The Future of Retail Lies with those who Personalize Brick-and-Mortar
The retail industry started off 2018 with a big priority on personalization – it was set to serve as the key to solving the omnichannel challenges. Even B2B organizations started becoming aware of driving results based on their customers’ desire for personalization. According to Marketing Insider Group, 78% of consumers say relevant content increases their purchase intent. Most consumers are even ok giving personal information if it leads to relevant recommendations from brands. So, it’s no surprise that when it comes to digital channels, personalization is a given for marketers and best-in-class retailers. What is exciting for retail is that now those innovative brands and retailers are bringing personalization into their brick-and-mortars. We reported on a great example of this with Nike and their latest flagship store in NYC. But Nike is not the only brand taking advantage of personalization in-store. There are two other retailers investing in modern technologies for their physical stores and shaking up what the future holds for retail.
Always a leader when it comes to in-store innovation, Nordstrom was an early adopter of bringing mobile devices into the hands of their sales associates. They offer mobile checkout capabilities in their stores, and as of July 2018 they were beta testing in Los Angeles how to integrate smartphone-based shopping features with their in-store experiences. Ultimately speeding up the customer journey. As a 117-year old high-end retailer, Nordstrom has a deep-rooted clienteling practice. With their willingness to embrace technology the retailer has been able to offer great experiences digitally. Their recent acquisition of BevyUp, a mobile clienteling tool, and MessageYes, a conversational commerce solution, has allowed them to improve further on those in-store personalization capabilities These tools paired with the retailers use of beacons, enable activated apps in-store to populate relevant items to shoppers and in some cases coupons for products in their abandoned shopping carts.
As the US leading provider of technology products, services and solutions it should be mandated that Best Buy be a best-in-class retailer when it comes to converging the physical with digital shopping experiences. However, in the age of Amazon that’s not that simple. Best Buy had to restructure their business, cut costs and really focus on differentiation through customer service.
Another advantage to their gains is that they are utilizing their app in-store. They have thought out how to bridge the on- and offline personalization. From a ClickZ article, when a customer walks into the store, the app enters “local store” mode, sending relevant push notifications and customizing the experience to that location’s inventory. The app also has an “On My Way” feature that lets sales associates know when someone is on their way to pick up an online order, reducing the waiting time for the customer. Retailers must continue to blur the lines between the tangible in-store and digital shopping channels to create the unique brand experiences consumers want. By taking advantage of their consumer data and making mobile app investments now, retailers can get a head start on the competition for 2019.