Optimising the mobile channel isn’t just about products – it’s about personalisation

Consumer expectation is changing. They want brand experiences to be highly personalised. Adapting to this context isn’t easy.  Spam isn’t tolerated for example but I expect to be told when my mobile phone contract is up for renewal or if there’s an offer on my favourite fast-food restaurant. Laura Arthurton, CEO, at retail technology company Conversity takes a look at the issues.

The explosive growth of mobile devices means that mobile has become not just a viable channel through which businesses can sell their products and services, but an essential one. Consumers are always likely to have a smartphone in their hands, so there is every possibility that they will want to make purchases quickly and easily while on the move.

However, simply having a mobile channel in place is no guarantee of success. You could have a mobile platform that offers every single product or service in your portfolio, but without taking steps to personalise the customer experience, you’ll never be able to maximise returns from what is a huge channel opportunity.

Consumers want to get personal 

Recent research that we conducted into the telco market – which polled 1,000 consumers across the UK – supports this need for improved personalisation across the whole customer experience. Close to three-quarters (72%) believe that receiving recommendations for relevant telco products, bundles or contracts when shopping is important. In a similar vein, when considering the quality of advice given by a telco provider when shopping online, 78 % of shoppers think this is important.

This gives some clear pointers as to where consumer thought is going in terms of wanting a tailored, personalised experience. This is true for any channel, and mobile is no exception.


Generational shift

As millennials become an increasingly dominant demographic in the retail world, our research has also shown that there is a significant generational shift taking place when it comes to customer experience expectations.

When asked about the importance of receiving relevant product recommendations, 81% of millennials see this as valuable, but this figure drops to 68% for Generation X, and 67% for the baby boomer generation. When considering the quality of advice

provided by companies when shopping online, 86% of millennials see this as important, falling to 79% for Generation X and 69% for baby boomers.

Millennials clearly have high standards when it comes to customer service. They want personalised recommendations to be a key characteristic of their shopping experience, and they want this advice to be of the highest standard. Mobile-focused businesses should see this as an indicator that they need to reassess their approaches and make changes so that they don’t just provide a one-size-fits-all service to everyone, especially given the tech-savvy and mobile-loving nature of the millennial generation. At the same time, this should not mean sacrificing the methods that are successful with older consumers.

Blazing a personalisation trail

Bringing new sophistication to mobile personalisation requires businesses to better understand the data that customers generate. For example, making use of CRM data to analyse usage patterns and personal buying preferences for mobile-based customers can provide useful insights, and can help organisations to work out how to tailor recommendations to their mobile customers more effectively.

Bringing new sophistication to mobile personalisation requires businesses to better understand the data that customers generate.

Technologies such as guided selling can aid greatly in this process. By providing relevant, needs-based recommendations that align closely with customer requirements in real-time, it can make a big difference to how businesses communicate with their customers. This applies not just to making single sales, but also to persuading customers to opt for upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

By making personalisation a smoother process, organisations can ensure that the discerning standards of the younger generation are met, while also making sure that older generations are able to benefit from an improved service as and when they need it. In a mobile world where customers are so often spoilt for choice, it’s critical that businesses are able to go that extra mile to make sure consumers are given the correct guidance at every stage of the buying process. Make this happen, and the true potential of the mobile channel will be realised.

Laura Arthurton, CEO, Conversity