For decades, consumers roaming grocery store aisles had to talk to store employees to find the products they needed; grocers simply didn’t have the means to communicate with shoppers in real time — until now.
With the rise of smartphones, mobile apps, and location-based technology, shoppers can open a grocer’s app to access shopping lists and receive relevant content on the spot. This trend will only accelerate in the future.
According to the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone. And Forrester Research predicts that 42 percent of the world’s population will own a smartphone by the end of the year, a phenomenon it calls “The Mobile Mind Shift.”
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Today’s consumers possess a new level of mobile sophistication, and by making the app experience more individualized, digital marketers can better connect with these savvy shoppers.
The mobile revolution has created the potential for a more efficient and pleasant customer experience not only in grocery stores, but also in many other settings. But it’s up to digital marketers to meet consumers’ rising expectations.
Feed the Need for Constant Connection
As consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices, they expect relevant, timely content served up when and where they want it. To stay relevant, marketers must meet these needs.
But before determining the when, where, and how for communicating your messaging, you have to clearly understand your customers and what they want. Truly individualized marketing practices vary based on your customers’ behaviors; your content should be more relevant today than it was even two days ago.
A successful strategy starts with using data to build robust customer profiles. To deliver a new level of personalization, start by collecting and analyzing data in these five areas:
First, try to gather as much user-generated information as possible. You can ask users for information when they download an app or sign up for an email list, for example. Consider asking for gender and age data initially, then seek out more detailed information later on.
In addition to basics such as age and gender, you should try to get lifestyle information, biographical details, and more. Use information from social media to complement your user profiles. Twitter and Facebook amass valuable user data, but you’ll need to get permission to use it. Once you get the green light, however, you’ll have access until it’s revoked.
2. In-App Behaviors
This information shows user behavior within your app or on external platforms. Gather data about app navigation, commonly used features, ignored features, and the whole user journey. In addition to documenting user behavior, make sure to track the frequency of these behaviors.
Knowing what a customer does while in your app can highlight areas where you can improve the experience and deliver more personalized features.
3. Contextual Research
Attaching a definitive “why” to contextual data is a complex task because these actions occur as a result of more psychological – and less empirical – motivators. Consider using customer surveys to pinpoint the motivation behind their behaviors. You can then match the “what” to the “why” to get a better picture of your customers. This understanding will enrich other data points by revealing the motivation behind them.
4. Real-Time and Historical Location Data
You can look to a number of sources for location information. Start with GPS and beacon technology. You can access this data in real time and analyze historical trends.
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Next, look at correlations. Where did users access your app? What was the physical journey through your store? Do you notice any patterns in where they use the app and how often? You can get insights into purchasing habits and more from location data.
5. Time-Based Information
Find out the times and days that users activate your app. How frequently do they tend to open it? Do you spot a clear trend in the time of day they’re accessing the app? Perhaps that’s a good time to send push notifications to see whether they open them. Send the push at a time before a user typically opens the app, too, and compare the results.
A truly customized app experience spans every user touchpoint. Simply targeting push notifications won’t provide savvy consumers with the high-quality experience that will make interacting with your app more enjoyable. By focusing on the right data, you can start making informed, strategic decisions to individualize your entire mobile marketing experience.