Why Assumptions Can Lead To Messy Customer Profiles

By on November 8, 2018 in Businesses

Frankly speaking, not everything we purchase online is for us. We all know this. Right?

Yet… say a guy buys his girlfriend a pair of yoga pants. Now he gets emails from the store saying: “We have your favorite body-hugging, butt-boosting yoga pants in pink! Get your size before we run out!” (True story).

It’s already proven that personalization can lift sales up to 10%. And let’s admit it, there is nothing more exciting than getting an email crafted especially for you, with recommendations you love and statements that align with your values. They make you want to click on the links and buttons impatiently to see more things you like.

Except this is rarely the case.

Today, customer data lacks context, making personalization a labor-intensive guessing game.

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The Good Ol’ Days

By on September 9, 2018 in Businesses, Consumers

Frankly speaking, online shopping has not only changed the way we buy, it has drastically changed the relationship between retailers and their customers.

Hard to imagine, but one day a long, long time ago people went into local brick-and-mortar stores and had real conversations with the sales associates. Through these conversations, retailers could learn a lot about their customers – their likes, their dislikes, who their friends and significant others were, big events going on in their lives (like birthdays and anniversaries), and more.

They were kinda, well, friends.

Customers would actually ASK the sales associate to call them when the new products they would like arrived. Customers trusted retailers and valued their recommendations.

In the good old days, the retailer was empowered to help their customers buy for others (BFO), because they knew their customers and they knew who needed to buy for whom and when.

The retailer would pick up the phone and call someone’s husband to let him know they just got a necklace that his wife would love…oh and to remind him that their anniversary is coming up in 5 days.

And what would the husband do? Trust them. Buy from them. Tell them to wrap it up before he even sees it, because he knew how much his wife loved the previous purchases he made with this awesome guidance.

Customers’ relationships with retailers are different today; instead of being best buds with a few local retailers, they are acquaintances. People don’t shop in the same ole store in town, they shop in A LOT of different places and all around the world! Our options have expanded dramatically! …But so have our expectations.

Today’s expectations vs. reality

Customers expect the same level of personalization they used to have with their local brick-and-mortar store. They expect the retailer to know their name, what they like, what they are shopping for, what they need and in the size they need it, the colors that match their living room, the material they prefer, the price range they can afford, the shipping/pick-up options they find most convenient, and so many other tiny details.

And guess what? They still want your help to find what to buy for their friends, family and significant others like they used to in the good old days!

Except …these customers have never actually had a real conversation with you, met you face to face, or told you what they like (or what their best friends like).

Studies say that 56% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer that recognizes them by name, and 58% are more likely to make a purchase when the retailer recommends options for them based on their preferences (Chain Store Age).

But the reality is that retailers’ personalization efforts are not working like they should. We know you are trying so hard, but who said it was going to be easy? The Harvard Business Review states that customers are frequently frustrated by companies’ inability to meet their relationship expectations.

 

Some retailers, like you, may have attempted to use a digital, self-service tool to combine customers’ online engagement with their in-store experience. It’s called omnichannel or multichannel. But the IBM 2017 Customer Experience Index Study indicates that even this technique is falling behind the customers’ expectations. Only 19% of brands offer more than a basic personalization online experience, and they suggest brands apply new technologies to meet the customers’ personalization demands.

In order to gain that trust that customers used to have in the sales associate in the good old days, retailers need to build meaningful relationships with their customers. In the era of e-commerce it may sound impossible to get to know your customers without any direct or face-to-face interactions, or without spending A LOT of time and effort.

But, hey, don’t panic. Dearduck has the secret to do this! Read our tips to build meaningful relationships and make your customers feel like the luckiest people on earth!

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How to build meaningful relationships with your customers (and their friends)

By on September 7, 2018 in Businesses

Frankly speaking, isn’t it the best feeling when you discover something that combines all your favorite things? Like that 58% dark chocolate bar that’s vegan and has chili flavor. And isn’t it even better when someone gives you something so spot on like this? Oh how amazing it is when someone gets you that well, and you think to yourself: “this person just moved from being just my friend to being my best friend.”

Those meaningful relationships are the cornerstone of all things good, and they come by showing a deep understanding of others. But understanding others is hard. It takes time and requires knowing people’s taste, their likes and dislikes, their needs and preferences, not to mention it actually needs to fit the bill (yeah, it’s a lot).

In fact, the preference information people need in order to buy for others is the same information retailers need to personalize for customers.

So, if retailers had access to deep preference data for each customer, and knew who purchased gifts for whom, they could strengthen relationships with their customers, and help people buy for others (BFO).

Knowing when people buy for others (we call it BFO) should be every marketers dream. It’s an entire new segment where purchasing actually makes customers feel good instead of guilty! But due to today’s preference information limitations, it is every marketers nightmare.

 

Retailers deserve to have the tools to determine the BFO segment and build strong, meaningful relationships with and for their customers. The first step is to obtain clean preference data about current customers.

Building relationships with your customers

Turns out, understanding someone’s preferences is just like dating, and if you don’t already master the art of dating you hopefully will by the end of this post (no results assured). If you actually want to understand the other person, you have to ask them and they have to tell you what they like, what they dislike, what they love and what drives them crazy.

Retailers have to engage in a conversation with their customers, in a fun way – no one likes boring conversation. This is the only way to determine if their purchases reflect their preferences or someone else’s.

You don’t want to be the one sending pink yoga pant promotions to a guy who bought leggings for his girlfriend. Or worse, sending diaper ads to a single woman whose friends are all married and having babies (we’ve all laughed at this one before). But if you don’t know who is buying for themselves and who is BFO then you risk being the one doing exactly this.

That email you worked so hard on deserves to be bringing in the dough, not a trip to the blacklist. You’re trying so hard, spending time and money getting to know your customers. It’s not your fault, today’s options just suck.

But you can’t stop personalizing for your customers, you are past the point of no return. The secret ingredient is getting accurate and important information to understand your end users.

 

Now build relationships for your customers

You can deny it feels good to buy for others. It’s scientifically proven that when people BFO they are also purchasing the experience of bringing happiness to a person they care about.

But it is not at all as easy as it sounds. In fact, buying the right gift for someone is a time-consuming and complicated process (to be honest, pretty stressful too). And just like personalizing your marketing messages, purchasing a gift requires deep understanding of the other person.

Research shows that when people have too many options and no idea what to buy, one of two things happen: they will be dissatisfied with their decision or they will not decide at all.

This phenomenon is called “choice overload,” and one of its causes is preference uncertainty. Basically, when a person doesn’t know their own preferences or the preferences of the person they are buying for, there is a high likelihood they will face the adversities of “choice overload.”

In order to help customers BFO, you must understand the relationship between an end user and someone buying for an end user. If you know dates that are important to these relationships, you can proactively strengthen them by recommending customers when to buy and what to buy for their friends.

However, in order to build relationships with customers and for customers, it is necessary to have the right tools and data acquisition processes. There are currently limited ways to do this, but Dearduck is a fun, easy and secure option!

Dearduck’s white label tools are designed for retailers, and they seamlessly integrate with existing email marketing flow. It’s all customer opt-in personalization and they can share it with friends. Basically, with Dearduck retailers make precise recommendations:

1. To their customers buying for themselves
2. To their customers buying for other people and
3. To the people buying for their customers

Think of it as giving your customers a gift by saving them the time and effort they currently spend stressing over what to buy for others!

If you’re ready to shake your tail feathers, request a demo.

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Bridesmaids and Hostess Presents: 3 Wedding #GiftingWins

By on June 14, 2017 in Consumers

Be honest: do you really think the exact same necklace is right for all of your bridesmaids? Or the same vase makes sense for the people throwing you those beautiful parties? Don’t get us wrong, we love traditions, but when it comes to gifting, it’s time for an update. It’s a big day with big personalities and big gift choices to make, but there’s no reason they should all be the same. Here’s how to make it easy to find the right presents for everyone on your list.

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What Kind of Gifter Are You?

By on December 28, 2016 in Consumers

So many kinds of gifters, so many bad gifts. From the Desperate Gifter to the Overconfident Gifter, it’s something we can all relate to. Here’s our catalog of gifters gone wrong.

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You Shouldn’t Have: The Tragi-Comic Realities of Finding the Perfect Present

By on December 27, 2016 in Consumers

Phew, we made it through the holidays! And we got amazing gifts, right? And we gave amazing gifts, riiiiight? Ruh Roh. Not. Exactly. The truth is, gifting is hard.  So many factors go into finding the perfect present. In fact, that’s why dearduck was created. We’re delving into the tragicomic realities of gift-giving so that we can turn those gifting frowns upside down. 

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5 Gifting Mistakes, aka #Giftingfails, and How To Fix Them

By on August 25, 2016 in Consumers

giphy_angie-tribeca_1via GIPHY

Ok, we’re going to put all of our gifting cards on the table. We’ve given—and received—our share of bad gifts. Gifts that were bought in desperation, at the last minute, when we just didn’t have a clue, and even when we thought way too hard about it. dearduck is all about making it easy to find the right gift, so those cringe-worthy moments are a thing of the past. Coming this fall, our aim is to take all the tricky parts of gifting off your plate, so you can simply enjoy all the fun parts. In the meantime, and in the spirit of full (anonymous!) disclosure, we wanted to share a few of our own #giftingfails, and how to turn them into, yes, #giftingwins.

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Our Top 4: Best Gifts Ever

By on August 8, 2016 in Consumers

Here at dearduck, we’re obsessed with the how’s and why’s of giving great gifts, so we decided to take a look back for some gift-spiration, from Prince George to Cleopatra.

1. Prince George’s Rocking Horse

How to give an amazing gift to a literal Prince who has everything? Even the Obamas might have had a tough time figuring that one out, but we think they nailed it: a rocking horse. Not just any old rocking horse, but one handmade using wood from an old oak tree on the White House lawn. Oh, and the saddle is embossed with the Presidential Seal. And from the way the adorable royal was rocking that horse in July when he met the Obamas at Kensington Palace (remember the monogrammed robe, gingham PJs and velvet slippers, natch, as it was right around his bedtime?!?!), it seems like a fave in Prince George’s routine. Now we just want to know if he’ll let Princess Charlotte ride it.

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The Ritual of Gifting: Getting from Waaah! To WooHoo!

By on July 26, 2016 in Consumers

Ah, the agonies and the ecstasies of gift giving! When it works, it’s like a kind of magic, bringing everyone closer together. When it doesn’t…well, we’ve all been there. Put simply: it hurts. Bad. But why is it sometimes so hard? Well, it’s probably no surprise that gifting has been studied, kind of a lot, by everyone from psychologists to economists to sociologists. (In fact, when we were putting dearduck together, we geeked out on the research because it both challenged and backed up our intuitions.) Here, we delve into the findings to reveal how dearduck can turn your gifting frown upside down.

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