Retailers Go the Personalized Route
Half the battle for success in retail is getting the customer in the door or on the website, followed by the challenge of closing the sale. According to MyBuys research, highlighted in Personalization Comes of Age, 75 percent of shoppers would buy from a merchant if they received a discounted price on the merchandise. In addition, roughly the same number would buy online if a special offer including free shipping was provided.
Seems obvious that customers want to hear from retailers with pertinent information. In other words, they want to know more
about products and services in which they’ve expressed prior interest. Busy people appreciate a quick reminder about products left in shopping carts — or even about those they may have been researching — especially if a purchasing incentive comes with that reminder. Discounts or other benefits, coupled with personalized messaging and recommendations can provide customers information that will help them determine that the products they’re considering are just right. A substantial number, 70%, of shoppers want recommendations on retailers’ web sites: It’s always nice to corroborate a potential purchase.
That feeling of purchase satisfaction can’t be underestimated. The MyBuys research found that few shoppers (27%) buy when they perceive they are “settling” for a product. It’s not enough for them to purchase something “just like” the one that’s desired. “Close enough” just doesn’t cut it. Therefore, to achieve true customer satisfaction, it’s crucial for retailers to supply messaging that not only corroborates the purchaser’s decision, but also makes it an undeniable value.
Of course, the retailer must be conscious of not overstepping boundaries, which may not always be intuitive. For example, while MyBuys reported that 39% want to receive personalized messages on social media, such as in a Facebook stream, they may not want to be greeted in-store with the same message. It’s one thing to be wished “Happy Birthday!” in an innocuous post from a retailer on Facebook, but another, more unsettling, experience to be told that by a store associate who is a stranger. However, couple that social media greeting with a “get 10% off on your special day by mentioning this Facebook message,” and the retailer will likely be rolling out the welcome mat that day.
Proximity marketing, enabled by beacons and bluetooth technology, are also excellent ways of drawing in customers. New data from Juniper Research found that retailers will spend an estimated $2.5 billion in hardware and installation cost of such Internet of Things technology by 2018. MyBuys found that 39% of those surveyed welcome mobile advertising, such as proximity marketing, and that number is likely to grow as installations increase.
Retailers will look to beacons and beyond in 2016, and continue to invest in data science and analytics to better serve customers both in-store and online.
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