There once was a time when the retail store made it a point to know all their customers, the products they liked, their favorite colors and styles, and perhaps even knew some of their birthdays and important anniversaries. When a customer would enter the store, the actual owner of the shop might even be there to greet the customer by name, ask about their family and how they were enjoying their last purchase from the store. (All of this without today’s technology, of course.) The shopping experience was highly personalized and relevant to each shopper’s buying behavior.
We are now a far busier, more technology-driven society with tons of distractions and even more options when it comes to the places where we shop. So much has changed, but one thing has remained tried and true – it’s always been about the customer and their experience with the retailer or brand.
According to Genesys, the top three reasons why businesses proactively manage and invest in customer experience are to:
- Improve customer retention
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Increase cross-selling and upselling
In fact, author Paul Farris, concludes that “upselling is easier than selling to new customers, and it helps you grow.” Farris calculated that the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, and the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.
In today’s very noisy and highly-competitive retail environment, it is important for retailers to implement ways that can generate new customers. But it is even more vital to ensure that store associates have the proper tools to give existing customers that old school “TLC” that can generate additional selling opportunities. So, what can retailers do to provide those one-to-one personalized customer experiences that were once the norm in years past, and that are now the experiences that today’s connected consumers demand in all channels? Let’s explore a few strategies:
Single View of Your Buyer
Previously known as the “little black book,” retailers would use the information contained in this book as their personal system of record. It was their bible – a way to keep in contact with regular customers, invite them to special events, alert them when an item is back in stock, and of course to put products they know they will love aside for them. Having that single view of the buyer allows retailers, and specifically store associates, to create personalized experiences with instant access to shopper profiles that give consumers the trust they need to come back again and again. These customer profiles, or modern little black books, can include personal information, points of contact, previous purchases, wish lists, and other important data to enable associates to personalize the floor experience and increase average order value (AOV).
Get to Know Your Customer with Technology
Retailers today are extremely lucky, compared to their counterparts in generations past, as they can now access a whole treasure trove of customer data and engage with them at the push of a button. Not only can they get more personal, much faster, with shoppers – but they can now gain unique insight into their customers’ shopping behaviors. This includes real-time reporting on their location visits, visit duration, order AOV, and more. What’s more, store associates can also communicate with consumers outside the store with automated and targeted push notifications, In-app chat and targeted SMS. By understanding how to bring existing customers back in the store and improve their experience, retailers can easily lift sales and build customer loyalty.
There is plenty of research that points to the fact that everything is “coming up personalization” within retail. The most recent stat shows that 79% of retailers are deriving ROI from their personalization efforts. It’s a trend that never really went away, is it? The industry just found a way to make it a little bit better!