Personalization Gets Hyper
By Brian Ross
Digital data. It’s a boon for retailers diving into an ever-rising sea of information about customer routines,
social connections, and purchase history. They help us to create and perfect more engaging personalized
experiences that engage our best customers.
Why do we care about personalization? For customers, it means offers tailored to their needs – 82 percent say they’re likely to shop at a retailer that provides them with personalized offers. For retailers, creating personalized experiences enhances customer engagement, ultimately increasing their visits and their basket size. This leads leading to higher sales and profits. It is a true virtuous cycle if ever there was one.
Even as personalization is still gaining traction, leading retailers are exploring new ways to boost relevance, moving beyond purchase history and demographics to more detailed information like browsing behavior and real-time data. This allows us to really understand how customers are engaging with the new omni-channel world and provide hyper-personalized experiences – not only offering personalized experiences, offers, and content today, but using insights about a customer to anticipate their future needs.
The emerging best practices involve using a variety of strategies to further enhance customer engagement, including real-time personalization, dynamic pricing and promotions, and omni-channel personalization.
Different Channels Mean Different Interactions
Omni-channel in particular – cross-personalization in-store and online – is poised to transform retail for those willing to move with the customer. It gives us the ability to create intelligent customer conversations and experiences by using data from one channel – like web, email, mobile, and in-store – to personalize another.
It’s important to remember that omni-channel is not about doing the same thing across all channels and treating each one as an extension of the store. Such an approach would be the antithesis of “customer-centric,” when you think about it. True omni-channel retailing starts with recognizing that, increasingly, customers interact with brands differently based on their chosen channel.
Take a brick-and-mortar store. It may carry 65,000 items and offer uniform pricing and mass promotions for everyone who walks through the door. But with the average customer only ever buying 100 to 200 items, that same store’s online environment can function differently, providing an experience, products, pricing, and promotions targeted to what matters to each individual.
Here’s the reality: While today we may still have a big divide between “store shoppers” and “online shoppers,” that divide is shrinking. In the rapidly growing omni-channel world, one shopper will engage in multiple channels and engage differently with each one. The challenge will be to understand the role each channel plays for the customer and how to adapt to meet his or her expectations.
Brian Ross is president of Precima and a member of the leadership team at LoyaltyOne.