Industry Chats: Hyper-personalisation as the key trend for 2021 with RevLifter
In our format ‘Industry Chats’ we consult experts from our partnerships to provide you with relevant news from different industries, share best practices and support our partners during this time.
Industry Chat: Hyper-personalisation
There’s no question: (affiliate) marketing has evolved over the years. But it’s not just the way we do marketing that has changed. Emerging trends and new technologies have also changed the way people respond to marketing.
In this fast-changing landscape, marketers have to work quickly to keep up. However, they must always keep their customers in mind. People are constantly flooded with all kinds of information these days, so they tend to tune out offers that are not relevant to them. Thus, if you try to target your audience with generic, impersonal content, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage them and keep them loyal to your business in the long run.
The key to success? Not just personalisation, but hyper-personalisation!
Our expert on this issue: Richard Towey – RevLifter
Let us introduce to you Richard Towey from RevLifter. We have discussed the trend of hyper-personalisation, best practices on where to use hyper-personalisation and its benefits for your business.
First and foremost, what is hyper-personalisation and what does it mean for brands and their affiliate programmes?
Hyper-personalisation refers to delivering bespoke, 1-2-1 information to customers based on their interests, behaviours, and current situation. While lots of technology vendors claim to personalise communications, what many deliver is segmentation based on one or a few data points.
By contrast, hyper-personalisation begins with a deep analysis of customer data. It means that technologies like RevLifter can unearth what it takes to motivate a given user to complete a desired action.
As an example, imagine if you sell hay fever remedies and want to target new customers where demand is high due to local pollen levels. Hyper-personalisation allows you to serve deals based on those three conditions (new customer interested in hay fever remedies because their local pollen level is high) and limit your focus to deal-searching customers to save margins.
Because our industry focuses on performance, the most valuable signals often relate to what a user has bought, is browsing, or considering. These include customer data (e.g. new versus existing), purchase data (past purchases, category interests, brand preferences), shopping data (basket contents, basket margin), abandonment data (exit intent, dwell times, new tab openings) and session data (location, device type, language).
Part of the process is analysis, but a great deal of the value comes from predictive modelling and machine learning to validate and optimise the models.
Hyper-personalisation seems to have come from nowhere to become a key trend. Is there a backstory behind its evolution?
To some extent, the move toward bespoke messaging for every user is actually a continuation of a long-term trend relating to data-driven marketing and technological innovation in the affiliate channel.
Many of the major advances in our industry over the past decade are a function of this shift to advanced technology. I’d count things like search-focused partnerships, data feeds, aggregators, meta-search engines, and retargeting affiliates in that group, and now we have hyper-personalisation platforms and partners.
All of these innovations have played a valuable role in the development of the industry, but they are also enabling affiliate marketing to move beyond converting events to influencing the entire customer journey.
Of course, affiliate trends are driven by programme and partner performance, and the business results for hyper-personalisation are outstanding. Beyond improving the effectiveness of programmes, these targeting and messaging innovations are giving affiliate leaders new influence and a seat at the CMO table, because we can now capture and leverage all of the insights that other media can provide.
Why should a retailer start focusing on hyper-personalised deals rather than stick to what they’re used to?
Deals and offers are the most motivating and costly elements of performance marketing. Thus, by making them more precise, we can ensure every campaign intelligently delivers against our goals.
Traditionally, affiliate programmes and measurement have focused on driving topline revenue growth. But most retailers have more specific objectives and invest the bulk of marketing resources in those. Some of the most common examples include improving customer acquisition, reactivating lapsed users, and boosting conversion rates.
With hyper-personalised deals, you can tailor everything to deliver against these objectives. One of RevLifter’s more popular tactics involves stretching the basket to increase AOV. To dig deeper, we can recommend products that either serve as an upgrade to what’s already in the basket, or complement the existing order. Some brands choose to push stressed inventory with this tactic. It all starts with the unique goal and how the brand defines a great outcome.
Without the use of a coupon site, in which environments do hyper-personalised deals live?
Hyper-personalisation very much taps into the idea of right offer, right time, and right place. While the environments for a 1-2-1 deal are limitless, we’ve found the best results to occur at three phases of the customer journey:
- Search: Where hyper-personalisation drives more traffic directly to your site instead of a voucher partner and increases purchase intent.
- On-site: Where customers are encouraged to convert, rather than abandon their basket, and make larger transactions.
- Post-visit: Where hyper-personalised deals and rewards can bring users back to your site or app to transact again.
By delivering bespoke deals to customers at every stage of the ecommerce journey, it’s easier for a retailer to maximise the value of their data and baskets.
What is the bottom-line impact of applying hyper-personalisation to deals and offers?
We’ve all seen the data that shows consumers appreciating personalisation and transacting more when they receive tailored communications. Hyper-personalisation leverages all unique customer data to deliver more precise messaging to each user, which in turn has a significant impact on any goal.
From RevLifter’s analysis of hyper-personalised deals across more than 100 leading retailers in EMEA and other regions, we’ve reported an average conversion rate boost of 30% and a 20% uptick in AOV compared to non-personalised journeys. Such figures can make even the most aggressive growth goals far more attainable.
Further, scientific measurement of incrementality is available through A/B testing. Because the messages are personalised and delivered at a 1-2-1 level, it is relatively straightforward to measure incremental impact on sales, conversion rates, AOV, and more.
Which are the best retail categories for hyper-personalisation?
Hyper-personalisation works for any retailer in any vertical provided they have a goal in mind. From our experience, the categories that consistently respond well to hyper-personalisation include:
- Apparel and accessories
- Computer hardware and software
- Cosmetics and beauty
- Food and personal care
- Hardware and DIY
- Home goods (e.g. decor, linens, small appliances)
- Sporting goods
- Utilities / Finance
One factor that does impact performance is data collection. To be most effective, a retailer needs to ensure they’re tracking and leveraging the right customer data from what is admittedly a vast and unstructured pool. They also need to extract real-time signals from their entire journey – not just one touchpoint – and understand which parts sync with their goal for conversion, AOV or similar.
Furthermore, sites with greater than £1 million in online turnover, or 50,000 monthly unique visitors, or both, get the best results from hyper-personalisation. For smaller digital stores, it’s sage to check your viability with a provider by sharing your site traffic, sales, and AOV.
Why does the affiliate network represent one of the best routes into hyper-personalisation?
As experts in the affiliate industry, your affiliate network already understands the power that hyper-personalisation can have on campaign performance. Every network is looking to technology partners to further diversify client campaigns to drive growth at scale and limit dependence on those top few voucher and cashback sites.
Solutions like RevLifter are pre-integrated with your network and can be measured with standard affiliate tracking methodologies. This makes it easy to test and implement hyper-personalised deals.
Fortunately, hyper-personalised offer partners deliver consistently strong sales, allowing them to become top five partners for retailers, and drive 8% or more of total programme revenue.
What does the implementation phase look like?
Affiliate marketing is increasingly recognised as a great way to test and implement new technologies. In keeping with this trend, hyper-personalisation does not require complex back-end integrations and can be paid for primarily or entirely via CPA.
In my view, clients should be able to test and implement any new technology without set-up fees or long-term commitments because these qualities are part of the affiliate ethos.
How can a brand explore hyper-personalisation for their affiliate programme?
Probably the best advice we can provide is to speak with your Tradedoubler Account Manager about how hyper-personalisation could help you drive incremental program growth. As experts on both the industry and your data, they can determine if hyper-personalisation and hyper-personalised deals would be appropriate for your business.
Thank you to RevLifter for the insights! We look forward to a continued prosperous partnership in 2021.
To learn more about how RevLifter can help you to achieve success, get in touch today!