Customer Experiences in Retail Worth Personalizing

After seeing record-breaking Cyber Monday sales in the U.S. last month, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that, more often than not, the retail journey begins on screens at home. Eighty percent of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in the past month. That data demonstrates just how important online personalization is, and retailers have responded with a variety of strategies for tailoring the e-commerce customer experience.

At Intel, we’ve assisted retailers with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This tech helps retailers perform analytics on customer behavior in real time. AI also enables chatbots, targeted ads, and other tailored content.

Digital insights can personalize the shopping experience far beyond the website, though. Savvy omnichannel retailers bring those insights into physical stores to customize that part of the customer experience, too. Today, I’ll examine ways retailers can gather customer data and use it for personalization throughout the customer journey.

How to Gather Customer Data

Data gathered digitally from a retailer’s e-commerce site provides plenty of insights. The most obvious data to use is pre-existing customer data such as account purchasing history or information from a rewards program. It’s easy to track data of people who already have accounts set up. Additional website analytics data can reveal demographic trends, shopper behavior, and other information that provides insights into a retailer’s audience and the products being offered.

In stores, computer vision technology can also gather information about shopper demographics and the path to purchase. The use of facial analytics is growing, and for those who opt in through a loyalty program, this technology can eventually be used to enhance their shopping experience. Beacon technology also allows retailers to identify where shoppers are in stores to create more precise customer profiles.

The website and the store are both great places for getting customer information, but don’t forget about m-commerce either. People are increasingly shopping on their phones, so pay attention to the channels where your customers shop most frequently.

In-Store Experiences to Personalize

Once retailers have data, it’s time to use it. Not all customers want the same thing and providing a retail experience that gives them what they want and meets their expectations is what leads to brand loyalty.

Personalization online involves tailored product recommendations, offers, ads, and more. We’re all familiar with seeing ads for products we’ve searched for in the past or getting emails asking us to take one more look at an item we abandoned in a cart.

In-store, there are also plenty of opportunities for personalization. Digital signage is becoming a popular way to target shoppers. These displays can use facial detection technology to identify the demographics of the person looking at the display and present relevant content like personalized ads, product recommendations, and videos.

Virtual reality and augmented reality tech are also becoming more prevalent in stores, and these technologies can allow customers to see themselves in clothing, customize products, and much more. Recommendations and ads can potentially be integrated into this technology for added personalization.

RFID tech can also make the fitting room experience more in-depth. We may see analytics data enable product recommendations and other personalized content in this part of the shopping experience in the future.

Even person-to-person interactions can be customized if employees are armed with data. Having tablets and other handheld tech on the sales floor can make it easier for employees to approach customers with knowledge about that person’s preferences. When you can recommend products, sizes, and complementary products, that customer will have a more personal, helpful experience.

Don’t Forget About Inventory

Finally, it’s important to remember that having what customers want available is key to a good shopping experience. The Intel Responsive Retail Platform lets stores stay on top of inventory at all times, so shoppers can have the products they want when they want them.

Learn more about personalization in The Retailers’ Guide to Creating Personalized Shopping Experiences. Plus, don’t forget to follow retail technology trends at the IT Peer Network or by following us on Twitter.