Personalization Is Boosting Retail Sales. Here Are 3 Ways To Do It Right.

Personalization Is Boosting Retail Sales. Here Are 3 Ways To Do It Right.

Article by: Jia Wertz

Personalizing the customer experience can allow brands to win big, even when retail sales have been declining. Consumers want to be treated like individuals and enrolled in an experience specific to who they are and what they want. According to a Salesforce study, 51% of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they even make contact— all by 2020.

 

 

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Big retailers like Target, IKEA, Nordstrom and Walmart have started to adopt personalization. “Great personalization is vital in our digital economy. Most retail businesses don’t realize it but they are being rapidly commoditized. Competing on price, service, and product is a losing strategy, as those things do not offer a distinct competitive advantage anymore. True personalization is how retailers will survive and win for years to come,” says George Lukyanchuk, former product manager at Walmart.

In today’s fast-paced world of social selling and e-commerce, deploying personalization can be the difference between the success or failure of a business. Consumers want to feel centric to the company and in their buying experiences. Thankfully, there are tools that leverage the value of personalization. For example, products like Adobe’s Target allows you to optimize and target new customer segments, LeadFuze’s Fuzebot uses AI to define markets and build segment lists, and Certona is an omnichannel personalization tool for retailers.

 

If retailers want to stay competitive, they need to tap into this trend; here are three ways they can do so.

Create A Personal Connection With Your Consumers

In order to be successful with personalization, companies needs to create a connection with customers that goes far beyond generic marketing. And that applies across most industries, whether it be apparel, travel, or electronics, both online and offline.

 

“In today’s hyper competitive environment, businesses can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We see this every day in the travel industry where the modern traveler is looking to discover the best hidden gems and finding recommendations from locals – but since everyone’s tastes are different, a more personal connection with customers stands out,” says Andri Kristinsson, CEO of Travelade, a travel company that combines personalization with crowdsourced recommendations curated by locals.

“In 2019 you still have companies trying to sell products that they think their customer should be buying based on what they know, not on what the customer wants. There is a big disconnect there. And once you understand how personalization really works, you realize how inadequate most companies are at this and how easy it is to fix,” says Solomon Bennett, former research director at Walmart.

“A solution to the problem already exists and it’s a relatively new, yet easy way of adjusting your day-to-day operations. Your company has to establish a deep, two-way relationship with your customer. Think of personalization as the execution arm of the marketing process, which deepens the relationship between your company and your customers,” adds Lukyanchuk

Make Your Customer Feel Philosophically Connected

Customers don’t just want to be aesthetically or practically attracted to your brand. They want to feel like they have a shared sense of beliefs and morals. Trying to reach your customer through a generic “50% Off Sale” is unsustainable and will not lead to customer loyalty. A personal connection, however, will.

 

Justin McGill of LeadFuze explains that the value in their software is to help businesses create real and authentic personalization with their clients. Their latest integration with lemlist, allows customers to send personalized emails with images that have their prospects name on it. The name changes from prospect to prospect, creating a connection with their customers. Email is being personalized in ways not previously used in prior years leading to this change in customer individualism. Research by Retail Touchpoints released in 2018, found that seven in 10 retail executives focus their personalization efforts on email, which is an effective way to personalize the consumer experience when done right. 

Create Entertaining Experiences

The entertainment industry is booming even while the retail industry falters. That’s because consumers are always attracted to fun experiences. Shopping shouldn’t just feel like shopping, it needs to feel like an experience, which is where harnessing new technology comes into play. Advances in VR, AR, and AI lead to this new wave of personalized entertainment.

Many large retailers have tested new technology, with Walmart’s Tech Incubator Store No. 8 focusing on VR, and Target unveiling an AR feature last year that allowed customers to see home products in their own homes.

“Personalization in any business will not be successful if the brand doesn’t make use of modern technologies. Big and small companies alike, have started to realize the potential. Augmented Reality, for example, can provide clients with the desired entertainment experience that enables clients to be more engaged with a brand. There are many examples of how AR can be implemented in different businesses. For instance, if you produce dairy products, you can create a mobile AR app that syncs with your products. Imagine how engaging it would be if a simple bottle of milk with a special AR marker could give a customer useful and interesting information, such as how your company produces milk, the health benefits or other information about the company. Target and IKEA’s new AR apps are prime examples of how big companies are harnessing these advanced technologies,” says Rafal Szymanski, an international technologist and IT expert.

 

Generic marketing practices don’t work. It’s simply not enough to advertise sales and discounts. Personalization is a way for retailers to succeed when so many are falling. The practice is proven by human psychology, and it’s easy to implement without restructuring the entire business.

Article from: https://www.forbes.com

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