Standing out from the online retail crowd is a tricky business and, without a captivating USP, smaller outlets can seriously struggle against larger or more established rivals. When it comes to price competition for directly comparable goods, small stores are unlikely to be able to match offers or wrestle customers away from the big-name behemoths.
This is where customisation comes in. A report by MyBuys found that retailers using customer-centric, personalised marketing, which is adapted to “remember” preferences, previous purchases and products browsed but not bought, has a dramatic effect on customer engagement and buying habits. Consumers were found to buy 300% more often from retailers who personalised their marketing and to increase their overall spending by up to 500%.
Personalised marketing is most effective, the report found, when deployed across a number of channels, such as social media, email and the site itself. Done well, it can help to level the playing field by finding clever ways to engage consumers without a massive marketing spend. Best of all, start-ups are leading the way when it comes to experimenting with customisation. Their small size means that they can be more nimble and react faster than larger companies with longer lead times, meaning that reacting to customer preferences can go well beyond the way the products are marketed, to the design of the products themselves.