Location is becoming a more prominent piece of the marketing puzzle as time-starved consumers become more eager for resources that help them achieve daily tasks.
Delivery.com was founded as a way to connect consumers to businesses that are close to their homes. Initially focused on restaurants that deliver, the Delivery.com business has expanded to liquor and grocery stores, and will soon offer access to nearby laundry and dry cleaning services. Rather than doing an extensive online search through Bing or Google, consumers can go to Delivery.com, enter their address and receive detailed information on local businesses.
However, a key challenge for the Delivery.com business is that it is innately hyper local. “So even if you’re in Manhattan, we have to drill down to your neighborhood — or even block — to see which businesses in the area delivers,” Sharma explained. “If you’re in the East Village in New York City, that means you’ll have a very different experience than someone on the Upper West Side.”
Location-based personalization and customization, however, is not limited to the types of businesses being promoted on the web site. All marketing strategies, email campaigns and content being promoted are tailored to individual customers and their unique locations.
Delivery.com leverages “a lot of data” to understand the daily consumption cycle, preferences and locations of consumers,” Sharma said. Otherwise it’s “very challenging to come up with marketing that’s relevant to each person.”
Building Emotional Connections
Using advanced analytics solutions from Sailthru, Delivery.com can access the geo-coordinates of all businesses and customers in one platform. That way, the team knows the types of items customers are ordering, according to Sharma. “We keep a very close eye on the products they’re buying and how frequently.”
With this data, Delivery.com customizes emails and sends automated messages, including nearby business recommendations; new discounts and offers; and updates on their favorite locations.
“You can build beautiful marketing campaigns and use all the technology in the world, but you have to get people to sign up and stay engaged with you,” Sharma said. “You have to have the best data behind you, or you’ll just make campaigns that no one cares about.”
Content is continuously updated so it’s fresh and relevant, and in turn, will drive consumers to the site to learn more about businesses they may like, Sharma noted. “The beauty of having multiple verticals within our business is that we can a variety of different types of emails.”
Data also can be mined and analyzed to see how consumers engage with content and offers, and where they fall off in the buying cycle, Sharma reported. “We refer to internal data to see the number of days that pass in between consumer purchases, and then we determine when is the best time to engage with them in the lifecycle.”
With this more mature personalization strategy in place, Delivery.com has seen growth in average order values and email open rates. The company’s active buyer base increased by more than 25% within the first few months of launching Sailthru, Sharma said. “People are coming back and staying engaged, which is proof that [the solution] is working.”
Marketing design and execution decisions also have improved. For example, the retailer referred to consumer data to learn that most customers were opening emails on their mobile devices. Shortly after, Delivery.com “changed our design philosophy so people on mobile devices can engage and access the content,” Sharma said. “We’re finding that to be very effective.”
Customer feedback collected via email, social media and the call center adds insights regarding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies. Delivery.com conducts online surveys and focus groups on an ongoing basis to monitor for any improvements that need to be made.
In one survey, Delivery.com asked consumers if they care about businesses in their neighborhood. “Overwhelmingly, they said ‘yes,’” Sharma said. “So we have created a lot of content on social that has to do with merchants and how they built their businesses.” This strategy helps turn the delivery experience into “more of an emotional connection than it has been in the past.”
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