Personalization is a big buzzword in retailing and, while many remain skeptical about how important it will eventually be to marketing and conversion, many companies are driving to incorporate it into their operations.
In fact, 40% of retailers said personalization is a top digital priority, according to the Boston Retail Partners Special Report: Personalizing the Customer Experience.
According to BRP, personalization has evolved beyond simple marketing to demographic groups, customer segments or even personas. The ability of consumers to shop and research the lowest price has made it imperative for retailers, especially those with brick and mortar locations, to find creative ways to entice customers into the selling environment, physical or virtual, and the best and most powerful way to do this is through personalization. As used today, personalization encapsulates all the details that make a customer shopping experience unique, involves knowing customers, understanding past purchases and current interests, and encompasses how the experience itself meets the customer’s needs for a personalized product or service.
However, many retailers still aren’t offering the kind of personalized services consumers increasingly expect both online and in stores. With customization and curation already part of their experience online and through loyalty programs customers can tap digitally whether home or in stores, many consumers today expect retailers to help them improve the satisfaction they get from shopping experiences.
Retailers have taken notice and increasingly see personalization as a competitive priority, BRP pointed out, noting that research suggests half of retailers will have customer identifying technology in stores two years from now.
Over the next year, BRP stated that it expects half of retailers to launch programs aimed at suggested selling based on previous purchases while it anticipates about a third of retailers to develop initiatives involving suggested selling based on the customer’s closet and suggested selling based on the customer’s online browsing history.