Customization Plays Key Roles in Customer Return Rates

Mike DeFabis
Outside of the IDS Fulfillment Center

It’s 2018, everything we do has a connection with media and technology. Our homes, televisions, phones, and computers are “smart.” One fast growing trend from this is customer personalization. Consider how you open your Facebook to see advertisements for something you briefly mentioned in a conversation or Amazon personalizing your homepage based off of products you have looked at and/or purchased in past visits. Customers have come to expect that level of service from online retailers, and we need to consider how we can make ourselves memorable and stand out in the crowd.

Show your Customer that you Know Them: As online retailers, it can be tricky to show your customer that you remember them and their order history, but this is probably one of the most important aspects of personalizing the experience of the consumer. 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, has the ability to provide options based on past purchases or is able to provide past purchase history. They are more willing to shop more with retailers who can recognize an individual and provide appropriate recommendations based on their unique requirements.

Build Loyalty Through Customization: If customers have the ability to get the exact item or service they seek from you, they will continue to come back. If you give them what they want, they’ll generally stay loyal to your brand. They key to this is to make sure you are providing options that are unique from what is being offered by your competitors. There are multiple aspects to this. For example, Amazon is known for providing customized homepages for their customers based on recent purchases and search history. Facebook utilized targeted advertising based on click-rates, voice recognition, and browsing history with the companies they partner with. Another way to use customization to your advantage is to look at what your competitors offer and one-up them. For example, maybe your competitor offers personalized mugs – but can only add a name before upping the price for add-ons. However, you not only offer the option to add a name, but also offer color variety without upcharges. The more you can stand out, the better in this situation.

Take Advantage of the Kitting Trend: We all know that kitting has been a huge rising trend over the past couple of years. One of the most popular versions of this are subscription boxes. Subscription boxes are kits that a typically delivered monthly to a customer with different items each month at a set rate. One way subscription box retailers are attempting to stand out is to step away from the curated boxes and move into the personalized box. A curated box is the basic monthly subscription box offered by the company with no personalization – basically, you get what you get. However, companies like Birchbox, Graze, and BlueApron are taking it one step further and allowing the customer to add personalization to the mix. With these companies, the customer has the ability to go through a “preferences” section when subscribing to add a bit of customization. BlueApron and Graze are both in the food industry and offer customers the ability to state foods they do and don’t like, if they have allergies, and provide any other dietary restrictions. Birchbox works in a similar fashion, but allows customers to create an entire “beauty profile” so their monthly box is more likely to be filled with items they will use – no one wants to waste money. Though the ability to personalize preferences is available, these companies still stick with the whimsical nature of a subscription kit and provide the customer with mystery while giving them the feeling of a personalized experience.

The internet retailing market is constantly changing and expanding. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, the tried and true method is to keep your customers at a personal level and provide them with the most customized experience possible.

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