Savvy marketers understand that
the holiday season offers a two-part opportunity: the sales themselves, and
vital information about shoppers captured during their busiest time of year.
Executed correctly, the season can be a preference collection bonanza that
boosts opt-in email marketing lists and populates databases with birthdays,
shoe sizes, cell phone numbers and topics of interest.
But remember: in 2014, 53 percent of online shoppers were specifically searching and
purchasing on smartphones or tablets, up from 41 percent the previous year. More
than $1 trillion of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile
searches. That’s nearly a full third of
Those are big numbers—figures
that represent vast opportunities for deeper connections with consumers, or, if
your omnichannel preference collection isn’t up to par, a great big stocking
full of coal.
Simple, single-channel preference
collection, such as your run-of-the-mill email preference center, will miss out
on the customer knowledge and engagement opportunities that come with the
Effective preference management –
the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer
characteristics, such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of
communication – should be implemented at every meaningful point where company
and customer intersect. For many companies, that means mobile, desktop, live
customer service, social media and more.
It is also imperative that once
preferences are collected at a given touchpoint, they are passed seamlessly
across the company and reflected in future interactions. A customer completing
a purchase on a tablet will expect to have the ability to change their
preference information for all communication channels as part of that
Listening to the needs and
choices of customers some of the time, or only through selected channels,
derails the engagement process. And this is the worst time of year to screw
This holiday season, don’t just
settle for the sale. Get the customer’s permission and preferences as well.
After all, that’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.
Labels: channel preference, eric holtzclaw, omnichannel, omnichannel preferences, preference collection, preference management