Commentary

Using Search Data To Personalize Prices, Discounts Online

Data from a study scheduled for release Thursday shows that 51% of retailers want to offer personalized discounts online, although 97% automatically use discounts as a pricing rather than personalization strategy.

The data, pulled together in an infographic from Sailthru, aims build a story for retail marketers that highlights some of the challenges and strategies brands are working on and too offer guidance and suggestions to leverage for their own discount marketing efforts. 

It turns out that 75% of shoppers want a personalized experience. It demonstrates how popular discounting tactics can impact and improve through customization, and that brands should tailor discounts based on specific channels or search terms. Location also matters. It's more important to personalize discounts to jump-start a lagging geography or increase market share in a successful area.

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Search plays an essential role in personalizing prices because the data tells the marketer a lot about individuals through browsing behavior and intent, what they search for, and the price they are willing to pay. By leveraging insights from search, brands can run A/B testing to further understand triggers, and by taking that long-term approach, brands become more strategic in the discounts they offer and the frequency in which they offer them.

This is not really not the first time that retailers have tried to make personalization work. It wasn't one-to-one, but done more in the physical store by sensors like radio frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) technology in a specific ZIP code. Discounts can work. In fact, 68% of retailers find discounts extremely effective. Still, the fact that most retailers use this strategy is one of the reasons that personalization is a high priority for many marketers, according to Sailthru.

The company's retailers participating in the survey say they see a 34% improvement in performance from unique click-through rates, 48% in revenue from email, and 27% with transaction rate. While discounts provide higher revenue and conversion, compared to non-discount emails, that does not mean brands always want to rely on them.

It's important to keep existing customers immersed in experiences because 80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of customers, according to the findings.

Discounting is a balancing act, but if the brand knows its customers, how often to communicate, and how much to discount, the relationship will be long-lasting.

 

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