Every minute, every second, your app is tracking valuable data about your customers.  This data tells you a valuable story about each individual customer, and what they are most likely to buy.  The question is:  Are you listening to the story your data is telling you?

The challenge is that most companies don’t even bother to look at the data coming in from their app.  Usually, they’re either too busy—or they don’t know how.  So all that valuable data—like so many gold nuggets—goes to waste.

Make the Customer’s Job Easy

Your customer has a simple job:  to buy the best-quality product or service at the lowest possible price.  Your job is also simple:  to make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you.  One way you can do this is by offering them the exact products they need—at the exact time they’re ready to buy them.

How do you do this?  By paying close attention to what they buy, where they buy it, and when—and understanding who your customer is.

Sales Reports Are Too Slow

But this can’t be done next week after you’ve read the sales reports, and then mailed a coupon to their house.  That’s too late—because by then, the customer has already bought their widget.

The best way to do this is by using data to send your customer a highly personalized, strategic offer for that widget in the next 60 seconds.  I’m talking about using the customer’s buying habits, personal information, and other data to show them a 30% discount on their widget in a push message—30 seconds after they’ve viewed their third screenful of widgets.

In order to do that, you need to leverage that buying data immediately.  Because what better time to see a widget coupon—than when you’re shopping for the widget?

Why Are Personalized Offers So Important?

The key is to use your data to create a personalized offer that the customer can use immediately.  In fact, shoppers are more likely to buy products and services from retailers that give them targeted offers based on their personal interests, viewing history, and buying behaviors, and research supports this.  According to a recent study by Traf-Sys, 50% of shoppers want their personal info to be used to create a better overall shopping experience.

Personalized offers are also a great way to collect more info about your customers.  In our own study of 1,050 smartphone and tablet users conducted this year with mCordis, called Consumer Attitudes to Privacy, Permission, and Personalization, we discovered that users of all ages are happy to share their personal data with you—if they feel like they’re getting something useful in return, such as rewards or coupons.

In short, personalized offers—based on your customer’s personal data and buying history—give you the best chance to close the deal.

Using the Right Data

To build an accurate, instantaneous picture of your customer’s buying behavior, you’ll need the following data:

  • Demographic data
  • Buying history
  • Frequently visited products
  • Frequently visited pages
  • Geographic data—where they buy (home, work, car, etc.)

Pull Data from ALL of Your “Digital Assets”

But don’t just pull data from your app.  Think of your app as one of your “digital assets,” which should also include:

  • Email
  • Website
  • E-commerce site
  • Social media
  • App

Use the Data Immediately, While It’s Fresh

The next step is the most important.  Now that you have fresh data available, you’ll want to use it immediately to create targeted messages and special offers for your customer base.

Set up rules in your system to offer a coupon, discount, reward, or text reminder instantly—ideally, while they’re still shopping.  Be creative.  Use all the digital marketing options available to you today.  Don’t forget about:

  • Push messages
  • Texts
  • Emails
  • Onscreen suggestions
  • Rewards
  • Coupons
  • Freebies
  • Special deals

The more you personalize the individual content to the target consumer, the better.

If You Don’t, Your Competitors Will

It’s important to know that most e-tailers and m-commerce companies (short for “mobile commerce”) will move in this direction in the next 1-2 years (think:  Amazon).  Since it takes time for your organization to learn how to collect the right data, now is the time to begin the process.  Don’t worry if your team doesn’t have the expertise in-house—there are some great digital marketing specialists out there who can help you do the legwork.

But it takes time to grow a brand new instant marketing program, so start now.  Because companies that can’t instantly leverage their data to personalize their shopping experience will not be able to compete in the long run with companies that can.