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In a sea of competition, the fight to stand out is an ongoing battle. You need to use every tool available to you to get noticed and remembered. So, if you aren’t doing it already, it’s time to start using a powerful customer connection strategy — providing personalized shopping experiences.

What Are Personalized Shopping Experiences?

Personalized shopping experiences are an approach to customer relationships that caters to each customer’s unique needs and wants. Rather than providing the same experience to every customer, a business repositions their offerings and messaging to personalize each shopper’s experience.

To provide personalized shopping experiences, businesses analyze a customer’s actions, past purchases, and shopping habits to connect them with the information and products that provide what they need.

Instead of inundating customers with vague, mass messages, personalization allows businesses to provide a more targeted marketing plan, which benefits both brands and customers.

Why Does a Personalized Shopping Experience Matter?

Offering a personalized approach to customer service provides a better experience for both sides.

Customers benefit from receiving only relevant messages that pertain to their needs and wants. They can easily find products and services that provide value for them, and they aren’t faced with decision fatigue and confusion that occurs when they have too many options.

Businesses benefit because more targeted messages mean happier customers and an increase in sales and leads. Forty-six percent (46%) of shoppers will buy more from a retailer when they personalize the customer experience, says an Oracle report. That’s half of a brand’s client base that could be increasing the frequency or size of their purchases if the business uses personalization.

So, by learning how to create personalized and exceptional customer experiences in the automotive industry, you too can grow your business and revenue.

How Can You Create Personalized Shopping Experiences in the Auto Industry?

There are ways to provide personalized shopping experiences online, in brick-and-mortar locations, and through traditional marketing tactics.

1. Create customer profiles.

Before you can provide a personalized shopping experience, you need to create a database that enables you to collect information on each customer. Incorporate a customer relationship management (CRM) system that allows you to create customer profiles and track their purchases and habits.

Note that customers are more willing to share information than you think. Multiple studies show that most customers are fine with businesses using data about them to customize their brand experience.

2. Segment your customers.

Through your CRM, tag customers based on:

  • Their purchasing habits. If someone comes in for an oil change, categories them as both an “oil change customer” and “service customer.”
  • Their online habits. Allow users to create online profiles. Then, implement software that tags customer based on what they do online. If a customer uses your website to shop for tires, tag them as “interested in tires.”
  • Their email habits. Also use email marketing software that allows you to tag audiences depending on what they click on in emails. Send an email with links to service and product pages, and tag users based on what they are interested in.

3. Promote related services and products.

Once you segment your customers, target them based on their activities and purchases and provide marketing messages that align with their habits.

If a customer recently purchased new tires, send them promotions that highlight complementary products and services such as tire detailing. If a customer is coming in for a scheduled maintenance service, send them an email with details about what will happen during the service, how long it will take, and other information that can set expectations.

4. Schedule follow-up messages based on purchases and habits.

Use what you know about your customer to connect with them when the time is right.

When a customer visits your store for an oil change, add them to an email or direct mail marketing series that delivers a reminder for a new service when it’s due. If a customer recently purchased new tires and won’t need them for awhile, remove them from marketing related to tires since it no longer applies to them.

5. Use names and personal details in marketing messages.

While it may be a small change, use a customer’s name on marketing messages whenever possible. Using names in email is a simple, but powerful, way to personalize messages and connect with customers. An Experian Marketing Services report found that personalized emails can generate up to six (6) times more revenue per email than non-personalized emails.

You can also use the customer’s name in an email subject line or on direct mail flyers, and personalize correspondence in other ways. If you have more than one location, only promote the location closest to the customer. And, collect dates such as birthdays or anniversaries from customers and share promotions on those special days.

6. Tie together in-store and online activity.

It is much easier to collect customer data from online shoppers than to collect data from in-store customers. Because it can be difficult to learn about shopping habits while customers are in a brick-and-mortar store, lead in-store shoppers to also connect with your brand online.

Use omni-channel marketing to connect a customer’s shopping experience online and off. And, place interactive digital signs in your physical store that can provide additional information to shoppers while collecting valuable data about their habits.

Customers are expecting more and more out of their interactions with businesses and brands. They want a higher level of service and more personalized experience. And, they know if they don’t get what they want, they can go somewhere else to find it. So, give customers what they crave.

Use these tips to provide personalized shopping experiences at your auto shop.

Then, get more tips on how to upgrade and improve the customer experiences at your auto business by checking our Marketing for Auto Shops Guide that includes simple tips for acquiring and keeping more customers.