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SwiftERM Predictive personalisation software for ecommerce

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  • David Swift
  • May 22, 2021 08:20:57 AM

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SwiftERM is predictive personalisation software for ecommerce. It identifies products that are most likely to be purchased for each individual on your database. Analysing buying habits and impressions it calculates what they are most likely to buy next. Then it provokes the purchase by sending the individual details of those products automatically.

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Champagne makes massive bounce back

The post Champagne makes massive bounce back appeared first on SwiftERM.

Champagne makes a massive bounce back, as sales last year were down by 17.9% to 244 million bottles in volume for the full year versus 2019, while value dropped by 16.7%, shedding some €845m to leave the total standing at €4.2bn.

The going was especially rough in Champagne’s four main markets. France, which as the report says, has been in long-term decline, suffered its 10th consecutive drop in 2020, a 19.9% fall that consolidated the eclipse of domestic sales by exports: the French now account for 46.4% of all Champagne sales, versus 47.5% in 2019.

Meanwhile, the largest market by volume, the UK, lost 21.7% of its volume sales, while the US, the largest by value, was down 18.8% in volume, and Japan shed 24.5% of its imports compared to the previous year.

Context and optimism

How much these bald figures tell us about the real health of the Champagne sector is rather open to question, however. Certainly, the Comité (Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne) can muster plenty of evidence to suggest these figures are the result of a one-off shock – a drop in sales that is almost entirely attributable to the unprecedented event of the world’s bars and restaurants closing for weeks or months at a time, more or less simultaneously.

As the Comité’s annual report points out: “The closure of bars and restaurants, restrictions on celebrations and the cancellation of numerous events have curtailed Champagne sales and consumption, often drastically.” But this is by no means the only story. “The year has been a roller coaster,” the report continues, “with very sharp falls (April -68%, May -56%) and equally sharp rises (+50 points between April and June), demonstrating the circumstantial nature of the drop in sales.”

Other indicators point to a deep resilience in the Champagne market. The most striking is the performance of Australia, where Champagne imports soared by a remarkable 11.2%, sparking reports of a shortage in the country. New Zealand, too, bucked the trend, with no drop in imports versus the previous year. As the report says, this is largely attributable to the two countries’ “effective handling of the pandemic”. In other words, in markets where life is somewhere closer to the old “normal”, Champagne thrives.

Champagne in the UK

Much of the bigger global picture in the Champagne market can be found in microcosm in the UK.

The 21.7% drop in volume meant the UK imported 21.3 million bottles of Champagne in 2020, and it still has some 16% of total Champagne exports. Meanwhile turnover fell by 21.9% to €338.2m, putting it just behind the US with 12.9% of total Champagne export turnover.

As the report points out, however, the UK was at the forefront of trends that have seen Champagne sales rebound since the first lockdown in spring 2020: a switch to drinking Champagne at home, which was very much a part of a premiumisation of take-home drinking in the absence of the on-trade and public events. Both supermarkets and merchants saw a rise in Champagne sales during 2020, with supermarket sales increasing by 6.1% to 9.8 million bottles, and with many retailers reporting a spike in online Champagne sales.

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Ecommerce personalisation – look out grocery

The post Ecommerce personalisation – look out grocery appeared first on SwiftERM.

Ecommerce personalisation – look out grocery. Ecommerce personalisation is now the top priority of all grocery marketing bigwigs, made possible by new technologies that deliver one to one services to customers. While many innovators obsess on new products, the big winners emerging are rallying around individual customer demands, idiosyncrasies, contrary tastes and desires. All consumers looking  for discovery and fulfilment convenience. In an increasingly smaller and more cluttered world, the modern shopper insists: “help me find what I’m looking for when I need it, at a great price, and deliver it to me in a convenient way.”

Most research supports this view, making it clear that much of digital demand from shoppers involves enhancing in-store experiences. Technology such as mobile price checking, collaborative shopping lists, and in-store product navigation is part of the critical discovery process. For online shoppers, topping the list of preferences were services like personalised communications, and quite importantly, the options for click & collect or delivery. More than half of Millennials want these services. Overall, convenience (63%) and time savings (57%) top the reasons for shopping online. 

Consider this – how many born in this millennium plan their entertainment schedule around television’s “Thursday night line up?” Most would not even recognise the phrase. Everyone now watches what they want, when they want, if at all. Online search and recommendation systems deliver mixes of curated content, largely replacing weekly television guides. Applying that to grocery, it’s easy to see how century-old traditions are now considered antiquated. As grocers feel the unrelenting pinch, at some point very soon the painfully negotiated, expensively built and distributed, one size fits all postulation,  delivered on a fixed schedule will simply fail. All of that expense and effort to deliver a non-personalised message to what’s on sale in the store can be smartly offset with the right technology.

Playing Digital Catch-Up

Grocery executives should know that inside your point-of-sale and loyalty program data lies the memories of the past, present and future. What individual shoppers previously purchased is lying dormant, ready to be enlisted in personalise product offers tailored to each individual, unique, shopper. Remind them what they like to buy with relevant sales and promotions highlighted front and centre. Doing so, you bring the discovery process to them while appealing to their time savings needs and value mindset. McKinsey suggest the difference could be as great as a 20x the revenue growth.

Shoppers’ past experiences then can intersect beautifully with the knowledge you can offer them in the present. What novel items do you have that each customer will likely find appealing? Technology has changed simple word searches into semantic recommendations systems that surface highly relevant suggestions. To your shoppers, instead of saying: “Others like you also buy and enjoy the following. People who bought this product also tend to buy the following”, you can say “this is what you like, this is what complements what you bought already”. Determining preferences is no longer about customers filling out online forms. 

Research departments used to conduct shopping basket analyses. Now real-time machine learning algorithms surface highly relevant products for each and every customer. Product suggestions engines aid the individualised discovery process. These algorithms must be embedded and run in personalised email promotions, mobile shopping lists, and price comparison apps.

The requirement is simple: make customer discovery delightful by pointing back to what is most appealing to each and every shopper. Properly implemented, a retailer’s ecommerce personalisation program measures success in two ways, not only asking how much greater the average order value, and how greater the customer lifetime value but also, how many stopped searching elsewhere.

With time savings and convenience as shoppers’ top priorities, it makes little sense that many consumers actually want to visit three to five stores to fulfill their shopping needs. So what are grocers doing to change this behavior? Online shopping has created category “creep” whereby regional grocers either lose out or gain, one category at a time. It starts with pet supplies and cleaning products.

Personal care products are not far behind. After that, the center aisle cascade happens. Once customers have grown comfortable with non-food items, they move on to dry food, then canned to frozen to prepared foods. There is a general order to consumers preferences in how their online grocery shopping evolves. Regional grocers can either lead their shoppers down this path or have them veer away to others that offer it. None of this is easy. All of it is worthwhile, however.

Machine Learning to the Rescue

The challenge for grocery is a lot more complicated than it is for Netflix. Grocers need to sell everything in their store and shopper baskets are anything but simple when predicting who will buy what products. Filling a shopper’s basket involves multi-facet fulfillment, from consumables to durables. It involves multiple persons, including oneself, family, and guests. Finally, it must accomplish all this across multi-occasions, from weekly shops to seasonal ones and the occasional (but mostly predictable) special occasions. 

Grocers have at their disposal millions of rows of transaction logs (t-logs), product descriptions and ingredients, pricing and promotions data, and often loyalty data. All of this creates an ideal environment for so-called Big Data initiatives to tackle grocery shopper personalisation. As McKinsey Insights offered: “Personalisation – not just of marketing messages and offers but also of product recommendations and content—can yield up to 2 percent top-line impact.”  

A recently conducted analysis of one retailer who is using SwiftERM software provided further validation of this approach. We found that while database listed customers represented some 45% of the shopper base, they accounted for 85% of all revenue. Shoppers who opened made purchases attributed to predictive personalisation emails accounts for a whole 20% real margin growth.

  1. They are 40% more likely to shop online,
  2. They spend up to 14% more per basket than other shoppers, and
  3. Those who opened and clicked on curated promotional offers were 90% more likely to go shopping and spend up to £20 more per basket.`


    Ecommerce personalisation is here to stay

    Brick and mortar grocers must continue to do what they do best. Offer great products at reasonable prices in the local communities they serve. Technology is available to boost these capabilities. Done right, predictive personalisation imbues the retailer-shopper relationship with lasting value. Avoid the pitfalls, reflect on the opportunities, and seize on personalisation to ensure continued success.

Online grocery to more than double market share by 2025
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The great grocery revival – great choices in what’s to come
The latest Online Grocery Shopping Trends
Heralding Grocery Stores of the future
The belle époque for wine ecommerce

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Fashion and accessories ecommerce covet personalisation

The post Fashion and accessories ecommerce covet personalisation appeared first on SwiftERM.

Fashion and accessories ecommerce covet personalisation. While shoppers’ demands for ecommerce have grown exponentially over the last 2 years, the boom in digital hasn’t necessarily translated into enhanced online customer experiences, with personalisation – or lack thereof – a key cause of friction in buying journeys.

Original research from Wunderkind, formerly BounceX goes on to show that during the last 12 months, more than half (51%) said they had experienced more frequent marketing communications which were either impersonal or irrelevant.

Additionally, seven in ten (70%) said the branded communications they receive from retailers felt ‘batch and blast’ or generic, despite almost half (49%) saying impersonal interactions would minimise their likelihood of conversion, potentially costing retailers lost sales opportunities and loyalty.

Meanwhile, original research of over 60 senior UK ecommerce and marketing retail professionals, also conducted by Wunderkind, showed that two thirds (66%) of retailers said personalisation was a critical initiative in their current operations, while seven in ten (71%) felt that personalisation would become increasingly important over the next 5 years.

One of the key barriers inhibiting retailers’ and brands’ personalisation strategies is not being able to effectively identify shoppers on their sites. 40% of retail, ecommerce and marketing professionals polled said they could currently only identify between 26-50%, while a further 23% could only recognise a quarter of their site traffic.

And this challenge was exacerbated by channel and device ‘black holes’; 28% had issues identifying shoppers when they come on site using different devices, and a further 26% struggled to recognise customers moving across sales channels, such as from an app to a website.


Fashion and accessories ecommerce covert personalisation

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, GM EMEA at performance marketing engine Wunderkind, comments: “Retailers have already delivered a masterclass in evolution over the course of the pandemic, with innovations and new capabilities being launched at breakneck speed in a bid to stay ahead of the customer expectation curve. But as this data shows, as consumers have moved to a digital-first mindset during the pandemic, their expectations – particularly around personalisation – have in some cases outpaced retailers’ capabilities. Retailers already recognise personalisation as a critical initiative, but many fall at the first hurdle by not being able to identify a massive proportion of their website traffic, leaving them with blind spots in recognising customers, understanding intent signals, and grasping how shoppers behave between different channels and devices.”rLight-Wilkinson adds: “Closing this ’personalisation gap’ will become an increasingly important differentiator as online competition intensifies. By delivering tailored, one-to-one customer experiences – not only on-site but in inboxes – retailers can see huge incremental gains in digital revenue, whilst driving long-term brand loyalty and advocacy.”

Personalise what you offer to each consumer

We all clamour for more business, or as a bigger retailer – for greater market share. But just pause for a second, and consider walking a mile in your customer’s shoes. Isn’t it true that always being treated as an individual is what matters? That’s how we all like to be thought of, and there is no difference in that between you and your customers, especially when communicating with each one. You are just one, but all customers remember the retailer who goes the extra mile for us, get’s us exactly what we want, and remember’s us when something specific becomes available. So should your marketing. But with a myriad of other jobs to do everyday, or the frightening prospect of the mountain of effort required, or indeed the cost of being able to do it, makes it appear prohibitive to do well, or even simply to do at all. We beg to differ.

Installing the SwiftERM api on your platform enables you system to remembers both all the purchases and ever single impressions each and every customer makes when coming to your site, from which it perpetually calculates which products are most likely to be bought next by each individual.

Without needing you to do anything – it is 100% automatic, it sends a couple of emails every month, offering those products unique to that individual. before you switch-off saying our ESP does that, no it doesn’t. SwiftERM partner many ESPs, who appreciate the distinction, and know it complements their activity. We all want you to succeed, and this is additional revenue being missed. 

It runs alongside existing email campaigns you have running, saving a fortune in time, delivering 20x the response to emailing alone, keeping you always in front of your customer, letting them know you’re still there, perpetually keeping them loyal to you. An average 1500% ROI, delivers a typical 10.5% additional online t/o. At just £300 pm for a 30k database.

We are delighted to offer a variety of other articles supporting and corroborating the value of personalisation to help you improve your fashion business:

The ultimate guide to fashion ecommerce business planning
Must have Martech for fashion ecommerce
Personalisation central to fashion marketing
How to scale ecommerce fashion brands
The State of Fashion: the next 12 months
The content marketing trend in fashion
Ecommerce Fashion Industry Growth and Data
Top Fashion Retail eCommerce Trends happening now
Fashion eCommerce: Trends to Capitalise On
Latest guide to E-commerce Fashion Email Marketing
Digital Fashion Platforms: Zara meets Netflix
Biggest UK fashion houses by market capitalisation
Pressures reshaping the fashion industry
Zara always stays one step ahead
The marketing and advertising strategy of Zara
Luxury brands in 2021: DM and CX
Critical personalisation issues to know
The importance of personalisation in ecommerce
Gucci remains the most popular luxury brand online
Secret ingredients of the Uniqlo strategy
Marketers are embracing hyper-personalisation
Content personalisation is not web personalisation
The Value of Keeping the Right Customers
How to win at ecommerce personalisation
Individualism and Emerging Fashion Trends
The Secret of Zara’s Success – customer co-creation
What marketing methods have the highest ROI

The post Fashion and accessories ecommerce covet personalisation appeared first on SwiftERM.

The best kept secret of personalisation

The post The best kept secret of personalisation appeared first on SwiftERM.

The best kept secret of personalisation. Personalisation is much more than simply addressing someone by their first name. If that is your perception of personalisation, you’re probably in the wrong business. Consider how many people you know called John. With the exception of a few fundamentals, football team, sugar in tea and coffee, crisps or chocolate etc we’d wager not one likes the same things or behaves in the same way. Part of the very nature of being a human being is that we are all unique. The same principle applies when businesses are talking to their customers.

The difference is that you know John A and John B personally and can tailor your conversations to suit their interests and personality. The challenge for businesses is to reach that same level of interaction, most of the time without ever meeting their customers face to face.

Understanding the Deeper Picture

Up until recently, there has been a disproportional focus on technology to drive business development and boost customer retention, rather than concentrating on what each individual consumer is looking for or wanting to do next. Businesses are beginning to recognise these flaws in their approach, and, in response, many are beginning to adopt new ways of personalising their marketing messages. For example, some are extending their strategy from personalised email messaging to adopting a similar approach on their websites. However, data suggests that less than a third of companies think the strategy is actually working.

Research has also shown that most businesses are still focusing on basic data such as location and demographics to personalise their marketing efforts. Surprisingly, criteria such as previous behaviour, persona and stage in the customer journey feature much further down the list.

A survey from Adobe has revealed that under half of respondents said their company’s personalisation is extensive, while a recent McKinsey survey of senior marketing leaders found that only 15% of CMOs believe their company is on the right track with personalisation, meaning the majority are failing to reap the benefits that it offers.

Furthermore, despite personalisation being recognised as a vital aspect of UX, many marketers (59%) are failing to personalise content at scale, with time being cited as the biggest barrier to doing so.

The best kept secret of personalisation

The Challenge

While there is no denying that technology has played a key role in how businesses communicate with their customers, the practice of personalisation, in short, has not kept pace. Many personalisation programs are still driven primarily out of marketing and IT departments. However, a lot of optimisation is actually led by understanding how to engage more deeply and ensure that the relationship is being seeded for the long-term, rather than focusing simply on where your customers are located or how old they are.

Getting to Know Your Customers

Did you know that up to 95% of your customers’ decision making is thought to be emotional?

Without knowing it, we are all subject to biases and prejudices, many of which are unseen and a function of our subconscious. Are your customers more strongly driven by the fear of losing or the chance of winning? Are they influenced by an experience that was in fact luck not skill? What compels people to act on desires or reject their needs? Proposition, context, timings and synchronicity all play important parts in how people make a decision and no two people are the same. The critical ingredient is emotion.

Our minds function under two thinking systems. System one is based on our automatic thinking; it’s fast, emotional, uncontrolled and unconscious. It is what gives us those quick and intuitive answers.  System two is thinking in a more traditional sense; it is slow, logical, controlled, effortful and self-aware.

While we might like to think that most of our choices are based on system two, with a view to making considered and well-judged decisions, we do in fact rely more on system one. It is therefore vital for businesses to tap into this side of our emotional thought process, as that is what drives the biggest proportion of our decision making over the rational side of our brain.

Moreover, as these decisions are subconscious, it can be difficult for consumers to explain why they made that decision, yet research shows these decisions are not made randomly or by chance. They can be uncovered and explained.

Collecting Consumer Behaviour Data

As the motivations that influence consumer behaviour are so wide, a research mix including a variety of data tends to be the most robust. Your platform can capture far more information than you might ever be aware of. It’s no longer a matter of asking consumers what they like or want, as it’s always been that today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s chip wrapping. This translates into, tastes change, and even if they think they like something, if they buy something like it, chances are there interest in that product has already begun to wane. As an investor in your marketing, you need to know this to minimise loss, and therefore maximise profit.

How to Leverage What You Now Know

Once you have an understanding of how your consumers are behaving, it is more likely that your brand becomes the easy choice. There are several ways you can implement personalisation into your marketing strategy; here are just a few of them.

  • Improving Customer Loyalty

  • Provide a Unique Customer Experience

  • Consider All Consumer Touch Points

  • Get a Grip on Your Data

  • Utilise the data you capture, using technology

If you are experiencing high bounce rates on your website or low click through rates on your emails, then there is likely a gap between what the customer was expecting to see and what they are receiving.

Through the use of AI and other customer insights you have collected relating to likes, dislikes, behaviours and trends, personalization enables you to present products and offers that are relevant to each customer. If a customer likes what they see, they will come back.

Every customer that arrives on your site will have arrived there from a different source using different searches based on their own requirements and tastes, so a one-fits-all approach is unlikely to suffice. While marketing to each individual can be a challenge, using consumer behavioural insights can help you to identify relationships between different customer match them with the most relevant products/services you provide.

Your website should be considered the hub of your online marketing efforts, but it is important to consider how your customers interact with your business across all your touchpoints, be that online or in store. e.g. Can a customer’s online behaviour be used to influence how they interact in the future? A good example is Sainsburys Nectar scheme, whereby special offers are applied to your basket in store or online and your points balance is printed on your physical till receipt but can also be accessed online or via the app.

With so much data to analyse, it can be daunting knowing where to start, what is relevant and how to turn these into tangible insights that can be implemented across your whole strategy. More importantly, insights are ever evolving so it is important to keep using current data to ensure your ongoing approach remains on point.

The best kept secret is that “segmentation is not personalisation“. The most commonly used analogy for a segment, even from school days, is a piece of cake. This is how old technology wants you to consider your customers – your database of loyal individuals. Yet they lump them all together again, hoping that whatever divisions adopted to segment the audience, captures sufficient sales to have been worth your marketing investment. The truth is none of us are a segment, we are unique individuals, and deserve to be treated as such. Segmenting is a means for recalcitrant software houses to continue to sell old technology. Hoping you adopt that long enjoyed human frailty, reluctance to embrace change. Time for a spring clean.

The money has moved on. It is now in truly personalised technology, where both the personal buying habits and actions around your site, including impressions, for each consumer as an individual is captured and used to identify a crystal clear understanding of that person, not lumped together with a bunch of others. The result is a massive increase in ROI for your marketing investment. It should not be underestimated how much impact it is having, as much as a 20-fold increase in profitability is reported by McKinsey. Not all predictive personalisation products are the same, check out your supplier’s website. See how long it takes you to find the word “segment”, and if it does bin it.

Conclusion – The Proof

As customer expectations continue to shift, today’s consumers require businesses to understand their unique personal needs, objectives and circumstances. Statistics have shown that putting a customer’s needs first can have a positive impact on your bottom line. In Salesforce’s ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report, it was revealed that 80% of customers said the experience a company provides is as important as their product or service. And you can only offer the desired experience if you know who your customers are.

The best kept secret of personalisation

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalised experiences. ( Source)

  • Personalised emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. (Source)

  • Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. (Source)

  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised. (Source)

  • Lack of content relevancy generates 83% lower response rates in the average marketing campaign. (Source)



    We hope you enjoyed this article, intended to help improve your profits. Please leave us a comment below, it helps us grow. If you need help please just ask. Please enjoy a FREE month’s trial of our predictive personalisation software, to see how powerful it truly is. Here

    Other articles of interest below:
    (Index to all articles here)

Cycling, bikes and accessories back on ecommerce
Personalisation championing the beauty industry
Wine – Selling DTC for vintners, retailers and vineyards

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Cycling, bikes and accessories back on ecommerce

The post Cycling, bikes and accessories back on ecommerce appeared first on SwiftERM.

Bike shops are a time-honored business that can thrive in most local markets. Most cycling enthusiasts invest in their own bike shops, inevitably seeing it as the best way to monetise their passion. Here is a 2021 list of the best bike brands as chosen by Bikes Reviewed.

However, being enthusiastic about cycling and bikes won’t turn your bike shop into a success story. While knowing about cycling and bike models is crucial to running a bike shop, it’s equally important to understand the know-how of running a business. Not just any business, a bike business in the age of ecommerce retailing.

So we have put together a few factors which will address many issues and turning your bike shop into the great business you always wanted it to be.

Some Facts about Bike Shop Business in General

Biking has become popular once more and is actually quite hip as commuters seek more eco-friendly and less costly ways to travel. Cities, in particular, are investing in getting people to cycle to work to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. This, of course, means more business for bike shops, right?

Well, don’t conflate the profit potential of bike business in general with the profit potential of your independent bike shop. People are buying and renting bicycles with renewed interest for sure.

However, this demand has not translated well as big business for independent bike shops. Smaller bike shops are facing major challenges mainly because of online shopping.

Consumers can order just about anything and have it delivered to the home. Independent bike shops reached a new high in 2001, but since then the number of shops has nearly halved, according to statistics provided by the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

On the plus side, bike shops are not closing like retail stores in North America. In smaller cities, mostly, small, independent bike shops tend to thrive. SwifytERM


Cycling, bikes and accessories back on ecommerce

Ways to Make Your Bike Shop Business Great

It’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all package that can fix a money-losing shop. However, there are certain steps all bike shops and aspiring shop owners can take to minimize the risk of failing and increase the profit margin. Here are several suggestions that are highly likely to achieve exactly that:

Learn about Digital Marketing

Even if your bike shop is brick and mortar, your clients will be mainly online. Most modern shoppers research their purchases online using laptops and smartphones before actually showing up at a store.

Potential clients would also look up bike stores in the area when shopping for a model. If your bike shop does not have a digital presence, it might as well be invincible.

You will have to design an excellent, mobile responsive website and then also market it using various digital marketing techniques like SEO, CRO, and content marketing.

If you are a lifelong cycling enthusiast, marketing terms like “evergreen content” may seem quite alien. Doing a Google search for a topic and looking up the Wikipedia page is not the best option to educate yourself on serious matters like your business.

Specialise in one aspect

People don’t buy a bike just because it’s a bike. They will consider things like brand, type, and model in advance. Likewise, people may not show up at your bike shop because it’s just a bike shop.

Your store must have a distinguishing feature that makes people want to show up. For example, the distinguishing feature could be that your bike shop is the only one in the state. Since that is unlikely, your bike shop will have to find its specialness in other ways.

The best way to get people to come to your store is to specialize in something. For example, yours could be a mountain bike shop, a women’s bike model store, kids’ store, or a European brands-only bike store.

In any case, find a niche and cater to a specific clientele. This is how online retailers find their audience. Do your research and find out about the people most likely to show up at your store. Then, cater to that group to build a loyal following so you can thrive in the years to come.

Decide whether to Sell Budget or Luxury Models

This is another aspect of making your bike shop distinguishable. There are two very specific markets out there for luxury versions of things and budget version of things. Bikes are no different. Your shop can be an all-in-one store where people can find both budget and luxury models.

However, being either a “budget” store or a “luxury” store will attract a particular kind of customer, one that is most likely to stick with your shop come hell or high water.

What your bike store needs the most is a loyal customer base. So choose which end of the income spectrum you want your customer base to be.

Sort Out Business Finances

One common reason many small businesses like independent bike shops fail is due to the owner’s inability to separate business finances from personal finances. When you are your own boss, it’s easy to give yourself personal treats without feeling like you are taking resources away from the business fund.

Figuring out finances and making sure all business expenses are accounted for is one of the best things you can do as an owner to make sure that your store is functioning as it should.

Consider Investing in an App

When was the last time you searched online looking for a restaurant? You probably do it using your smartphone or handheld device. The same logic applies to your bike shop. People will be looking it up online, particularly using smartphones, and a lot.

Therefore, it can be worthwhile investing in an app that makes your brand more visible to the target audience. Developing an app can be an expensive venture. Do it only if there are calculable benefits from the investment.

Get Listed on Google Business Directory and Increase Web Presence

Get your bike shop business listed in the Google business directory. There’s a massive advantage here. The Google algorithm favors shops listed on Google business. That is to say, if your shop’s contact information is listed, then it will easily show up in Google search results.

Increase your business’s web presence to encourage word-of-mouth marketing. As mentioned earlier, if your shop is not attracting attention online, it will just die a slow death.

Start & Sell via your Social Media Profile

There’s no better place right now to advertise online than on social media. Get your bike shop social media profiles on multiple platforms that resonate with the target audience. For example, if your target audience is made up of people in their thirties, then Facebook is a great place to pay for targeted ads on sites they frequent.

If you really want people streaming into your bike shop, then there should be a great online campaign involving social media. Social media is an aspect of digital marketing. Expect to learn it as you go, just like with digital marketing overall. Take a look at these details for advertising on Strava.

Offer Something an Online Shop Cannot

E-retailers are definitely taking business away from local-owned shops. But there is always a way to beat an online shop at its game. Your small bike shop could offer something the e-retailer cannot, such as free physical inspections and sample rides, to attract local customers.

Additionally, small bike shops can also partner with online stores to drive real-life and digital traffic both. The point is to get on with the connected marketplace and start incorporating digital aspects into your bike shop to keep pushing sales and not lose out to a solely online store.

Engage with the Local Community

Local engagement is crucial for small bike shops, even in big cities. Engage with the local community, which in turn can buy from your shop or promote it around town. Get your shop involved in community activities and events like donating free bikes. It will help promote your shop’s brand and attract new clients.

Local customers are the most loyal and reliable customers all around. And the best way to make them part of your shop’s target demographic is to engage with them.

You can try the above suggestions to improve your bike shop one aspect at a time. Not everything is fully guaranteed to work and some suggestions may not even be applicable to your bike businesses. Nonetheless, as the shop owner or manager, you will have to start somewhere to improve sales and meet profit goals.

Personalise what you offer to each consumer

We are all in the peloton at some point, and at the front if we train hard-enough and are dedicated. But it’s always the individual people remember. The winner usually. That’s how we all like to be thought of, and it is no different in the relationship between you and your race, and you as a retailer when speaking to each one of your customers. You are just one, but all customers remember the retailer who goes the extra mile for us, get’s us exactly what we want, and remember’s us when something specific becomes available. So should your marketing.

SwiftERM remembers all the purchases and impressions each and every customer makes when coming to your site, from which it perpetually calculates which products are most likely to be bought next by each individual consumer. Without needing you to do anything, it is 100% automatic, it sends a couple of emails every month, offering those products unique to that individual. It runs alongside any email campaigns you have might do on mailchimp etc, but saves a fortune in time, delivering 20x the response, keeping you always in front of your customer, letting them know you’re still there, which helps keep them loyal to you. An average 1500% ROI, delivers a typical 10.5% additional online t/o. At £300 pm for a 30k database, it is highly recommended.

The amazing returns are available to experience without commitment, on a month’s free trial, with help installing it on your platform, should your own developers wish to charge.

E-bikes sales soar this summer
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The post Cycling, bikes and accessories back on ecommerce appeared first on SwiftERM.

Personalisation championing the beauty industry

The post Personalisation championing the beauty industry appeared first on SwiftERM.

Personalisation championing the beauty industry. The cosmetics industry has historically promoted an idealised and homogenous portrayal of beauty. The idea that “we’re worth it” – and that a single lipstick can make millions of women look and feel the exact same shade of specialNo longer does the beauty industry solely cater to the mass-market. As Mintel states, “beauty is being redefined on a daily basis by consumers”, and brands are increasingly catering to a diverse pool of consumers.

A couple of years ago, the Fenty Beauty brand launched with 40 shades of foundation, spurring on the rest of the industry to recognise that inclusivity should be standard, and individuality and self-expression celebrated.

Since Fenty launched, the beauty industry has also recognised the need for products and services that offer greater relevancy to individuals. Consequently, brands are now using deeper levels of personalisation in relation to both product and customer experience in order to engage consumers and ultimately drive sales.

Offering digital consultations for personalised products

The vast array of brands in the market means that consumers can easily feel overwhelmed and confused about finding the right products. This issue has become even more pertinent in the context of Covid-19, with shoppers unable to seek advice (and test products) in-store. Male shoppers are particularly underserved in this area, too, with ‘male grooming’ often being promoted as a blanket category, instead of one that recognises men as individuals, with different skin types and skincare requirements.

According to Mintel, 40% of British male beauty and personal care shoppers think it’s difficult to know which products are right for them. This percentage increases to 56% among 16 to 24 year olds.

Fortunately, many brands now offer tools to help consumers to find the products they need, most often through online consultations. Tools like Kiehl’s’ ‘Healthy Skin Routine Finder’ narrow down products based on skin types and concerns. At the end, Kiehl’s gives the user a personalised ‘routine’ of products that they can then buy online.

Personalisation championing the beauty industry

We are also seeing new and disruptive brands use more complex customisation, as well as position it as their USP. Geologie, for example, is a company that delivers personalised male skincare regimes based on the customer’s specific skin profile.

Curology is a similar brand, one that uses a combination of machine learning and human expertise to create bespoke subscription-based products. Customers are asked to upload a photo of their skin using the Curology app in order for the brand to diagnose and provide the right skincare solution. In order to encourage long-term loyalty, customers can also tweak their subscription if they feel something isn’t working, as well as chat to their assigned ‘provider’ (who is a registered dermatologist or physician who ‘approves’ which Curology products customers should use).

Curology uses the data it collects in order to inform future products and marketing. According to Glossy, the brand discovered that around 10% of its sales were coming from customers with ageing concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles. In response, it began targeting this customer demographic through personalised ads and email marketing.

Launching IoT-powered, smart skincare solutions

While consultations can offer basic personalisation, companies are also investing in the development of beauty tech in order to take it to another level. In 2019, Neutrogena launched MaskiD, a personalised 3D-printed face mask that is customised to suit the consumers’ individual face shape. It is used in conjunction with Neutrogena Skin360, the brand’s app that analyses skin pixels to inform the mask’s unique treatment formula.

Japanese skincare brand Shiseido is another pioneer of beauty technology. One of its most innovative examples to date is Optune, a personalised skincare system that tailors skincare to the user’s skin day-by-day, accounting for factors such as humidity and air quality, menstrual cycle, and mood. Then there is Proctor & Gamble’s Opté beauty wand, which essentially acts as an inkjet printer for the face – it scans for imperfections before covering them with make-up as you run the device over your skin.

What these devices have in common is that they tailor product application (and results) to each individual based on different variables, much like a beauty therapist might. They’re also designed to promote long-term loyalty, too, with the idea that customers will be inclined to ‘top-up’ on additional products as they’ve already invested in the kit.

Personalisation championing the beauty industry

With smart beauty technology retailing at a high price point, some have questioned the demand for it. Raconteur highlights how previous innovations from Samsung and Kérastase are no longer available for purchase. This makes sense considering the continued popularity of drugstore and high street beauty (sourced from retailers like Boots and Superdrug); successful brands like The Ordinary and NYX are based on their affordability and accessibility.

But beauty smart technology isn’t aimed at the masses. Instead, as Raconteur goes on to suggest, beauty brands are investing in technology as a way to differentiate themselves, and to promote authority and expertise in cosmetics and skincare (which in turn can help to attract customers).

Enabling customers to ‘create’ their own custom products

One area that is more directly in demand is DIY beauty, which is where consumers can get involved in the creation of personalised products. This also allows categories outside of skincare (such as fragrance and make-up) to integrate personalisation, aligning products with the customer’s personality and unique style as well as their physical features. Bite Beauty, for example, enables customers to create their own lipstick, choosing the exact shade, finish, and fragrance they desire.

The DIY category has also gained traction during Covid-19, as brands have capitalised on a consumer desire for at-home beauty, as well as the wider wellness trend. Bite Beauty shifted to digital during the pandemic, allowing customers to interact with a ‘Colour Expert’ via video call rather in person.

One of the biggest benefits of this type of product customisation is that it offers customers a memorable experience, regardless of retail channel. Whether bought online or in-store, the end result (i.e. something that the customer has had a direct hand in creating) is the same.

Of course, offering customisation in physical retail stores has the advantage of additional experiential elements. Customisable skincare brand Loli Beauty allows consumers to mix together various components to create their own custom blend at home. However, its ‘blending bars’ (pop-ups located in retail stores like Barney’s) also give customers the chance to smell and sample products, as well as have greater interaction with staff. According to Vogue Business, pop-up sales accounted for 34% of Loli’s revenue for November and December, outselling brands like Beautycounter and CosRx during its pop-up at New York’s The Strategist. This highlights how beauty personalisation can engage consumers in-the-moment as well as long-term.

There is an argument against custom-made beauty products, with some consumers perhaps favouring the simplicity and convenience of a brand producing and delivering a simple formula (without too much thought or customer involvement required).

Then again, with affordable brands and retailers (like Boots) already cornering the market on simplicity, it’s understandable why personalised beauty is becoming a differentiating factor for disruptive as well as high-end beauty brands.

Personalisation equally applies to communicating with customers

It is with some consternation then, that while many retailers appreciate the uniqueness of skin tones and colours pertinent to each individual, they fail to extend this into what they communicate to their audience. Perhaps restricted by traditional segmenting of audience practises, created by marketing software ten years ago, it has become accepted and not challenged. Over the past decade, there are so many reticent to investigate new technology, offering what cosmetics consultations do naturally on a one to one.

Why would you want to lump together everyone in a bundle for marketing convenience when you can utilise predictive personalisation software, such as SwiftERM, which maintains individuality, for each and every consumer. Gone is the need to batch process products by brand or colour. instead pertinent most likely purchases on a one to one basis is available for each and every individual on a database.

Consider for a second, the scale of additional revenue that would come from knowing every communication is on the money for each consumer. Conversation rates, open rates and ROI on each and every email skyrocket, like never before. If ever there was a time to look again at the technology on your site, that complements (not replaces) your existing email software this is it.


We hope you enjoyed this article, intended to help improve your profits. Please comment below, it helps us grow. If you need help please just ask. Please enjoy a FREE month’s trial of our predictive personalisation software, to see how powerful it is. Here

Other articles of interest below:
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Wine – Selling DTC for vintners, retailers and vineyards
Cosmetics Marketing and Ecommerce
eCommerce trends that will define the cosmetics industry this year

The post Personalisation championing the beauty industry appeared first on SwiftERM.

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