The retail industry couldn’t imagine the infinite number of opportunities that awaited them at the dawn of the new millennium. Brands such as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook usher in the personalization revolution. Consumers began to take notice of the gratification that came with taking part of products and services that were personalized specifically for them. As this trend continues to grow, retailers are rushing to implement the tools required to bring into the stores the level of personalization consumers experience in the e-commerce world.
According to BRP’s 2017 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 70% of retailers are making identifying and providing a personalized experience within the store their top priority. The retail industry is working towards the era when they can promptly recognize a patron, and equip sales associates with the proper knowledge to aid in advising their customer with a collection of personalized offers and recommendations that would draw the genuine interest of that consumer. For this scenario to become a reality, companies need to be able to identify the customer effectively, and create a 360-degree view of the customer
Currently, the bulk of the industry utilizes a telephone number collected at the time of purchase to distinguish the client, resulting in limited opportunity to offer a personalized experience that impact purchase decisions. Two trending strategies that retailers are using to remedy the delayed customer identification is Wi-Fi and mobile applications. Per the recent BRP survey, 75% of retailers plan to use Wi-Fi logins to identify the customer, compared to the 70% leveraging geolocation/applications. To ensure that brands can identify as many customers as possible, some retailers will attempt to cast a larger net by using both technologies.
Once identified, the next step for retailers is leveraging customer data to build that personalized experience. This can be achieved by providing recommendations based on the social media activities, browsing history, and purchase history of the customer, as well as providing personalized offers and loyalty rewards. Personalization is an area that will continue to evolve overtime, as companies continue to search for innovative, and effective ways to build one-on-one connections with consumers.
The new millennium delivered a movement on how the consumer expects to be serviced moving forward, no longer will they accept a vanilla customer experience. How quickly and efficiently companies can leverage the customer data to drive the personal experience will ultimately determine what companies thrive as this personalization becomes the new retail imperative.
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