Consumers have more choices than ever and are seeking unique shopping experiences. These experiences are primarily derived from personalization, retailers tailoring their offering individual shoppers. Personalization requires retailers to have a deep understanding of individual consumers, implemented through a data strategy, omnichannel experience and extensive use of technology. Retailers who can get personalization right will be successful in building consumer loyalty.
Strategies adopted by Indian retailers to deliver personalized shopping experience
- Data strategy
The first step to an effective strategy for personalization is collecting data, primarily through loyalty programmes. Though loyalty programmes have been existent for several years, the adoption has increased significantly in the last few years, owing to perceived benefits and communication. There is a shift in consumer behaviour as they prefer to shop at stores that have an attractive proposition through their loyalty programme. Retailers ought to give more emphasis on the data that they mine from each transaction, thereby helping them to develop personalized content for communication, including offers, recommendations, etc.
- Omnichannel experience
Omnichannel experience is the building block towards an effective personalization experience. Retailers are ensuring that customers receive similar experiences on both the channels: online and offline. Armed with a consistent omnichannel experience, retailers in India have started implementing effective personalization strategies. For online retailers to thrive, they need to personalize at the core, merging both online and offline experiences to further develop relationship. For example, e-commerce giants like Myntra are creating offline outposts for their brands to add a human touch to their offerings. Research suggests majority of online shoppers felt that online shopping lacks the level of service when compared to a brick-and-mortar store.
- In-store technology
Brands are leveraging modern technology, including AI, AR, VR and touchscreens to provide an experiential space to its customers. For example, in February 2018, SPAR launched a new innovative store concept in Bangalore, based on four pillars – fresh, value, choice and service. The store includes distinguished sections such as Wonder Years for kids, Beauty, Grandma’s Corner, Taste of India, Taste the World, Freshly and SPAR Natural to name just a few. The store uses technology in an innovative manner with self-assist kiosks, an interactive digital SPAR Studio and the SPAR play pad, to deliver this experience.
Hence, the use of technology for personalization in retail is a new frontier and it is up to the retailers to innovate. Opportunities to create a unique and personalized experience should be taken without fail and the retailers that do not provide personalized experience will struggle to retain customers and build brand loyalty.