There is no doubt that the global retail market is changing. The introduction of eCommerce stores and their penetration into local markets has had some profound effects. Retailers have made several advancements in their marketing strategies due to the availability of data collection and interpretation tools.
One of these realizations is the importance and application of hyper-localization – customizing and marketing products right at the grassroots level which simply means down to the regional or even the city level.
This means taking a product that can be sold globally but tying it to the local customs and cultures of the target audience in different regions.
Why is hyper-localization important?
The existing content should be thoroughly examined to properly establish the adaptions needed for a particular market. When a marketer creates content or a manufacturer creates a product, they can introduce hyper-localization by personalizing the product. This simply means utilizing the customer data available at the regional and city levels.
Here are the different forms of localization:
- For the retail environment, this simply means stores can localize their products and services and tailor them to local demands and trends. This can also mean personalized recommendations for the shoppers in-store.
- Online retailers or brick-and-mortar shops can offer coupon codes, discounts, and QR codes specific to different regions.
- Retailers can also create personalized discounts via email or SMS marketing for customers to add a personal touch.
Hyper-localization campaigns can give brands a competitive advantage and tend to be more memorable than other marketing options. They show that the brand is considerate and understands the local needs, customs, and trends.
Brands don’t only limit the concept to their customers. They can also introduce localization in their regional and city offices. This makes their employees their advocates in the local markets as well.
What are some best practices for hyper-localization?
Hyper-localization is a customized practice. It can take different forms depending on varying factors such as your business model, target audience, and the service your brand provides.
Hyper-localization is not a one-day switch that a business can make, it will require a considerable amount of planning and the ability to handle rapidly changing needs.
This is why it is important that businesses familiarize themselves with best practices and the potential challenges they can face along the way.
Here are some tried-and-tested best practices that you can employ for your business as you make the shift towards hyper-localization:
Personalize your online presence
More than half of retail buying takes place via eCommerce stores. This means that a large chunk of retail customers is online.
Personalizing websites with local landing pages is a great way to introduce hyper-localization on your website. Websites can detect the location of the IP address the user is using to access it. Through this information, you can program the website to access the local version of the website for the user.
You can go a step further and introduce this local page in the region’s dominant language through proper localization services. This will enhance the user experience on the eCommerce website and personalize it for the local audience even more.
More local vs. more variety
What is it that makes a customer choose a local grocery store over an international retail chain? It’s the nature of the products offered in the store coupled with a personal touch. Local stores carry local products and often provide a local experience, that’s what makes them a customer’s first choice.
Make a conscious effort to include local items in your inventory and promote them in the area. Your store should invest time in sourcing products that are locally made to truly give the customer a hyper-local buying experience.
Meet the customer’s needs
Customers make their decisions based on more than just the availability of their favorite products.
As retailers and eCommerce business owners, it is crucial that we listen to what our customers really want. Whether it’s improving the quality of an all-time favorite product or changing the order of shelving in a store.
If enough customers make the request, it can be worth making the change to provide them with a personalized experience.
Small changes like placing a bot in the store, that can learn the names of the customers and assist their shopping experience, can make a world of difference.
With the range of options available for the customers out there, a business that can’t keep up with customer demands can soon be out of business.
Local events and testimonials
There is nothing more memorable than a local event that can bring the community together. As a global eCommerce brand, retailers can increase their reach through local events and sponsorships.
Next time there is a local charity event, your brand can sponsor it in exchange for a kiosk or an information desk. Or your brand can hold an event to celebrate a local holiday or festival in its own unique way.
Another great way to help a brand penetrate the local market is to share success stories from the very same market. Brands can share testimonials and anecdotes from local customers that are trusted and respected in the community.
Wrapping It Up
There are many aspects at play when a brand decides to move towards hyper-localization. For eCommerce business owners, the playing field is even more complex than brick-and-mortar stores.
As a business, knowing the benefits of hyper-localization is a good start. However, really understanding the strategy required to implement it and aligning that strategy to your business objectives can be a long and tricky road.
It is important to take the time to research the local market you want your brand to expand into. Take the time to really understand the customs and needs of the target audience in that area, and then utilize the data you have to personalize your customer’s experience and your product offerings as much as you can.
Cover image source: Shann