The expectations of customers in their shopping experience has increased heavily. Millennials and Generation Z is born in a world of smartphones, Social Media and online shopping. The need to interact 24/7 is increasing and brings new challenges to the brands. The customer is expecting no longer a personalized customer experience, but an individualized customer experience.
In my previous article, I wrote about the new higher expectations from customers. Free shipping, costless return, and fast delivery are key elements to be able to do business online. But free shipping and fast delivery cost money, not to even start when the customer is returning the product. Therefore you need to make sure you sell the product the customer wants.
But how do you know for sure?
Focus on your customer’s life
You need to focus on your customer. Focus on their job, their habits, their friends, all of it. And learn all you can about the customer. The more you know about how your customers live, what they like, and how they use your products, the more those learnings will lead to successful sales.
Don’t be shy in asking your customers what they think of your product, your services, and their buying experience. This will help you understand the decision-making story from beginning to end. It will give you valuable insights about the event or problem that motivated the customer to search for a solution.
“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”– Steve Jobs
Usually, the customer does not know what he wants. People buy on emotion or experience. If you ask the customer what kind of shoes he likes, he will probably think of some image he has liked on Instagram or Facebook and will describe those shoes.
Use AI to Individualize
Marketers were able to bring personalized content to customers using newsletters, browser data or product history. But this technique is still based on user segments. Small user segments, yes, but still, the customer experience is not personal. Personalization is no longer enough.
With the rise of Artifical Intelligence new tools are available to bring an individualized customer experience. With AI it is possible to learn all about the individual customer by for example analyze the pictures, friends, and interests on his Social Media profiles. So next time the customer visits your e-commerce website, you can show him the clothing item not only tailored to the individual with regard to sizing but also the color, print, and fabric he likes. Maybe even show an image of the customer wearing your sweater!
Collaborate with Personal Assistants
And what do you think of the rising popularity of smart speakers from Google and
Imagine the value when your e-commerce platform shares the purchase details to these smart speakers. The smart speaker then gains a better insight into the user’s preferences. And the owner can easily and directly place an order on your webshop via voice command. And you can be sure the product is tailored to the customer and the change he will return the product dropped to 0%.
More useful resources
I found more related and useful articles about this topic:
Personalization And The Rise Of Individualized Experiences on Forrester.com
How retail can tackle the returns problem on Insider Trends