If you read our blog post on The Power of Personalization in Three Dimensions, you understand the influence that personalization has your on customers’ buying habits. That previous post focused on personalizing your marketing experience through the communications that your customers receive, and it may have left you wondering how to begin harnessing the power of personalization, and then applying it in your brick and mortar store.
Real World Personalization
The online world is oozing with personalization. Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, assumes that if you’ve bought a kettle, you might also be interested in a tea infuser. Shoppers crave this ease. Nearly 73% of customers prefer to do business with retailers who make their shopping experience more relevant based on the use of personal data. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more work than simply tracking user data to create the same personalized experience in the real world.
Customers want to be able to find things quickly and easily, and be offered products that show how businesses understand their preferences. Brick and mortar stores are filled with just about anything the average consumer might want, or be searching for online. The trouble is, there is no such thing as an “average consumer,” and this aspect of personalization has typically been lost in the offline world.
Everyone has their unique preferences. Ultimately, the better you understand your customers, and anticipate their purchase behavior, the more likely they are to keep buying from you. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can when it comes to personalizing your customer experience. To do this, brick and mortar stores need to start building a database of relationships with their customers.
Building Your Database
In general, consumers in the U.S. are willing to share their personal information with retailers if it means they will receive personalized offers or coupons. One of the most important pieces of information you can gather about your customer is purchase history, enabling you to send them offers and messaging that they will find more valuable. You may already have your customers’ names and birthdays, and it is becoming more and more common to ask for an email address at the point-of-sale. These are the basic building blocks that will allow you to start building an interaction-based customer database, and to begin providing a more personalized customer experience.
Turning Data Into Insights
One of the biggest goals to focus on is creating more value for your customers by offering the right products, instead of all of your products. One simple way to accomplish this is by customizing your loyalty program. Rather than a one size fits all loyalty program, use the knowledge of your data and insights to fit the wants and needs of your most loyal customers. Is a particular group of shoppers coming in to buy socks? A typical reward card might offer a free perk after every hundred dollars spent. Make them feel like a VIP by creating a custom benefit to receive a free pair of socks after 10 pairs are purchased.
Are you giving your customers what they want? Data and analytics can help you measure the effectiveness of campaign interactions with your customers by tracking offers that are being made to specific consumers so you can see how they are converting in store – either through increased foot traffic or frequency of visits. Let’s say you sent out a coupon to your customers offering 5% off a specific pair of sneakers. Your gut might tell you that your customers will be excited by this offer. With transaction data, it is easy to measure the value of your offer, and see if the results are meeting your expectations. You may find that the coupon has not increased the sale of sneakers, creating an opportunity for you to change the offer. Customers may perceive more value if the coupon ties a new product to an existing staple item – such as offering a new pair of socks when they buy the newest running shoes. The value of measuring results is in the removal of guesswork out of your efforts to personalize your customers’ shopping experience.