Using retail personalization to enhance the customer experience
Shoppers today have more purchase options available to them than ever before. This creates a significant challenge for retailers as the competition has never been so fierce. In order to stand out, retailers need to wow their customers and give them the very best in-store experience they possibly can.
Personalized retail is powerful. When retailers are able to create personalized retail offers that are tailored to each customer based on their unique needs and wants, they gain the ability to transform a generic interaction into one that will leave a lasting impression on the customer. The majority of shoppers want personalization, with eighty-five percent saying they are more likely to shop in-store if they receive personalized coupons and exclusive offers. This illustrates that personalization is not only the key to driving repeat customers, but also to unlocking higher sales revenues. In fact, personalization drives revenue growth 5-15 percent.
Unfortunately, 39 percent of brands admit that, when it comes to personalizing the customer experience, their company’s capabilities are only poor to fair. While the idea of creating a personalized shopping experience may seem daunting at first, there are definitely a few concrete ways in which retailers can transform their services from offering a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a more tailored experience.
Here are 3 ways to personalize the retail experience for your customers to keep them coming back for more.
Enable your Staff to Create and Deliver Personalized Retail Experiences
Your in-store staff make up one of the most important pieces when it comes to dealing with your customers. They are on the frontline and handle face-to-face interactions with your customers. How they treat your shoppers has a powerful and lasting impression on how customers view your business. A recent survey found that a positive experience with the retailers’ staff increases customers’ satisfaction by 33 percent.
In order to create positive experiences for your customers, look for any and every opportunity to make their retail experience a personalized one. Dale Carnegie once said, “A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Try to encourage your employees to employ the use of a customer’s name, wherever and whenever possible in each customer interaction – when they are welcoming them into the store, when they are offering to help, when they are telling them goodbye. All of these are little interactions where the use of a customer’s name can make the biggest difference.
Additionally, providing your employees with service tools such as a mobile POS will enable your team to go above and beyond when assisting their customers, as these tools allow your staff to assist customers and help them checkout from anywhere within the store. This helps reduce lineups and gives customers the ability to pay on their own terms.
Finally, it is crucial that you take the time to thoroughly train your employees on how to provide excellent customer service, and how to properly use any business programs that will help them excel at their jobs. CompuCom is currently working with BigTinCan on a solution called "Help Me Help Them", which provides retail associates with the knowledge they need to provide customers with the highest levels of customer service. This program has helped to increase employee productivity and effectiveness with customers through:
- Guided selling features that help associates to quickly match products and promotions to customers based on their histories, buying preferences, style selections, etc.
- The delivery of individual customer information to their mobile devices, making it easier for associates to conduct clienteling activities efficiently.
- Intuitive onboarding features, which shorten the time it takes for new associates to begin selling productively.
This program provides training and knowledge in a unique way to the associates that helps them to create personalized retail experiences for their customers.
Utilize Omni-Channel Sources
These days, the retail experience is not limited to physical brick and mortar stores. Shoppers regularly use online channels such as websites, apps and social media. As a result, it is crucial for businesses to create a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers so that they are able to buy on their own terms. The online experience should be an extension of physical retail stores, allowing customers to complete everything they would do in a physical store in an online space.
It is also important for retailers to take full advantage of all the channels that their shoppers use. Digital offers unique opportunities for personalized retail because there is so much data and customer history available. Providing tailored recommendations, personalized promotions or discounts, and real, valuable loyalty rewards can keep customers coming back to your brand over the competition. In the end, personalization is all about creating an experience the customer can’t get anywhere else, and digital offers plenty of ways to do this.
Use Data and Analytics to Create a Tailored Customer Experience
The key to tying all of these initiatives together and creating a truly personalized retail experience lies within the data. Retailers need to be continuously collecting, tracking and analyzing their customer data to gain insight into who their customers are and what brings them to their store. When retailers are data-driven, they are able to use data insights to tailor their initiatives to suit what will resonate best with each individual customer, ultimately encouraging more sales.
Some key data collection points are POS systems, which collect and store valuable customer information such as email addresses, phone numbers, zip codes, and transaction information - among other pieces of data. These insights can be used for marketing purposes, such as email campaigns, that can offer tailored products based on the customer’s latest purchase, or to pull in other shoppers by sending push notifications to their phones about the latest promotions when they are within a certain physical distance from your store.
The use-cases for your customer data are endless. What matters most is that retailers collect their customer data and use the insights to achieve their organizational goals.
Moving Forward With Personalized Retail
Creating a personalized customer experience can be a challenge. However, if retailers are able and willing to put in the work, they will be able to create tailored experiences for their customers that keep them coming back, time and time again.