There’s a reason people have a tendency to eat at the same places and order the same foods. Yes, they may like the consistency. But in many cases, they also like the familiarity — and that’s a two-way street.
Sitting down, smiling at a familiar face, and saying, “I’ll have the usual” is a slice of regular life that many people envy. For all the value of those relationships, they take a lot of time to forge — unless, of course, you’re using digital solutions to fast-track that development.
Personalization in the retail setting functions in a similar way. Consumers like to be known, and increasingly want VIP-like experiences. Moreover, they want an experience tailored to their needs and wants. The more a company can deliver that experience, the more likely consumers are to offer up their brand loyalty.
Clienteling technology is one of the best methods of engineering this experience. Personalization no longer starts and ends with emails addressed to individual recipients. Consumers understand that their mobile information is being gathered and leveraged to build smarter selling strategies, and they want to see some of the fruits of that labor.
In other words, they want retailers to know them inside and out.
Treating Shoppers As Individuals
When considering macro retail trends, shoppers are often viewed as statistics — faceless bodies that sort themselves into various categories. But consumers don’t want to be treated that way. They want sales associates to greet them as individuals.
Thanks to mobile tech solutions like assisted selling and clienteling technology, that type of experience is very possible. As CIO Review notes, cognitive analytics can power robust personalization through a clienteling solution. Consumers inside a brick-and-mortar store can be linked to their online shopping history, and their past in-store shopping history, to build recommendations and other contextual insights. Details such as favorite colors, sizes and styles can also direct associates as they help shoppers find what they want.
Inside or outside of a retail shopping environment, shoppers can receive smart promotions built off of their shopping habits — not offers as broad as discounts off of women’s clothing, but promotions related to specific brands or products that the customer’s behavior suggests they would like.
Such personalization makes for a more efficient in-store operation: Associates spend their time attempting to sell highly relevant products, instead of trying to guess what the customer might want. Shoppers will appreciate that efficiency, and they’ll also be happy when their needs are more directly met.
Over the long run, sustained personalization builds a strong rapport between the retailer and its consumers. And, as increased shopping activity improves the quality of that personalization, shoppers will find even more incentive to remain loyal to that brand.
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