On Tuesday, February 25, we broadcasted our live webinar, In-Store Personalization: Retailers Find Their Competitive Edge. In it, we discussed the challenges that retailers face in understanding and reaching their in-store customers. We also explained how the RetailNext platform can be used to gather key information about those customers and target them in a way that feels relevant and personalized. Our guest presenter from Silverpop, a marketing automation leader, talked about how to reach shoppers at a time they’re closest to the brand—while in store.
Following are some highlights from the webinar.
Personalization is effective. A Forrester research survey in November found that 71% of online customers looked at the products that were presented in a personalized manner, 25% immediately made a purchase, and 20% saved recommended items to their wish list. In another survey by IDC research, 30% of shoppers said that personalization generally improves shopping and 27% said that it makes the product lineup appear more relevant to their interests. Also in that survey, 26% of shoppers said that personalization was likely will make them shop in the same store again.
Personalization is more than customization. Customization (or localization) means delivering different experiences to groups of people who share certain attributes—also known as segment targeting. This is commonly implemented by delivering localized content or merchandise based on geographical location and time of the day. Personalization goes beyond that to engage in a one-on-one conversation with the individual shopper. It combines customization with customer preferences for brand, category, size, and style. In order to deliver on these individual preferences, retailers have to gather information from the shopper.
Personalization is achieved in 5 steps:
1) Prompt Your Shopper to Opt In. Through your guest Wi-Fi, mobile app, or loyalty program, you need obtain consent from shoppers to engage in that conversation with your brand. Nobody wants to get spammed, but if you make the communication relevant, shoppers will agree to engage. In a Vibe Mobile survey, 89% of shoppers said they would sign up for mobile messages as long as they were personalized.
2) Learn Whom Your Shopper Is. You can’t personalize a shopper’s experience if you don’t know who s/he is and what s/he wants. Shoppers interact with your brand across several different channels and expect you to deliver a seamless experience across them. Thanks to advancements in technology and the deep penetration of smartphones, new digital data sources and insights are starting to appear in-store. And that’s significant, because in-store shopping remains the higher conversion channel. By coming to your store, your shopper shows the greatest intent to purchase.
3) Generate Relevant Content. The value of consumer insights lies in the ability to market to shoppers in the context of their interaction with your brand. But how do you take action on insights data when even as a marketer you have limited access to it? One solution is to use a marketing database from which you can create a marketing strategy that fits your needs, integrates all of your systems, and centralizes your marketing efforts.
4) Deliver Your Message with Impact. There are choices on how the personalized message can be delivered. Offers or campaigns can be sent in real time, while in store, or deferred until later. You can deliver your message digitally to a smartphone—via SMS, email, or your mobile app—or in person, through a staff member.
5) Measure Success to Drive Improvement. Once you’ve measured the effectiveness of your brand online, you need to add the key in-store metrics (such as sales and loyal customers). You can measure if your campaigns are successful in attracting shoppers to new categories, for example, or in increasing loyalty to your brand by encouraging them to stay longer or return more frequently. Any initiative has to be linked to the overall performance of your store or chain. Understanding how overall traffic, conversion, sales, average ticket value, and demographics are impacted by your personalization efforts should be part the equation.
We’ve learned from the successes of e-commerce that addressing customers in a way that’s timely and relevant to them increases their loyalty and engagement with a brand. This kind of personalization has become increasingly more common in brick-and-mortar stores, thanks to technological advancements in the mobile space. With opt-in features and in-store analytics, retailers are now able to view the shopping behaviors of their customers and reach them in a personalized manner, ultimately enriching the entire shopping experience.
A full recording of the webinar, In-Store Personalization: Retailers Find Their Competitive Edge will be available on Friday, February 28 and can be accessed from the RetailNext webinar page.