Personalization is crucial for keeping your retail customers satisfied and eager to return. Here are some actionable strategies retailers can apply to tailor the physical shopping experience for each individual.
1. Launch an in-Store Navigation App
A store layout can seem overwhelming, especially to people who don’t shop at a location often. However, you can reduce the likelihood of any confusion by creating an in-store navigation app that syncs to a person’s shopping list. For example, once someone inputs the items they want to buy into an app, they could get personalized guidance about moving around the store to grab them quickly.
You could also suggest complementary items to increase the overall purchase value. One study found that people who shopped at retailers that offered high personalization levels were 40% more likely to spend more than they’d planned at those locations.
2. Provide Location or Habit-Specific Offers
Another possibility is to provide content for shoppers specific to where they are or repetitive behaviors they tend to engage in. For example, maybe your sales data shows that a certain customer usually comes into your specialty wine store on Friday evenings. You could then use that data to create a time-based offer for them, increasing the likelihood that they’ll continue visiting your store at that time.
Similarly, you could design an app that provides push notifications to alert people to sales in particular parts of the store. Maybe you operate a garden center that has a pet supplies section. You might see that a frequent customer often buys dog food, along with seeds and fertilizer. In that case, you could have the app provide a push notification about a dog food sale as that person approaches the pet supplies aisle.
This tip is another way to encourage increased basket size during a customer’s visit. It also makes each trip to your store as relevant as possible.
3. Use Personalized Messaging to Support in-Store Pickup
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred consumers to try shopping options they deemed safer and more convenient. For example, statistics indicate that 75% of U.S. consumers engaged in new retail behaviors due to the pandemic. In many cases, that meant they chose in-store pickup services that let them select and pay for items online, then drive to nearby stores to get them.
If your store currently offers such services or may start soon, consider distributing personalized text messages to customers to improve their experiences. For example, a message might include the shopper’s first name, details about what they bought and where they should pick up the items.
4. Let People Book in-Store Appointments
Personalized consultations also give customers one-of-a-kind experiences. They’re ideal if your retail brand sells items based on individual characteristics.
An in-store appointment can help build relationships and provide opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. They also help retail companies learn more about the kinds of customers that most often buy their products. Also, because these face-to-face interactions let store experts give unique guidance, there’s a higher likelihood of people being satisfied with the products they buy.
5. Blend App and in-Store Experiences
It’s increasingly important to have omnichannel shopping experiences in today’s retail landscape. Even if many of your customers prefer buying things in your stores, they’ll likely appreciate having access to relevant content via apps, too.
Explore how you could provide what people want while elevating the personalization element. Beauty brand Sephora gives some excellent examples of best practices. People can virtually try on products at home and then use the brand’s app while in the store to find those items. Also, if someone books an in-store makeover, the app shows what products the beauty specialist used during the appointment.
Keep the Customers in Mind With Personalization
When you do personalization right, it’ll bring benefits to your retail brand, such as larger transactions and more store visits. However, success means staying on top of what your customers truly want rather than primarily figuring out how to drive sales. When you do that, your profits should increase as a result.
Use these five tips to spark your inspiration about starting an improving personalization strategy or improving an existing one. It’s also wise to select and track metrics so you can quickly see what’s working and when it may be time to adjust your retail strategy for optimal results.
Credit: Devin Partida is a retail writer and blogger. You can read more posts from Devin at ReHack.com, where she is the Editor-in-Chief.