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3 Strategies to Increase Retail Customer Engagement

Retail marketers face a complicated set of demands. In order to grow their business, they need to:

  • Capture consumers’ attention. 
  • Provide meaningful and engaging omnichannel experiences.
  • Develop loyalty and drive repeat purchases. 

And now that third-party cookies are being phased out, the complications have only increased. Marketers need to do all of the above and collect zero-party data. The good news is that customers will give a brand that data if they receive something of value in exchange for it. 

Enter identity marketing: a new approach where marketers create that exchange by giving gated, personalized offers to consumer communities that share a core attribute, such as their life stage, profession, or other affiliations. But how do you do that?

As part of the SheerIDEA Innovation Labs, SheerID hosted a webinar to introduce retailers to identity marketing and the three customer acquisition strategies it powers. You can read about them below, or register to watch the full session.

1. Create Uniquely Personal Experiences by Engaging Communities

Consumers want personalization, and identity marketing delivers it by enabling brands to engage a specific consumer community—such as  teachers, students, military members, or groups of professionals—with an exclusive offer.

People’s careers, life stages (such as being a college student or senior), and affiliations (such as working in food service or construction) are deep-seated elements of their identity. In fact, research shows that more than 8 in 10 students, teachers, healthcare workers, and military members identify more strongly with those attributes than they do their family roles or religion.

When a retailer gives these communities a special offer, it creates an emotional bond with customers because they feel rewarded for who they are. For example, more than 8 in 10 teachers say that a personalized offer makes them feel appreciated.

An identity-based offer also sparks word-of-mouth. Members of consumer communities trust each other and will share a personalized offer with others they know are eligible for it, which lowers acquisition costs.

Headspace’s personalized offer for teachers brought in 25,000 new subscribers.

2. Deliver an Omnichannel Experience that Rewards Customers

Customers want easy and consistent access to brands they like. Vineyard Vines offers a great example of how an identity marketing program can surround customers with an appealing campaign. 

Vineyard Vines wanted to give back to the community, so it created personalized offers for college students, teachers, members of the military, healthcare workers, and employees of enterprise clients. It gave these groups time-limited access to a generous and exclusive discount and then promoted the offers using organic and paid social media, email marketing, affiliate programs, and more. 

The company also leveraged cause marketing by: 

  • Creating limited edition military T-shirts for Veterans Day.
  • Donating proceeds from the T-shirt sales to K9 for Warriors. 
  • Adding personalized notes of support to the packages. 

The results were impressive. Vineyard Vines reported sales nearly as high as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And the company saw a 51% conversion rate with 65% of customers being new to file.

3. Replace Third-Party Cookies with Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is the gold standard because it comes directly from the customer and eliminates the privacy concerns that come from third-party data. Nearly 9 in 10 CMOs are moving away from third-party data and towards zero- and first-party data.  

Identity marketing gives marketers zero-party data. Customers provide basic personal data to redeem an offer, and brands use an identity marketing platform to digitally verify it. 

Retailers can then use this zero-party data to re-engage customers. And because identity marketing data confirms that a customer belongs to a distinct community, brands can use it to drive highly personalized marketing. For example, a retailer that identifies the teachers in its audience can run a special campaign for them during Teacher Appreciation Week or as part of a back-to-school event. 

ASICS has great success with zero-party data. The company combines its identity marketing data with data from customers’ web activity and purchase transactions and uses it to drive its OneASICS loyalty program. Its first identity marketing campaign drove a 100 percent increase in conversions. And Sean Condon, ASICS’ vice-president—omnichannel, said ASICS’ identity marketing programs generate quadruple-digit ROI.

ASICS’ identity marketing programs collect zero-party data and generate quadruple digit ROI.

Want to Learn More About Boosting Retail Engagement?

Check out the 6 Steps to Engaging Your Personas with Identity Marketing to learn how to launch an identity marketing campaign that reaches the right audience for your brand. Or meet with an identity marketing expert to see how SheerID can help you deliver secure offers to professionals who can become your brand influencers.

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