How connected data personalizes shoppers’ experience

Image: Gustavo Fring

Providing a personalized experience that’s “just right” — not overly intrusive but offering information relevant to each shopper — is the Holy Grail of retail.

Deep visibility into data unified across channels and technologies through the Retail Pro Prism platform can give retailers the level of information needed to offer the right products to the right customers at the right time, through a preferred channel or combination of channels.

A single view of inventory, orders and customer data provided by a unified system of technologies offers retailers insights about their entire business in real time.

But unified commerce has a customer benefit also, allowing customers to take advantage of up-to-date product inventories and the flexibility to browse, buy, and fulfill orders any way they choose.

Read now: What does it take to unify commerce?

Creating interaction points to learn what your customer wants

Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Customers want efficient trips and will seek retailers that streamline the purchasing process, and which may include an online-to-offline experience.

Enhancing purchasing channels so they complement and build on each other helps retailers optimize their investments, focus efforts, and support their customers’ journeys.

Omnichannel offers customers multiple touch points, each a part of a seamless experience, and unified data helps retailers deliver instant, informed personalization.

One way to do that is to review past purchase data, converged between transactions in-store with Retail Pro, on ecommerce, mobile, social sales, and any other channels a retailer may use.

But for new visitors, providing interactive content not only engages the shopper but also benefits the retailer by sharing customer likes—and dislikes—with the retailer.

That data helps build a unique profile for future interactions whether online or in-store.

Every personalized shopping experience is created based on customer interactions.

As the retailer determines customer intent, an online strategy must be in place to quickly feature certain products in a relevant manner, with pertinent information and offers readily available and presented to the customer with immediacy.

Matching products to the right customer with personalized recommendations

While customers appreciate personalized shopping, unified commerce also provides retailers the data for targeted inventory.

By converging a customer’s interactions with your brand at various touchpoints into one cohesive customer profile and analyzing that holistic data, retailers can learn what products are popular for which types of customers.

The information can inform text and email messaging through AppCard for Retail Pro, providing personalized content which entices shoppers to visit (or return to) brick and mortars.

Stores can reduce or optimize in-store inventory by matching certain high-inventory products to potentially interested customers.

Based on analyzing shoppers’ data, a store can determine what products will appeal to which customers and present those options proactively.

Communications that are in the know with the customer

Image: Torsten Dettlaff

Customer segments may require different handling; some use email, others text messaging.

Retailers who can reach the customer during the decision-making process will remain top-of-mind as a trusted provider of quality goods and services.

Engagement might be driven through personalized email reminders that highlight where they can pick up their purchased product in-store, as well as recommending complimentary products to the items they just purchased.

Mobile push notifications or text messages can highlight related items to opted-in shoppers via the retailer’s app or loyalty program.

Most important is the unified experience from the customer’s point of view: When he or she returns to the retailer’s site, they should also see updated recommendations and search results based on in-store — or previous online —purchases.

Unified commerce provides the foundation for customers to easily shop whenever and wherever they want, including starting on one channel and finishing through another.

And that is an important step toward frictionless retail.


The practicality of endless aisle when supply chain delays cause in-store stockouts

In retail’s busiest months when supply chains are most strained, stores face stockouts that translate to lost sales and potentially lost customers.

Endless aisle improves a brand’s ability to satisfy customers by offering a more robust product selection.

Online, selections are virtually limitless; endless aisle solutions allow traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to effectively compete and save sales.

Extending in-store inventory

True omnichannel offerings match, complement, and sync customers’ online and mobile experiences with that of an in-store visit.

Endless Aisle can be achieved simply at your store by offering inventory visibility to both customers and associates through mobile touchpoints.

For example: While that Michael Kors bag may not be on the shelf in hot pink, it is an available color offered by the brand.

Using an in-store mobile device, a customer can peruse all the brand’s selections, and an associate can place the order for any desired color—as well as any matching accessories—and have it delivered to the customer’s home.

Though the delivery will still have to pass through the same supply chains, the customer is satisfied in knowing the item has been purchased and is on its way, rather than feeling the frustration of not getting the item upon which they had set their hopes.

Checking stock availability for BOPIS

In addition to extending the in-store experience, Endless Aisle can manage a number of tasks for at-home shoppers as well.

That includes stock visibility for those who want to check whether a product is available before heading in-store to purchase, as well as those who simply want to pick up their online orders at a retail location.

Buying online and picking up in store (“BOPIS”) has significantly increased due to COVID-19: Research firm McKinsey reported in the early stages the global pandemic that BOPIS usage grew 28 percent year over year in February compared with 18 percent in January.

For those shoppers wanting to avoid the ecommerce delivery wait with impacted supply chains, getting visibility into in-store stock availability helps them leave the house with a plan and a high probability of its success.

Saving sales for out-of-stocks

It’s estimated that 10% of online and in-store sales are lost due to items being out of stock.

It’s even possible that, if potential customers are turned away, they may never return, compounding the loss of revenue.

Providing associates with quick and easy one-touch access to inventory of a network of stores or warehouses reduces the likelihood of losing sales, especially when the product is in stock at another store location.

Creating a personal shopper experience

Endless Aisle solutions offer retailers flexibility with inventory: Stores don’t have to stock every single item.

They can showcase best-selling items in their (often very) expensive retail space.

Pricey or very large items can be represented on the retail floor, and a full complement can be viewed in-store within the Endless Aisle on a mobile device, with an associate close at hand to answer any questions.

In that way, salespeople become trusted advisors, instantly accessing detailed product information and stock availability, searching for products in other store locations and within warehouses.

AI-generated style recommendations can help round out a sale with perfect add-on accessories.

Orders are placed directly and can be sent right to the customer’s home or business.

By avoiding lost sales and delighting customers with virtually limitless options, Endless Aisle technology can boost revenue and sales.

An effective Endless Aisle solution blends the best part of online and in-store shopping, helping you outpace the competition.