Offset rising prices with a deep personal understanding of each customer

Although the US economy contracted 1.4% in the first quarter, consumer spending remains strong, growing 2.7% over the same period. After inflation hit a 40-year high of 8.6% in March, inflation-adjusted consumer spending still made positive gains of 0.2%.

Consumers are still opening their wallets, even when it comes to discretionary spending. But with energy costs and a global supply chain crisis fueled by price hikes on necessities and everyday items like groceries, petrol and clothing, consumers may need an extra boost to respond to brands’ traditional marketing approaches.

So the way for retailers to attract and retain cost-constrained consumers is to differentiate themselves through a personalized customer experience that translates into developing a personal understanding of an individual consumer.

Offering a perceived value that is sustainable can be helpful when cost control is not an option. Consider, for example, a recent Dynata survey in which 74% of consumers said brand loyalty is more about feeling understood and valued than it is about discounts, loyalty perks, or other offers available to every customer. When asked how a brand demonstrates personal understanding, more than half (52%) of consumers said it is a brand that sends relevant product and service recommendations.

Relevance in the rhythm of a customer journey
Relevance, which impacts brand loyalty, can be greatly enhanced when a brand knows something about a customer, allowing the brand to deliver content (an offer, a message, an image, etc.) that reflects their likes, likes, or intentions correspond to a customer. Relevance in the context of a personalized customer experience also means that a brand delivers content at the rhythm of a customer journey, i.e. delivered at exactly the right time and on the right channel, optimized for the precise moment of engagement.

Knowing that a customer prefers medium size blue cotton quarter zip sweatshirts is great. However, if a brand automatically attaches those preferences to a specific device, URL, or even a known identity and makes an offer on a product when that device or a signed-in customer visits the brand’s website, it could create tension in the customer journey in many ways. The customer may have recently purchased the product from a store, someone in a different household than the customer may be using the device, or the customer may not even intend to buy it. They may want to arrange a return or contact customer service. Delivering the level of relevancy that drives loyalty means knowing everything there is to know about a known or unknown customer combined with the ability to provide the next best action in real-time on any channel.

Perfected data, a perfected experience
The application of data quality processes, including advanced identity resolution capabilities, is a requirement to demonstrate a deep, personal understanding of an individual customer at the moment data is collected from any conceivable source. Probabilistic and deterministic matching using persistent keys ensures a consistent customer profile is updated whenever the underlying data changes.

Retailers often struggle to keep up with the entire customer journey because they rely on outdated profiles. The problem is that a customer record that’s days, hours, minutes, or in some cases just seconds old may not accurately represent a customer—or what’s important to a customer—at the moment of interaction. Brands try to overcome the problem of inaccurate or inconsistent data by hedging their bets and sending an offer that is impersonal or generic enough to perhaps appeal to a wider audience, but of course often fails.

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