To continue to respond and adapt to evolving customer needs and expectations, brands must look beyond basic personalization to hyper-personalization, using customer data to drive nuanced, custom experiences.
The past year has tested every industry, and retail, in particular, has proven resilient. As companies emerge from the ‘just survive’ triage period and look to define their futures, the brands leading the way in customer engagement will continue the ‘adapt and respond’ approach that served them throughout the pandemic. By doing so, they’ll be best positioned to respond to ongoing shifts in consumer preferences as the pandemic continues and eventually, hopefully, resolves.
Personalization - But Better
Offering a personalized shopping experience used to be at the forefront of retail. By now, the concept of personalization is not new for most retailers; most already personalize content and offers for their segmented cohorts. That said, the majority have not yet tapped the full potential that comes with hyper-personalization in retail.
Now’s the Time: Consumers’ benchmarks for great retail experiences are now higher than ever. To stand out in an increasingly digitally saturated market, hyper-personalization is the inevitable future of retail. It allows brands to deeply understand the true needs and wants of their buyers, using real-time data in addition to other sourced customer data to enhance relationships, foster customer loyalty, and positively impact the bottom line.
It’s Clear: Customizing engagement, product offerings, content, and experiences in real-time is the way to recognize each one of your customers as unique individuals.
From Personalization to Hyper-Personalization: A How-to Guide
To better assess and improve their approach to hyper-personalization, brands should begin hyper-personalizing customer engagement in retail, focusing on how to grow from trend analysis and customer behavioral analysis to offer personalized customer experiences.
Below is the three steps guide to achieving hyper-personalization in retail:
Begin with the Voice of the Customer - In an increasingly digital world, many customers find phone calls surprisingly effective and comforting. In fact, retail engagements typically begin with a high percentage of voice interactions with their customers.
End Siloed Engagements - As you begin collecting data, it’s important to implement methods to categorize the engagements per context. You can break the silos of information by categorizing the objective of interaction i.e., conversations about a defective product, repeat purchase, clienteling, product questions or support, and even their preferences in email and messaging communications.
Orchestrate and Hyper-Personalize - Delivery of personalized content happens through a central source of truth and is activated based on consumer traits, frequency, and governed for consent and consistency on customer segmentation. This helps brands determine what is the customers preferred channel for specific types of communications.
Hyper-personalization means going beyond just addressing your customer by name or sending them product recommendations based on search history alone. With hyper-personalization, each interaction is the result of the understanding of a variety of data points that retailers have available to them.
It’s Up to You
In general, the majority of shoppers want brands to be able to understand who they are and what they want in order to experience more convenience. Having the ability to really know your customers, understand their needs, and even anticipate their wants to proactively solve their problems - and maintain an ongoing dialogue with them - is now the key differentiator for most brands.
To break through the noise of thousands of generic messages, poorly targeted promotions, and even spam calls, companies must break free from legacy communications technology that translates to complex siloed systems that weren’t designed to integrate with other data.
By relying on API building blocks, brands can personalize customer communications as easily as customizing a company website. It allows for the freedom to experiment and the ability to integrate, which together create a hyper-personalized customer experience and in driving the success of targeted marketing campaigns. It helps make targeting much more precise with the help of hundreds and thousands of customer attributes and behavior signals collected from a variety of sources.