Cross-Channel Personalization Is Table Stakes for Today's Retail Marketers

Adam Swiderski By Adam Swiderski Oct 19, 2021

Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and phones still plugged into walls, reaching customers digitally was straightforward: Just drop all the email addresses you’d collected into a listserv, click send, and call it a day. The past 5-10 years, however, have seen a significant growth in sophistication both when it comes to how the average person interacts with brands online and in how that interaction is delivered to each individual. Simply put, people are savvier and more connected than ever before, which means that marketing has had to evolve with them in order to remain effective.

In the world of retail, this evolution has boiled down to two main strategies: Cross-channel campaigns that can reach customers in the various places where they engage online, and personalization to better communicate with an audience that’s constantly on the receiving end of messaging from many directions at once. On their own, these two strategies can increase the effectiveness of any promotional campaign, but taken together, they create an engagement and retention alchemy that can add rocket fuel to your retail messaging.

Crossing Channels Makes for Masterful Messaging

The proliferation of smartphones and the diverse ways in which customers use them has made adopting a cross-channel messaging strategy critical to any brand’s outreach efforts. Do you want to provide a attention-grabbing, highly visual experience to your most active customers? Use in-app messages (IAM) to offer up the latest information on sales and discounts. Do you need to get urgent information in front of your mobile users in a time-sensitive situation? Push notifications allow you to reach customers even when they’re not directly interacting with your online presence. Are you looking to provide a content-rich, interactive experience to customers who’ve previously opted into engagement? Email provides an avenue.

Working in concert, these different tools allow for a multi-pronged approach that can be molded to suit a variety of retail contexts. The results are clear, as Braze research has shown that cross-channel messaging can significantly increase customer retention. Whether you’re working on something acute like a time-limited sale or general customer outreach, crafting a cross-channel approach is key to making sure your message is received by your customers and yields measurable results in terms of engagement, retention, and beyond.

Get Personal or Get Lost in the Shuffle

In a messaging landscape riddled with spam and scams, it’s more important than it’s ever been for brands to personalize their efforts to reach out to customers. The good news is, there are also more ways than ever to do so, whether it’s something as simple as adjusting the channel a message is sent in based on customer preferences or a more complex level of personalization like calling out relevant products or services based on how a customer has previously interacted with your brand. With the amount of data that can be gathered about both customer identity and behavior and the tools available to digest it, the opportunity to deliver messaging specific to individual recipients has never been greater.

It’s not just about making customers feel seen, either, as it’s been demonstrated that personalization can increase the open rate of email campaigns by as much as 760%. The ability of personalization tools to translate data into engagement simply can’t be overstated.

The Power of Personalization Across Channels

Put personalization and a cross-channel approach together, and you have the recipe for a nimble, effective messaging campaign that makes smart use of data to drive brand engagement to new heights. For example, customer interactions during app use can be recorded to tailor differing email outreach based on differing users’ interests and needs, while push notifications can be rolled out offering various discounts to customers depending on how, when, and where they’ve engaged with brand messaging in the past.

The end result is a campaign that’s dynamic both in terms of the content being served and the various mechanics—channel, timing, location—by which it’s delivered. That dynamism means everything in a market in which 91% of consumers have expressed that they’re more likely to shop with a brand that recognizes and remembers them.

Final Thoughts

There are more ways than ever before to reach customers with messaging; there’s also more information available about those customers to help support your engagement efforts. It can seem like a lot to manage at first glance, but with the right strategy, data, technologies, and teamwork, you can significantly boost the impact of your retail marketing efforts today and into the future.

Braze is here to help. When you’re ready to learn more, check out our Cross-Channel Data Report and find out what cross-channel messaging can do for you.

Adam Swiderski

Adam Swiderski

Adam Swiderski is a writer, editor, musician, surfer, and recovering professional nerd from Queens, New York. He's interested in the meeting of technology and humanity, and disinterested in zombie apocalypse.

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