucial strategic decisions.
Consumers know the difference between a poor one-size-fits-all approach vs. personalized messaging. So rather than casting a fishnet message, we let the consumers determine the direction of the dialogue. We let them choose the campaigns they want to receive.
- Interactive content.
- The data we collected from engagement campaigns
Then we create data-based customer segments from the insights we are collecting. The goal here is to make campaigns as individualized as possible. Here are the rough steps we follow to get the desired results:
- Listening to the customer via qualitative and quantitative surveys.
- Collection of data via interaction
- Segmentation in the data management platform
- Creation of new campaigns and customization of navigation
- Distribution of personalized messages via different marketing channels
You remember the quiz idea in the first chapter, "Which sports are you going to discover this summer?". You found out surfing is booming with a 30% majority.
Here are some ideas that you could try to increase personalization, therefore, conversions.
- A complete guide for beginner surfers in your blog.
- Personalized email promotion campaign for surfing accessories.
- Adding a surfing tab on the top of your navigation bar.
- Adding surf equipment to your home page carousel.
- Creating a surf bundle.
- Creating a U.G.C. (user-generated content) campaign by asking your clients to send their surfing videos in exchange for promotion.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. All you need to do is to collect, store and process the data to create more personalized campaigns.
Our eCommerce experts are implementing the strategies above for different types of customers on a daily basis. If you need an expert who can determine and set the right strategies for your business, you can schedule a discovery call with our head of B2C marketing, Amaury.
If you're building your venture from scratch, you can also take a look at this case study, where we
- Validated the business idea,
- Created branding and set up the website
- Determined the right business model,
- Created a minimum viable product.
- Implemented growth marketing strategies to grow live light. (Furniture retailer-renter)