Today’s unprecedented convergence of retail and e-commerce is transforming how B2C companies reach, communicate and engage with consumers. In response, successful consumer goods and retail companies adapt by embracing omnichannel personalization to strengthen their relationships with shoppers across multiple channels by sharing relevant marketing.

These companies accept the new reality: the store is wherever the consumer is.

Even companies with smaller marketing budgets can apply omnichannel personalization best practices to adapt to consumers’ expectationsThe business case for omnichannel marketing is clear: companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers (vs. 33% of companies without one).1Rudolph, Stacey. “10 Notable Omnichannel Trends and Statistics.” Business2Community. April 22, 2016. Now companies of all sizes must aspire to customize service across all channels to deliver an enjoyable shopping experience, which can boost brand loyalty and lifetime value per customer.

How to excel at omnichannel personalization
The following CPG brands demonstrate how to engage individuals across multiple channels:

  • Mondelez: The confectionary giant launched a new Oreo cookie website to let consumers design custom packages
  • Frito-Lay: This snack food manufacturer’s interactive “Do Us a Flavor” campaign used crowdsourcing to inspire new chip varieties2Ulrich, Greg and Aaron Fidler. Manufacturing Growth: Top 5 Trends for CPG in 2016. Consumer Goods Technology. February 9, 2016.
  • Lancôme: The global beauty brand tailored product recommendations based on consumers’ individual preferences and Lancôme’s expertise3 Sabharwal, Veebs. Lancôme to deliver omnichannel personalization. Retail Gazette. March, 2, 2015.

Even companies with smaller marketing budgets can apply omnichannel personalization best practices to adapt to consumers’ expectations. Your company can gain a competitive advantage by using the following tips to create an omnichannel strategy, manage data and personalize marketing.

Omnichannel Strategy

  • Make your strategy consumer-centric: Since consumers like to shop across channels, base your strategy on how consumers use multiple channels for product discovery, review and purchase.4Re-engineering the supply chain for the omni-channel of tomorrow: Global consumer goods and retail omni-channel supply chain survey EY. February 2015.5Magni, Max, Anne Martinez, and Rukhshana Motiwala. Saving, scrimping, and … splurging? New insights into consumer behavior. McKinsey & Company. March 2016.6 Murphy, Ian P. From phone to store, the entire customer experience is the key. Retail Dive. April 6, 2016. For instance, 71% of in-store shoppers who use mobile technology for product research say their phone is now more important to their in-store experience.7Rudolph, Stacey. “10 Notable Omnichannel Trends and Statistics.” Business2Community. April 22, 2016.
  • Pinpoint your touchpoints: Harvard found desktop, mobile, website, email and social media are the top touchpoints for customer experience opportunities.8Bedgood, Larisa. Which Touch Points Do Marketers Rate as Central to the Customer Experience? Business2Community. April 10, 2016. Which other channels – such as in-store events, product reviews, mobile apps and online chat – can help you engage customers?
  • Align with digital retail trends: One of this year’s hottest retail trends is “mobile everything,” including mobile web, apps, messaging and marketing, such as digital coupons. Use a responsive web design so your website looks attractive on desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Add these online marketing trends to your strategy.9Ewing, Brian. 5 Emerging Trends for Online Retail in 2016. Pure Chat. March 15, 2016.
  • Infuse your website with social media: Embrace social media as a service channel to build brand trust. Let consumers log in to your website through their social accounts. Add Facebook product and company reviews, and YouTube videos of customer testimonials and helpful tips on how to use your product.
  • Strive for seamless service: Across every channel, deliver consistent messaging, coordinated promotions and quality service to delight shoppers.10Boston Consulting Group. The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods. BCG Perspectives.

Data Management

  • Consolidate consumer data: To truly know consumers at the individual level and serve them better, unify all the disparate sources of consumer data within your company, including in-store transactions, online browsing, loyalty points and social media.
  • Use clean product data: Ensure your product data is accurate, consistent and complete to enhance efficiency, inbound product discoverability and personalization.
  • Collaborate with retailers: As consulting firm EY states, “Effective omni-channel cannot be achieved by either retailers or manufacturers alone… data sharing is critical.”11Re-engineering the supply chain for the omni-channel of tomorrow: Global consumer goods and retail omni-channel supply chain survey EY. February 2015. Share your product and consumer data with your trading partners to support agile supply chain management.
  • Note e-commerce data deadlines: Succeed online by providing your products’ Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs, which are barcode numbers) for Google Shopping product listing ads.12Marvin, Ginny. Retailers: GTINs Required By May 16 For Google Product Listing Ads. Search Engine Land. February 11, 2016. While major brands had a May 16 deadline, consumer goods suppliers who sell to multiple retailers will soon follow.

Marketing Personalization

  • Apply your data: Use your data insights to create customized profiles and targeted marketing that resonates with consumers on an individual basis. For instance, does a shopper prefer sustainable goods? Organic foods? Healthy lifestyle products?
  • Think local: Use location-specific data to offer consumers local specials, such as promotions, coupons and events.
  • Make marketing a priority: Marketing personalization boosts ROI, so invest in audience targeting, one-to-one marketing, such as email and mobile campaigns with customized calls to action that lead to conversions.13Carlin, Katie. Increasing Audience ROI with Personalization. HubSpot. March 31, 2016. Share authentic brand stories and deliver unique value across all channels to build loyalty.

B2C companies of all sizes must accept the reality of the empowered consumer. Start with an omnichannel strategy, manage your consumer and product data, and offer unique, customized value for consumers. Always remember, “ultimately the consumer is the channel [so] treat the customer consistently like an individual” for a superior customer experience.

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1, 7. Rudolph, Stacey. “10 Notable Omnichannel Trends and Statistics.” Business2Community. April 22, 2016.
2. Ulrich, Greg and Aaron Fidler. Manufacturing Growth: Top 5 Trends for CPG in 2016. Consumer Goods Technology. February 9, 2016.
3. Sabharwal, Veebs. Lancôme to deliver omnichannel personalization. Retail Gazette. March, 2, 2015.
4, 11. Re-engineering the supply chain for the omni-channel of tomorrow: Global consumer goods and retail omni-channel supply chain survey EY. February 2015.
5. Magni, Max, Anne Martinez, and Rukhshana Motiwala. Saving, scrimping, and … splurging? New insights into consumer behavior. McKinsey & Company. March 2016.
6. Murphy, Ian P. From phone to store, the entire customer experience is the key. Retail Dive. April 6, 2016.
8. Bedgood, Larisa. Which Touch Points Do Marketers Rate as Central to the Customer Experience? Business2Community. April 10, 2016.
9. Ewing, Brian. 5 Emerging Trends for Online Retail in 2016. Pure Chat. March 15, 2016.
10. Boston Consulting Group. The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods. BCG Perspectives.
12. Marvin, Ginny. Retailers: GTINs Required By May 16 For Google Product Listing Ads. Search Engine Land. February 11, 2016.
13. Carlin, Katie. Increasing Audience ROI with Personalization. HubSpot. March 31, 2016.
Lisa Goller

Lisa Goller is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of experience serving retail, consumer goods, B2B and technology companies. She helps businesses tell their story through irresistible content marketing and strategic communications.

4 Comments

  1. […] Part 2 will share how your company can apply omnichannel personalization trends to attract customers… […]

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  4. […] Including digital content in your marketing strategy will help ensure your products show up on shoppers’ digital and mobile search results, boosting your brand awareness, engagement and likelihood of sales in stores and online. […]

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