How to Engage, Retain and Grow Your VIP Customers for Life

VIPs are some of the most profitable customers for e-commerce players, but keeping them loyal and engaged is an ongoing challenge. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), however, it is now possible to understand your VIPs better, predict their behavior and create hyper-personalized messaging to win their hearts and wallets.

Consumer spending can be said to follow the 80/20 rule, meaning that on average, 80 percent of your profit comes from 20 percent of your customers. This 20 percent are your VIPs who represent the highest customer lifetime value (LTV) or profit potential.

To ensure these VIP customers spend more and stay loyal, e-commerce companies usually offer special incentives, such as free delivery, early access to sales, invites to special events or birthday vouchers.

While these measures can be effective, they are sporadic. Implementing them more often is simply not feasible or practical, and can even damage your brand perception. In order to engage VIPs more effectively, you need a different strategy – one that not only delights on infrequent occasions, but also on a daily basis.

This is where AI can help you better target and engage your existing VIPs, and even create new ones through hyper-personalization and prediction.

Increase LTV of Existing VIPs

Cross-selling is a proven way to boost the LTV of existing VIPs, but knowing what products to promote can be tricky. For example, should Emma, a VIP who usually buys clothing, be introduced to sports shoes, wireless headphones or a new homeware range?

VIPs demand highly personalized messaging. If you don’t have the data to figure this out, it will come down to guesswork that could result in unwanted spam and reduced satisfaction levels, and even cause them to stop shopping with you, increasing your churn rate.

To avoid this, data science platforms like AIXON are able to unify data from your own channels such as website, app, CMS and offline data, with third-party data from external websites and apps, to create a holistic view of your customer behavior, and find out what they are doing outside of your channels. By analyzing the keywords and topics that they are searching for on external sites, AI can make precise predictions of what other products they might be interested in.

For example, Emma could be searching for headphones on other websites. With such insight, you can confidently approach her with offers on this type of products.

From there, AI can help you personalize your product recommendations further by analyzing both Emma’s interest and behavior to identify the types of brands she prefers, as well as what her average price point is. So, you can narrow down the selection of products you want to recommend, and personalize Emma’s experience even further.

AI can also unpack cross-screen behavior at the individual level and pinpoint the role of each device in your VIPs’ buying cycle. For instance, Emma might typically search for products on her phone during the morning commute, but purchase on her laptop at night. This information can help you send promotional messages or remarket on the right device at the right time through AI-powered marketing automation platforms like AIQUA, making the engagement highly personalized and less intrusive. AIQUA also allows you to reach out through multiple channels, such as app or web push, email, SMS, Messenger, etc..

Reducing VIP Churn

Every e-commerce site has VIP customers who stop coming back. Either they no longer find your offering exciting or have taken a liking for other sites. Marketers can prevent such scenarios well in advance by using AI platforms like AIXON to predict which set of users among the VIP segment is most likely to churn based their internal and external behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you can take precautionary measures and re-engage these VIPs differently by sending out personalized promotions or content marketing.

Creating New VIP Customers

In order to really maximize profits, you don’t just need to delight and engage your existing VIPs, you should also be constantly looking to create new ones.

Pinpointing new customers with VIP potential could be challenging. However, AI models can identify common VIP traits based on their behaviors, and segment non-VIP customers or even lookalike audiences beyond your existing customer base who most resemble your VIPs.

In addition, AI also gives you the ability to more effectively convert new visitors to your online shop by providing otherwise inaccessible insights into their external interests. So, you can personalize the landing pages of your website and app from the moment they first lands on your platforms, and even make specific product recommendations, to reduce bounce and increase brand connect.

Every VIP customer would want brands to go the extra mile, and invest that little bit more time in them than they would expect. By fully exploring the predictive and personalization capabilities of AI, your can now create exceptional, personalized and targeted messaging for your VIPs and potential VIPs at ease. Doing so will eventually help you create sticky customers across the online purchase cycle, boosting your profits and your market share.