One of the things that today’s shoppers love about online stores is the incredible degree of personalization. A well designed e-commerce site or app remembers every single customer and adjusts the content to their individual needs. It will recommend items based on their purchase and browsing history, offer relevant promotions, and automatically apply coupons and discounts. It can send them birthday gifts, remind them of anniversaries, and allow them to store wishlists. It’s a level of personal service that hasn’t been seen since the days of small local shops and friendly shopkeepers who knew every customer by name.
Large stores, servicing thousands of customers daily, and with hundreds of staff, struggle to offer a comparable experience. It is literally impossible for anyone to keep track of all the regular visitors, let alone those who only shop in person occasionally.
However, customers don’t want to be treated as just another face in the crowd. They want to be treated as individuals - both in store and online. Just take a look at the numbers.
- 73% of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their experience more relevant. (FiveStars)
- 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations (Salesforce Research)
- 67% of consumers think it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on current context. When brands don't adjust accordingly, 42% of consumers will "get annoyed" that content isn’t personalized. (Adobe)
- 56% of customers don’t mind sharing their personal information in exchange for better service. (Salesforce)
- 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. (Epsilon)
- 40 percent of consumers buy more from retailers that personalize their shopping experience. (HubSpot)
- Personalization at scale delivers a 1 to 2% lift in total sales for grocery companies and an even higher lift for other retailers. It can also reduce marketing costs by up to 20%, and increase customer satisfaction by 20%. (McKinsey)
- Businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market when prioritizing better customer service experiences. (Bain & Company)
The challenge facing our clients is how to deliver personalization in the store environment. That’s what we set out to address with Contacts.
Bringing digital experiences into physical spaces
Many retailers already have a system for offering personalization to in-store shoppers. When you swipe your loyalty card at the checkout, it can track what you bought, and use this to send you personalized promotional material after you leave the store. While this is a useful way to retain loyalty and encourage repeat purchases, it doesn’t do much to encourage or help shoppers while they’re browsing and making purchase decisions.
If you could identify a customer when they enter a store, you could begin the personalization process much earlier in the customer journey. Using a combination of digital signage, web kiosks, and pre-shopping contacts such as virtual queuing or appointment booking, we can encourage customers to check in when they arrive. From that moment on, their visit can be personalized using their complete customer history. Guided selling tools can immediately recommend items that they’ve been browsing for online, or which they’ve purchased before.
Using spatial intelligence, we can track the customer as they move through the store. Digital signage can then automatically adjust to promote appropriate items as they pass by, or provide directions to items they’re likely to want. For example, if I’m a vegetarian, you could replace ads for BOGO chicken pies with ads for half-price organic strawberries.
Omnichannel customer service
Personalization isn’t just about technology, though. The human factor is important too.
One of the things customers hate is having to repeat information when dealing with customer service staff. Even if you resolve their problem, 94% will rate the experience poor or moderate, rather than good.
Being able to pass information seamlessly to whoever needs it can transform a customer interaction from irritating to enjoyable and reassuring. Don’t start conversations with “how can I help you?” Instead, start by greeting them by name and showing them that you’re already up to speed with what they want.
“Hi [NAME], I understand you’re looking for an underwater camera suitable for taking scuba diving, and you need something that will take good videos? I can help you with that. Now, I saw you already looked at this one - what did you think of that?”
Our Omni Visit and Appointment booking technology makes that easy. Every staff member in the process has access to all the relevant customer information whenever they need it, which enables them to provide better service.
Powered by Contacts
To achieve this level of personalization, Ombori Grid uses Contacts - essentially a customer database that tracks the entirety of a customer’s interaction with you, both online and in-store, in real time. This creates a detailed picture of each individual customer - not just what they purchase, but what product categories they browsed for, which products they looked at and didn’t buy, and what they do while in the store.
A loyalty card will tell you that your customer bought a nice white shirt. Contacts will tell you which other shirts they considered, and that they were also looking at tuxedos, bow ties, and dress shoes - perhaps before they even entered the store. Maybe there’s an opportunity to sell them a bundle deal on formal wear, or direct them to your rental service? You could even offer to set up an appointment with someone who can advise them on formal clothing and is already familiar with their budget and build.
Most importantly, Contacts data is not siloed. There’s no division between their online behavior and their offline behavior. If they visit multiple stores, that data persists in every location. This creates a holistic, rounded, and complete view of the customer, ensuring that whenever you interact with them, whether that’s digitally or in person, you’re providing relevant, valuable information that will increase their loyalty and increase their lifetime value.