By Ben Stirling, MD of Webloyalty, the provider of market-leading reward platforms
In 2020, innovations in technology will create a whole new level of nuanced, data-driven customer personalisation. The increasing prominence of open banking and card-linked tracking will provide more insight into consumer shopping patterns and financial behaviours – if brands take the steps necessary to utilise this information. It will provide both an opportunity for customers to see their own transactions in real time through additional tools outside their bank and enable businesses to offer a whole new level of personalised and relevant promotional content to targeted customer groups, based on extremely relevant transactional insights.
Some brands may feel hesitant to take advantage of this insight, due to some high-profile examples of ‘big data’ creating reputational issues. However, personalisation isn’t just desired by the average consumer in 2020, it’s expected. The more relevant a service or offer is, the more likely people are to use it, and repeat the experience in future. Leveraging data that has a 360-degree view of consumer behaviour allows brands to improve and tailor customer incentives in order to drive further interaction – and means they can not only meet expectations but also actively encourage behavioural change. Sky, for instance, could use this insight to communicate to audiences outside of their environment or network with greater intelligence, for example; targeting their existing subscribers through other platforms with tailored incentive driven upsell messaging, and targeting new customers who are close to the end of their 12-month billing cycle with other suppliers, with a completely different message.
In order to achieve these insights, businesses should prioritise partnering with fintech’s to segment and target relevant customers. Fintech’s or networks that utilise this data to establish when and where customers are parting with their money will benefit from clever algorithms that combine past spending data with geographic or demographic data. This enables advertising brands to benefit from AI driven foresight and target customers with products and promotions that are sequentially relevant – tapping into what they actually want, based on how they are spending their money.
The intelligence these algorithms provide is closely linked to personalisation, by pairing wider past spending data through open banking, marketing teams can define their customer base, and brands can personalise what products and offers are shown and when. Beyond this, businesses can also be savvy in tailoring the way in which customers are rewarded. For instance, today as a consumer it’s possible to register your card for tracking and then spend on your everyday shopping to earn cashback which is stored in a digital wallet and can be used to pay down your phone bill, insurance, utility bills or gift to charity. The trade for the customer is the tracking of their spending data, personally I am not precious about my data and see it as a win win. In the next year, and beyond, my advice for retail brands looking to promote loyalty amongst customers would be to look outside of their own products and support the convenience and personalised touch consumers are now demanding. It’s no longer good enough to offer a generic in-store discount, instead look for other networks in order to use passion based rewards and target customers who love Starbucks with a free coffee at a time when they personally have hit a certain milestone with your brand. Consumers are willing to share their information if they can see brands are using it in service of positive outcomes for the customer – and 2020 will see more brands than ever before taking advantage of this.