Are You Providing a Hyper-Relevant Experience for Shoppers?
Personalization is a hot topic in retail today, and retailers are paying close attention, rolling out beacon technology to track shoppers’ actions, focusing marketing materials to capture their attention and encouraging customer service training. But a recent study from Cisco Consulting Services finds that today’s consumers are really seeking a hyper-relevant experience even more than a hyper-personalized
That means that shoppers want to find what they came for and pay in a streamlined fashion. Some might want to be addressed by name, but it seems that’s not a deal breaker. What is important is getting the basics right consistently. For example, the Cisco study found 39 percent of respondents said that greater efficiency in the shopping process (e.g., ensuring items are in stock, speeding checkout times) as the top area retailers need to improve. Compare that with the 13 percent who said a more personalized shopping experience was the #1 concern.
Concentrating on efficiency has two benefits. One, retailers cut costs be eliminating waste and superfluous practices. And customers get the benefit of quicker, more responsive service. Customers end up happier, and, as a result, more loyal to those stores that make shopping easier. Retailers that build agile business processes to turn these insights into value can capture a profit improvement of 15.6 percent, according to Cisco Consulting Services.
Combining mobile technology with the in-store experience is no longer just for early adopters — it is mainstream. The next step is integrating mobile with the technology powering the Internet of things. IoT lets shoppers connect to retail in ways that makes their shopping experiences more enjoyable, and helps retailers create relevant customer experiences.
Shoppers typically want to engage a technology solution if there is a benefit for them attached. Those benefits might be in terms of cost, efficiency or engagement. To meet those needs, for example, a retailer might:
- use digital signage to inform shoppers of a “flash” sale. The “smart sign” is notified by an IoT powered backend system about a stock situation. Preprogrammed parameters cause the promotion to launch, helping retailers clear out inventory, and can guide customers directly to the merchandise;
- implement a buy-online-pickup-in-store solution that provides current inventory information to shoppers beginning their journey online, but opting to finish it in store;
- provide interactive mirrors for trying on clothes, capturing the image and sharing on social media.
By investing in Internet of Things technologies, some retailers are attempting to engage consumers, attract them to stores, and attempt to cross-sell and up-sell. It’s yet another tool in a box that can never be too full.