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Personalisation remains a tough spot in the rush for better customer experiences, however there’s little doubt about the benefits it can bring. It’s just a question of how.

One campaign that was particularly impactful in this regard was easyJet’s 2015 20th anniversary advertising campaign, which saw the organisation pool its data to deliver “market of one” personalised travel offers to customers based on their individual profiles over the years. According to a report published by easyJet on the campaign, this directly led to 7.5% of easyJet customers who received the email going on to make a booking in the 30 days following.

For many businesses, with the possible exception of FMCG, getting almost 8% of existing customers to make another purchase in the next month is little more than a pipe dream. For the many different organisations looking for a slice of the pie, it’s a highly lucrative offer – and the services offering the best personalisation will likely be the ones that come out on top.  

So what does that personalisation look like?

Let’s take an example that many of us will be familiar with in our personal lives:

Imagine if you were looking to buy four tickets on flights to Portugal in July. It would be all too easy for a travel business to just list out all the flights available on the days he wants and be done with it. However, if that’s all that’s on offer, it’s likely that you will take your searching elsewhere to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

If instead, that same business suggests packaging this up with the right hotel for you based on your recent travel, perhaps a local attraction, and then a good deal on car rental, you’re more likely to buy. According to Deloitte, 35% of consumers would be more interested in purchasing personalised products or services, and 48% said they would even be willing to wait longer in order to receive them. That represents a huge number more sales.

What are savvy organisations doing better?

Organisations that succeed with this are the ones that can pull all this information together to suggest the right personalised recommendation for you, depending on what you’re buying. You as the customer are more likely to be impressed, and more likely to buy. Supporting this, a study by Hubspot found that personalised call to actions resulted in 202% improvement in conversions compared to a generic one.

Now, back in the heyday of the high street, perhaps each sales assistant did have the time to sit down, read through a client’s history, and make those sorts of recommendations. But in the e-commerce world, both B2B and B2C, these types of insights can’t be found manually – it just isn’t cost effective, or sustainable. So how can businesses provide this level of personalisation that drives customer loyalty and sales?

It comes down to effective analysis of data and creating a single point of truth on each customer, based on their history. To some extent, CRM and marketing automation software can produce this insight, however, streams of data are now extremely varied and distributed across internal and external infrastructure.

So what’s the solution?

Providers will need to draw this information from multiple sources – not just their own sales databases but also historic marketing data, public reviews and forum posts, social media channels in real time and more, into a central storehouse. However, manually coding and creating such a streamlined, precise system would be prohibitively complex and costly.

So how can savvy businesses do it? By using automation to design and deploy an infrastructure around data that pulls all of these different pieces of information together. Finding a way to unite all these disparate threads data into one single point of truth is critical for delivering true personalisation and value for businesses. Automation is critical for achieving that ROI as quickly as possible – and one way to do this is with a “data warehouse”, a central repository for data from all of the different systems in an enterprise’s infrastructure.

In addition, such a system can also offer personalised offers from provider targeting for customers down to the minute – getting the latest deals as they go live.

The upshot of effective personalisation

Any business that can use such approaches to improve their customer experience. Personalisation can help in sales conversion for any customer – be it in high street retail, insurance and banking, or business services. Understanding each customer as a “market of one”, using data, is a powerful tool in driving sales and boosting loyalty and customer experience.

A 2017 PwC survey found that 59% of consumers consider real-time personalised offers tailored to the individual an important part of the retail experience, yet just half felt that retailers were delivering on this. Succeeding with this level of individual personalisation is critical – not just for pleasing customers – but for increasing revenue and ongoing customer loyalty. It is data, successfully ingested and analysed, that will drive success for all businesses, and their customers.