Customers have associated a great deal of personalized experiences in e-commerce for some time now. They come to expect the same in brick-and-mortar stores these days. Retailers understand this fact and hence are trying to implement the tools that will help them usher in-store personalization for customers. As per BRP’s 2017 POS / Customer Engagement Survey, 70% of retailers agree that personalization is their topmost priority.
Every retailer wants to achieve customer loyalty by enhancing shopper engagement with the help of personalized offers and recommendations. For this to be a consistent phenomenon, retailers need to accurately identify their customers when they come back to the store. Attaining a clear 360-degree view of customers is the key to providing them with enhanced levels of in-store personalization. Here is a look at what retailers are planning to do in the time ahead.
Strategies that Retailers are planning to adopt
Customer identification is the key to providing a personalized in-store experience. Retailers will look to increase the levels of in-store personalization by maximizing the number of opportunities to provide personalized offers and customized recommendations. As per the latest BRP survey,
- 75% of retailers are looking to use wi-fi logins to identify customers
- 70% of retailers will look to leverage geolocation/applications
- 89% will look to provide mobile solutions for the store associates within three years
- 60% will look to have a centralized POS within two years
Once the customers are properly identified, retailers will look to leverage the customer analytics data and drive personalization. Since there exists the possibility of customers browsing products online and buying them in-store, retailers should refer to the browsing and purchase history, social media activities of the customers, so that it’s easier for them to provide personalized offers. In-store personalization is directly proportional to higher shopper engagement and customer loyalty. For this reason, it will remain the primary focus for retailers in 2017 and in the time ahead.
Retailers will look to escalate personalization in the coming years
Although retailers understand the importance of in-store personalization today, most of them are far from where they would want to be. Bringing the online experience that customers love and want inside brick-and-mortar is where the actual challenge lies. For this, retailers shouldn’t just refer to previous in-store purchase histories of customers or provide rewards based on who the loyal customers are. They must consider other parameters like online browsing history, social media activities, etc.
(image courtesy: Boston Retail Partners)
The above illustration provides an evidence of the huge gap that exists between the personalization features retailers offer at present in comparison to what they would want to in the time ahead. Other than customer loyalty rewards, retailers are lagging in all the other parameters. 7% of retailers at present, suggest selling that is based on the customers’ social media activity. 16% and 36% plan to offer the same in the next 12 months and 1-3 years respectively.
Similarly, 30% and 29% of retailers plan to suggest selling based on online browsing history of customers in 12 months and 1-3 years respectively, in comparison to 7% of them doing the same at present. Suggested selling based on previous purchases is also expected to increase.
Thus, it can be safely concluded that in-store personalization will be a major trend in 2017 and in the immediate time to come after that. Retailers will constantly be looking to evolve and provide more to their customers in-store. Driving the personal experience of the customers while they are shopping will be the primary area of focus for retailers this year.