Within retail stores, a greater emphasis is being placed on personalization. Consumers want a customized experience based upon their own behaviors and preferences. For retailers, the challenge is gathering the information needed to fuel that personalization.
No matter how you slice it, the foundation of personalization is data. Marketers understand this, but they might not realize how aware some consumers are of the value of sharing data. Despite some sentiment that data gathering is an infringement of privacy, many younger consumers are accepting — and even welcoming — of this data sharing economy.
As Ad Age points out, many Gen Z consumers recognize the value that comes from offering up their personal data to companies, retailers included. Retailers have an opportunity to leverage these attitudes to build better personal experiences in their stores.
Realizing this opportunity is a two-step process. First, retailers must build the channels needed to gather behavioral data. Then, they need to use newfound behavioral data to integrate custom experiences into brick-and-mortar retail stores.
If You Build It, They Will Come
For retailers still working to deploy greater in-store personalization, data acquisition is the first area of focus. To create customized experiences, brands need to know as much about their consumers as possible. The only way to do this is to gather data from every source possible.
If you aren’t actively delivering personalization to your consumers, it’s likely that your data gathering isn’t optimized for this strategy. Mobile apps, mobile browser activity, consumer profiles, and in-store mobile technology engagements all offer opportunities to gather this data, but developers must equip these outlets to effectively gather useful data.
Marketers will have to work with IT experts to optimize data collection from all of these sources. Once acquisition channels are in place, brands can begin gathering and interpreting data to make smarter targeting decisions while building personalization features into physical stores.
Assisted selling tools and other mobile tech installations can help a retail store put this personalization to work. Customer profiles can make shopping histories available in a matter of seconds, and personalized recommendations can be based off of purchasing histories and other indicators of consumer behavior. In a brick-and-mortar store, shoppers can also leverage their online shopping histories to build even more context into their individual experiences.
As these customization features become a reality for retailers, Ad Age recommends using willing consumers — especially the Gen Z crowd — to beta-test new features and offer feedback on improvements.
Some consumers may harbor a reluctance to give brands too much information, but that group is increasingly among the minority. Brands should take every available opportunity to use consumer data for a more personal, unique experience.
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