Earlier this month, Retail Week focused on the burgeoning role of personalisation in retail – a topic that is close to our hearts here at Barber Design as we embrace new ideas and retail strategies in our work and like to keep apace of how the latest retail technology is being developed and used to enhance customer experience. Whilst the article looked at many different aspects of retail personalisation from online shopping to advertising we were most interested to see how personalisation is being used in-store in order to entice and retain customers and improve their shopping experience.
As online stores attempt to use personalisation to customise their user experience – for example, by making suggestions based on previous shopping habits – in-store, retailers are now keen to use the wealth of customer data that they have collected from online shoppers to provide cross-channel personalisation in every retail environment.
By matching shoppers who enter the store to their online profile, stores such as Monsoon Accessorize hope to transform their in-store staff in to personal assistants by providing them with iPads and encouraging them to engage with shoppers using what they know about them from their online choices, in order to improve each customer’s in-store experience – and of course, boost sales.
With the iPads, staff are able to access real time stock information and product details with recommendations which enable them to suggest products which might complement the customers choices – or provide alternative ideas.
In order to provide this experience, shoppers must first login to their account and then the recommendations are displayed. But does it work? Monsoon Accessorize report that this approach has been pretty successful so far – increasing average order values by 133%.
Building on this success, Monsoon Accessorize have decided to take their omnichannel retail personalisation strategy one step further – via their its e-receipts – which now send additional targeted product recommendations and offers, based around the customers preferences, post-purchase.
The role of the retail assistant making suggestions (even without an iPad) has something which has always been part of retail culture in the US where commission-based store assistants might follow you around the store making suggestions based on their own retail knowledge. Here in the UK where shoppers are generally more reserved, they might resent this level of interference – and be concerned about logging into the iPad and sharing their data. Some retailers believe that Smartphones provide much better opportunities for retailers to interact and personalise each experience, whilst harnessing valuable customer data, but how can stores encourage them to engage?
Speaking about the personalisation trend, Darryl Adie, director of retail consultancy Ampersand told Retail Week:
“Customers are more savvy about why and who they give their data away to. They know it’s valuable and need a good reason to share it with you”
If they are using Smartphones instead they will need an incentive to identify themselves to retailers. What will work best? As always we’ll be watching this trend to see how it develops. Let us know what you think.