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Customer personalisation: How payments can help

How payments can help you get customer personalisation right.

5 February, 2018
 ·  5 minutes
Photograph of shop assistant providing personalised experience in store

This article was updated in December 2021

We know that in today’s landscape, experience is everything. Price wars are fruitless; there will always be a cheaper option somewhere else. You need to capture and keep your audience by delivering an outstanding experience.

And the cornerstone of this outstanding service? Customer personalisation.

An appetite for customer personalisation has been around for a while. Back in 2018, our UK shopper survey revealed that personalised offers would make 64% of shoppers more likely to spend time in store. And, on the flip-side, ourmore recent researchfound that a lack of personalisation left some consumers cold.

But what does all this mean in practical terms? Today, retailers have access to a dizzying amount of data, which they can use to deliver all sorts of experiences. The key is to surprise and delight your shoppers, without intruding on their privacy.

Meeting shopper needs with customer personalisation

Link loyalty to the shopper credit card

In our  recent podcast,Retail Reawakened, one shopper commented: “You don't often know what you get with a loyalty program. I have a few and sometimes I'm like: What’s this card even for? Because they don't really tell you.” And another shopper said of loyalty cards: “I never have them in my wallet when I need them.”

“You don't often know what you get with a loyalty program."

In many cases today, the journey can feel a bit broken. But, if your loyalty card is linked to your customer’s payment method, loyalty points can be assigned automatically. No need to clog up customers’ wallets and loyalty can be applied wherever the customer is buying. This makes loyalty programs much stickier and your customers will thank you. In a recent survey, 63% said they’d be more likely to choose a retailer with payment-linked loyalty.

Be contextual

Forrester Research defines contextualisation as a “tailored, adaptive and sometimes predictive digital customer experience that expands on personalization techniques by automating decision-making and adding in-the-moment details.”

In layman’s terms, this is all about sending the right messages to the right shoppers at the right times.

You can do this in different ways. One example is to send push notifications to shoppers near your store, enticing them inside with a discount on an item they’d been browsing online. Or, since most new payment terminals come with beacons installed, you can recognise your shopper at the point of sale via their mobile app. You can then give them the option to pay in-app and relinquish points they’ve accumulated.

HelloWorld found that 55% of millennial respondents like surprises. So, if you’re targeting millennials, offer personalised surprises like discounts at the checkout.

Shop assistant helping a customer in store

Use payment data to anticipate shopper needs

In many ways, the pandemic saw a return to a more old fashioned approach to service. During the darkest days of lockdowns, a trip to your local shop and a friendly greeting from your server (maybe even by name) became a highlight. The personal touch is always appreciated, but can be a little harder to pull off at scale. That's where payment data can help.

If all your payment data feeds into the same system, you can map consumer behaviour and identify patterns to serve them better. For example, ‘shopper origin' data will tell you where the majority of your in-store shoppers are coming from. You’ll see if they’re local, visitors from another part of the country, or even tourists from overseas. Knowing this will ensure you’re catering to the tastes of your most frequent shoppers. This will inform your displays as well as thepayment methodsyou support. If your in-store shoppers are Chinese tourists, for example, you should consider supporting Alipay, China UnionPay and WeChat Pay in-store. Adyen lets you support all major credit cards, mobile wallets and key local methods in the same payment terminal.

You can also use payment data to answer questions like:

  • How does opening a new store impact my online sales in an area?
  • How many repeat shoppers do I get in store?
  • Which shoppers buy online and return in store?
  • How many in-store shoppers also buy online?
  • How much do they spend in each channel?

International coffee chain Joe & The Juice has successfully married its online and in-store payment data to provide customers with the service they want every time. As VP of Strategy & Business Development, Thomas Evald, explained:

“We’re unifying the ecommerce and physical store experiences. You can pre-order from your home or you can order in store. You can pay via the terminal or in-app. It doesn't matter. We’ve created this flexibility by connecting our payment data in the back-end. It lets us connect the best of both worlds to deliver an even better service. It also lets us see the whole picture in one place and evaluate our performance. That’s amazing for us.”

Thomas EvaldVP of Strategy & Business Development

Make relevant recommendations online

Our past research has found that, increasingly, customers want product recommendations based on past purchases. Again, if your in-store and online payments data is connected, it’s easy to view the purchase history of your shoppers. So, when they’re buying online, you can greet them with a targeted selection of items based on previous purchases, including those made in store.

Where to start?

With an array of technology to choose from, it can be daunting to know where to start with customer personalisation. You’ve got chatbots, facial recognition technology, image recognition, and robotics all vying for your attention. A good place to start is data. In that way, you’ll know more about your customers and can choose the technology that will best meet their needs.

And finally, its the small changes we make every day that have the biggest impact overall. Start small, aim for incremental wins, measure your results and iterate your way to success. To learn more about how a marginal gains approach to payments can help grow your business, check out our marginal gains series, starting with:Accepting payments.

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