Personalized Shopping in Retail: What Does Utopia Look Like?
"63% of Millennial consumers and 58% of GenX consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts." - Salesforce Study, "State of the Connected Customer"
The rise of digital has completely transformed every experience, especially shopping. Consumers are increasingly beginning to expect a new paradigm of shopping, an experience that combines convenience and most importantly, personalization.
But what does personalized shopping in retail really entail? It is becoming clear that it is a component that can have a major impact on how consumers view brands as well as how they shop. There is consistent research demonstrating that consumers want a more personalized shopping experience...but how is that being implemented? And what is the future of retail shopping if this trend is effectively adopted?
How Retail Shopping Is Shifting
The term personalization might evoke something Amazon-esque, such as their goal to create in-home dressing rooms of sorts for online shoppers to use while browsing products.
However, personalization is actually a little bit more innocuous than that. What it really boils down to?
Data - collecting it and using it well.
Most businesses are using collected data to improve the shopping experience and the customer journey, and that is the best way to leverage this trend. Some companies use data to create segmented lists for highly targeted email marketing, others use it to create social media campaigns for specific audiences.
But the common element is ultimately understanding who the specific audiences are, and personalizing the experience for them. Whether it is for promotional campaigns or even simple website optimizations, it is crucial to understand what your audience wants, and finds a way to deliver that - every time.
What Does The Future Look Like?
Ultimately, consumers want to feel like they are unique and that their needs are being looked after. No longer content being another customer at the mall, these consumers have specifically chosen to shop online at your brand...and they want to feel welcomed, and have a personalized experience.
Businesses are likely going to use data analysis heavily, both quantitative and qualitative, to create omni-channel shopping experiences where each customer feels like it is an experience created just for them. Retailers are going to find new methods to create this experience, using data analysis.
Retailers that are able to create small nuances (perhaps using customer names more often) or provide tailored recommendations based on previous browsing and purchase history are the ones who will dominate the market.