Marketing Automation Buyer's Guide

3 Reasons Personalization Should Be the Next Frontier for Retailers

3 Reasons Personalization Should Be the Next Frontier for Retailers

3 Reasons Personalization Should Be the Next Frontier for Retailers

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Matt Laukaitis, the Global GM of Consumer Industries at SAP, explains why it will be more important than ever for retailers to develop and deploy personalized strategies and engagements in the upcoming Holiday Season.

How we shop is an expression of who we are. Everyone has their own approach. Some of us go into a store ready to grab a dozen items off the rack to try on, and others may be laser-focused on that one item we need. All of this is specific to the in-person shopping experience. E-commerce habits can vary even more widely, accounting for bookmarked folders, meticulously titled tabs, and price drop alerts working together to ensure we find the perfect item and buy it at the perfect price.  

Understanding these individual habits and approaches creates a unique challenge for retailers. However, retailers that successfully rise to the challenge will continue to see positive results. According to a recent survey, 59 percent of US consumers say they want a retail experience that is varied and unique to them. Companies should take note and tailor their strategies to their customers.

Intelligent, industry-tailored CX strategies allow retailers to keep up with ever-changing customer preferences and turn every customer interaction into an opportunity to delight. Intelligent CX also incorporates the latest technology into a retailer’s engagement strategy. For example, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) can enable retailers to compile and process data that offers a personalized and consistent experience that cuts through the noise and grabs attention.   

Using these strategies correctly can help create offers that align with customers’ preferences, whether online shopping, mobile, or in-store. With the holiday shopping season getting closer each day, here are three ways retailers can develop unified personalization strategies now.  

Convenient—and Relevant—Communications 

The shopping experience is now much broader than visiting a physical or digital store. Retailers can communicate with shoppers across various channels, such as email newsletters and text messages. Many of today’s intelligent CX platforms allow retailers to deliver these one-to-one recommendations based on customers’ buying journeys, and shoppers are shown to crave these types of messages and newsletters, too. In fact, 77 percent of US consumers now expect personalized recommendations from brands.  

These strategies can help turn a one-off buyer into a loyal customer. However, retailers should be careful not to overstep the privilege of getting shoppers’ information. Customers expect a trustworthy and reliable experience; breaking that trust leads to lost opportunities. This is especially key during the holidays when the volume of communications skyrockets in the hopes of driving sales. 

For example, Adidas, a global clothing and footwear leader, recently developed Runtastic to provide fully personalized fitness plans for 165+ app users. With an active, global user base that engages across devices, channels, and apps, Adidas Runtastic needed to consolidate communications for its users to provide a holistic experience. To achieve this, they used a system capable of processing large volumes of activity data in real-time so that relevant, engaging feedback would be triggered as subscribers trained. This increased campaign efficiency by 300 percent, achieved over 8 million app-opens from campaign content and identified more than 200 relevant data points to measure to drive content optimization.  

Personalized Offers and Discounts 

How often do you put something in your online cart that you don’t end up buying? According to the Baymard Institute, around 70 percent of US consumers never complete the check-out process. It’s a problem without a single solution, but personalized offers and discounts play a part in driving customers to click “purchase.” 

It can be as simple as bringing customers back to their abandoned carts with personalized offers. Some retailers know that shoppers have left an item behind and trigger an offer for a small discount. Suddenly, a lost sale is converted. But retailers should also understand that one wrong message could turn a happy customer loose. In fact, 27 percent of US consumers receiving irrelevant offers would put them off purchasing, leading to a negative brand association. 

Offers tailored to customers throughout the year can help retailers prepare for a busy holiday shopping season. So, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach that may alienate specific shoppers, companies should adopt intelligent CX strategies that use the latest technology, like AI, to calculate effective promotional prices based on customers’ browsing habits. This way, the right offers and discounts are sent to the right people.  

Data-Driven Decision-Making 

There are few feelings better than buying the last item right before it sells out. But for years, that experience was only possible when a shopper could see pieces hanging on the rack and walk out the door with one in hand. Now, real-time inventory and AI offer a crystal-clear view for online shoppers. We can now see how many items are left in stock, encouraging us to pull the trigger or miss out.  

With these insights, not only is the rush that comes with a purchase more powerful, but the decision-making process is more informed. One-fifth of US consumers say that it improves their experience when AI provides these suggestions when they shop, and when holiday shopping begins, time is of the essence. Shoppers need to know what’s available and when it will arrive at their doorstep. They can’t afford to find out that an item was sold out after they placed their order.  

Intelligent CX delivers value by bringing together disparate data insights across the enterprise. Whether shoppers are buying, subscribing, or already using a product or service, retailers need solutions that align with every touchpoint of the consumer journey to deliver fantastic customer experiences every time. 

The end of the year is a make-or-break moment for many retailers, but it doesn’t have to be. The smartest retailers leverage Intelligent CX strategies throughout the year and augment them with smart AI tools to make their personalized holiday shopping experiences more relevant for their customers—delivering a consistent, unified experience to sustain their business before, during, and after the holiday shopping season.


Share This

Related Posts