Six is the magic number when it comes to your loyal ecommerce customers.

It’s not six purchases — but rather six identities. It may sound strange, but we’ve found that your company’s most loyal customers have an average of 6 completely different identities in your marketing systems.

Why is this exactly? It’s not because your customers are purposely trying to confuse you. It’s simply the nature of how buyers interact with ecommerce brands online today.

Your loyal customers are likely to browse your site on their mobile phone, open an email in another browser, click a targeted ad on their work computer, and then make a purchase on their home laptop. And this is just one of the many paths of interaction that your customers could be taking. In many marketing systems, each of these interactions is logged as a separate individual buyer.

As a B2C marketer, this makes it tough to track how your customers actually interact with your brand. At the same time, it’s vital to understand your customer behavior so you can personalize your marketing to each customer. Here’s how you can handle the multiple identities of your loyal customers and make the most of your B2C marketing strategy.

The challenge of the modern buyer

How do ecommerce customers buy today? It’s not always a simple or direct path to purchase. Your customers could use up to five different devices within the same purchasing cycle, according to DigitasLBI. And that doesn’t even include the various browsers or channels that they’re using as well. This is a huge amount of data for you to keep track of as a B2C marketer. However, you have to fully understand the winding omnichannel journey of customers in order to better personalize the marketing experience.

For example, if a customer browses on their mobile phone, but then purchases on their desktop (which is incredibly common in ecommerce), you may not realize it’s the same person browsing and purchasing. If you haven’t linked those two identities to the same customer, it’s easy to accidentally send out an email offering a coupon on the product your customer has already purchased. This makes your marketing team look silly and unprofessional, running the risk of alienating a loyal customer.

Resolve customer identity

The first step in better engaging your loyal customers is to unify your view of their activity across web, mobile, email and other channels or devices. This is known as Identity Resolution and is the key to better personalizing marketing to every individual customer. With Identity Resolution technology, you can track every customer’s multiple identities and unify them into a single source of truth. Then, you know exactly what actions each individual customer takes, on what channel, and when.

Unifying customer data in this way allows you to truly personalize and customize every marketing interaction. Instead of batch and blast emails, you can specifically personalize and target your loyal customers based on their most recent interactions with your brand. If you know that they’ve browsed a specific product line, you can send out a custom browse abandonment campaign with product suggestions they’re interested in. Then you can start to understand the path loyal customers take to purchase in order to repeat your past successes or improve your marketing results.

Learn More About Identity Resolution

Automate and personalize campaigns

With a better handle on your customer behavior, you can also automate more of your marketing campaigns. You can start to create campaigns based on where your customers are in their lifecycle (first, second, or third purchase), the products they’ve shown interest in, or the products they’ve abandoned in carts. With reliable customer data, you know that you can trust an automated campaign not to make an embarrassing personalization mistake, annoying your customers and risking their business.

For example, with solid customer data, you’ll know for a fact if your customers haven’t interacted with your brand in 30 days and are at risk. Then you can automatically send out the right campaign to try and re-engage them and drive them to purchase again. Or, you’ll know if a loyal customer is really browsing your site and has abandoned a cart. Then, you can send out an automated cart abandonment campaign that is likely to drive a sale. The possibilities are truly endless once you have the right data driving your ecommerce marketing.

Without recognizing that your loyal customers have as many as 6 identities in your marketing systems, it’s all too easy to make mistakes. But with identity resolution, you know your customer data is solid and you can be more specific and personalized in your marketing. Don’t be afraid of the complexity of your loyal customer data; just get better at managing it.

Cara Hogan is the Content Strategist at Zaius, where she focuses on how technology can drive business growth. She is a grammar perfectionist, a data enthusiast, and a rock climber.

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