Personalisation is a powerful tool that allows retailers to market to the right person, at the right time, with the right offer. Store owners can now offer tailored products and promotions to customers using data analytics and artificial intelligence – and they are seeing greater sales as a result.
For online retailers, this has been game-changing, but for brick-and-mortar retailers personalising the customer experience has proven tougher to do, as they have found it challenging to unearth the means to collect valuable customer data.
“E-tailers have set a standard in the retail world, and brick-and-mortar retailers have been very slow to react to it because the technology for physical stores has been lagging,” says Gareth Hawkey, redPanda Software CEO. “This is starting to change, however, and personalising the in-store experience is becoming more important.”
WHY PERSONALISATION IS POWER
According to the 2018 Personalization Pulse Check from Accenture Interactive, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognise, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
“When an in-store interaction is personalised, the customer experiences a connection and feels that they are valued, rather than merely part of the herd,” says Hawkey.
A clothing store, for example, could recognise a customer that visits the store frequently, allowing a sales assistant to point out new shirts in the customer’s style and size, while recommending pants or a tie to match the chosen shirt, and then offering a tailored promotion that encourages the customer’s loyalty to the store.
“According to PwC research, 40% of consumers believe a knowledgeable sales associate would enhance their shopping experience,” says Hawkey. “But how are retailers interacting with those shopping associates? What information is being giving to show them who is in the store – their loyalty, buying habits, and clothing sizes?”
E-tailers typically have this data on hand, but brick-and-mortar retailers generally make use of forecasting and predictive systems that rely on historical data to reach their customers. “There are a lot of grey areas, and most decisions made by retailers are based on very little data and on even less intelligent data,” says Hawkey.
THE CONNECTED SOLUTION
Physical stores do have one significant advantage over their online counterparts, however – the customer is right there, in-store and at the point of sale.
“Brick-and-mortar retailers have a greater opportunity to promote to customers right there while they’re still in the store,” says Hawkey. “With the right data, offers could be sent to the mobile phones of in-store customers, and sales assistants could give them personalised service and promotions straight away. All too often, however, retailers are missing an opportunity by handing out blanket promotions.”
To assist retailers in gaining this data, redPanda Software has developed the Connected Solution integrated platform, which aims to enable a personalised shopping experience in the shortest time, at an affordable price, with the lowest impact on the business-as-usual environment.
“We know retailers are extraordinarily busy, and while the benefits to improving the customer experience are massive, it can be a challenge to adopt without an experienced partner to remove the complexity of it.
“The solution allows retailers to rapidly onboard, customise, and scale any of the latest disruptive technologies for improved customer engagement and experience, including facial recognition, heatmapping, social media integration, mobile payments, loyalty programmes, and specific IoT to enhance the overall consumer experience and to track consumer behaviour,” says Hawkey.
“To manage each of these solutions, the third-party relationships, and the corresponding data would be a challenge, but the single point of integration ensures that very little work is required for retailers,” says Hawkey. “This simplifies the implementation and greatly enhances the ability of the retailer to enable the benefits as quickly as we can.”
Connected Solution is also affordable enough to be adopted by both SMEs and larger chain stores, Hawkey adds. “The technology is agnostic and connects well into Sage or SAP.”
CHANGING THE GAME
Shoppers want the modern brick-and-mortar store experience to rival their online shopping experience, and personalisation goes a long way to achieving this. Retailers that want to make a real impact with their consumers, however, need access to the kind of data that e-tail stores have access to – the kind that Connected Solution can provide.
“The more data available, the better the analysis and the better the results,” says Hawkey. “Retailers need data on the merchandise movements in the store, the mobile phone applications shoppers are using, social media integration, how customers are connecting into the environment, how shoppers are moving around the store and what’s attracting them to certain areas, what sales associates are saying to customers, and how are the loyalty programmes affecting the shopper in the store.
“Retailers should be collecting specific data for every element, and we can help them do so quickly, cost-effectively, and seamlessly.”