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Hyper-Personalization in Retail and its Benefits

  • Updated: 17 September 2021
  • 6 min read

Who doesn't love personalized retail experiences? It started with your local mom-and-pop store understanding your preferences and needs and recommending products to you. The same level of personalization is now seen in e-commerce websites that recommend products based on recent purchases. In fact, now, brands are focusing on hyper-personalization in retail. Whether it is a brick-and-mortar shop or an e-commerce website, hyper-personalization always adds value to the customer experience.

Hyper-Personalization in Retail

Personalization goes beyond addressing a customer by their first name. As a retailer, you have to think of more ways to personalize the experience. Take the example of Lively experience store in New York. The moment you step into the store, you are handed over a beverage, and a salesperson takes your measurement and guides you with the shopping. The experience does not end there. The store’s ambiance is deeply personal, complete with greenery and lounge chairs that give clubhouse vibes. And it’s not just the brick-and-mortar shops that got their personalization right.

Sephora has got both the in-store and online customer experience strategies right. Customers use the Sephora app to book a consultation appointment in the nearest store. They can also use the app to search for the products they had virtually sampled to check if it’s available in the store. They have a successful loyalty program that has enabled them to gain over 25 million members! It's an example of how you can stitch the offline and online channels to create a seamless experience for your customers.

omnichannel-personalization

2020 has completely changed the way customers behave and shop. Convenience has taken precedence over other aspects. Customers have started expecting a better omnichannel experience from retail brands. Although things will return to normalcy as more citizens get vaccinated, and businesses start reopening, omnichannel shopping will remain a mainstay in retail. Customers will not just shop online, but they will also expect a more intuitive in-store experience from retail brands.

As a retailer, you must note the changes in shopping behavior and find ways to sharpen your personalization strategy to meet the customer’s expectations.

Benefits of hyper-personalization in retail

  • Revenue and conversions increase: Personalization helps you target your customers with the right message and experience. This increases the chances of conversions and thus maximizes your revenue. According to Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Personalization Maturity Index, retailers saw a 25% increase in revenue consistently due to their advanced personalization capabilities. A whopping 110% of customers said they were likely to add more items to their basket if the experience was personalized.
  • Customer lifetime value improves: Deep-level personalization happens at all stages of the customer lifecycle. You can personalize your communication and the experience – right from onboarding the customers to the time they check out and even after that. Ensure that all your channels are well integrated and there is continuity in the experience and communication with customers.
  • Net promoter scores increase: The BCG’s survey showed that customers who experienced a high level of personalization scored the retailer 20% higher on Net Promoter Score (NPS) than those who experienced a low level of personalization. As you might know, NPS is the north star metric to measure customer loyalty. A high score in NPS indicates that the customer is happy with the service and will likely recommend it to others as well.

persoanlization in retail-bcg

Important statistics you must know about personalization

Before we delve deeper into how you can deepen your personalization in retail strategy, here are some important trends you must know. This will help you to shape your strategies.

Recently, MoEngage surveyed 1,000 customers across the US, UK, Canada, and Germany to find out what challenges they face and what keeps them loyal to a brand. Here’s what we found:

General Personalization

  • North Americans and Europeans cited customer experience and communication as reasons for customer delight. 26% of American and European customers expect B2C brands to personalize their experiences based on their shopping history.
  • Inconsistent messaging, irrelevant product recommendations, and too many or too few messages from the brands frustrate customers.
  • Inconsistent messaging and irrelevant recommendations frustrate the C-level executives too. Over 30% of female C-executives revealed that they do not prefer receiving irrelevant content, while 41% of male executives expressed their frustration on receiving inconsistent messages across different channels. The customers in administrative roles expressed too few or too many messages as a bone of contention./li>
  • 30% of customers in North America and European countries preferred to receive promotional coupons and offers. Contrary to popular beliefs, customers did not express much interest in receiving newsletters, resources, or information about charity work and social justice.

moengage-personalization-report

User-level Personalization

  • What customers want is a value-added service. For example, 32% of customers expect retailers to provide order confirmation, delivery confirmation, shipping status, etc. 24% want a simplified process to return or exchange products at any point. Customers also want flexibility in how they place and pick up orders.
  • While email continues to be the preferred channel for communication among North Americans and Europeans, SMS, social media, and social media messengers also continue to be a preferred medium for communication.
  • 39% of North American and European customers expected weekly communication from brands when it comes to communication frequency. However, 41% of male C-level executives want daily updates from brands, while 33% of female C-level executives expect monthly updates.
  • In personalization, 26% of customers expect brands to personalize their experience based on previous history and interests and 21% want it to be based on their interests.
  • In the last 12 months, 36% of customers shopped more online than in person. 40% of them have said they will be taking a hybrid approach to shopping once normalcy restores.

You can find the full report here.

The three-way hyper-personalization in retail

Deep-level personalization in retail is all about creating micro-moments for your customers. Let’s look at the three-way approach you can use to personalize your customer’s experience.

persoanlization in retail-geofencing

Optimize targeting using geofencing

Imagine walking into a mall to meet your friend and suddenly receiving a message from your favorite fashion retailer about a sale going on in the outlet at the same mall? Sounds intriguing, right? How did they know that you are in the same location? Retailers have started using GPS-based geofencing technology to target customers. Geo-fencing is different from geo-targeting. It works on a more micro level. Retailers can define a range around their location. So, anytime the customer comes close to your defined location, they will automatically receive a notification about your presence. Geo-fencing helps increase the footfall in your stores and even target your competitor's customers in the exact location as yours.

How you can achieve this using MoEngage:

MoEngage’s Geo-fencing solution eliminates the line between digital and physical mediums. It auto-triggers messages when customers enter, exit, or stay within the geo-fence. It enables you to deliver real-time and relevant messages and drive better engagement at physical touchpoints. Geo-fencing has enabled brands to increase their customer retention to up to 30%.

Optimize messaging using AI

As we observed in our research, customers want brands to send relevant messages to them. They disengage as soon as the brand sends them irrelevant messages. So, what can you do to optimize your messaging? You can use AI. AI ensures that your messaging is personalized and relevant, but not to the extent that it creeps the customer.  AI will eliminate all the guesswork and inform you exactly what kind of message will resonate the most with your customer. This will help you to personalize your message and build engagement with your customer.

How you can achieve this using MoEngage:

MoEngage’s proprietary AI engine Sherpa removes all the guesswork and automatically figures out the right message variant and the right time to send a message to customers. Sherpa analyzes the performance of different message variations and automatically picks the top-performing content to be shown to customers in real-time. It also picks the right moment to deliver it.

Optimize engagement using personalization

Customer engagement is more difficult than acquiring a new one. Hence, focus on optimizing your engagement across different channels and at every level of the customer's lifecycle. Ensure that the messaging and experience are consistent and seamless across all channels. Leverage user data to provide personalized recommendations. This will help you to deepen your engagement with the customers.

How you can achieve this using MoEngage

MoEngage’s Flows is the perfect solution for you to:

segment customers, map journeys, and delight them with personalized communication across the web, email, and mobile!

You can also auto-segment customers based on their behavior and create cross-channel lifecycle campaigns to communicate and engage with them at every stage of the lifecycle.

Retail will be a $27 trillion market by 2022. As customer demands evolve and new players enter the industry, you need to strengthen your personalization in retail strategies and engage your customers continuously across all channels.

What to do next?

  1. Need any ideas on how to personalize your campaigns? Check out this blog for real-world examples and inspiration.
  2. Curious to know how to use AI for your campaigns? Read this blog.
  3. To know more about our products and for a free demo, visit our website.
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About The Author
Ankita is a content marketer with a strong background in writing and editing. She has worked with various publishing media houses and product companies that helped her add more skills to her core subject - content. She is an avid reader, passionate book review blogger, and loves to share her interests with the web audience. She always yearns to learn new things to widen her knowledge. All her interests help her contribute more to her work.
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