Retail shoppers sitting down with shopping bags in front of them
Personalized Retail Experiences
One of the biggest topics within retail is the role of personalization in the customer journey. Whether it is an offline experience or online, retailers are beginning to realize that the best way to compete in a hyper-competitive market is to personalize the experience. While this entails an omnichannel approach, the secret to personalization is rooted in a data-driven approach.

"When a customer can hear, see and interact with the retailer through services tailored to their specific needs, it results in a strong and loyal community," says Réan van Niekerk, CEO of Metacom.

Using a variety of data points derived from analytics tools, there is a real opportunity to create an exceptional customer journey. Retailers can develop ultra-targeted customer profiles, and use it to really create a personalized, unique experience for each shopper. Augmented with technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and even more simpler ones such as Wi-Fi, there is an ever growing potential in retail to create a truly extraordinary, custom shopping experience.

Is it really that powerful?

Yes, and consumers are fast expecting personalization to be the norm, rather than a novelty.

In fact, recent studies conducted by companies such Accenture have found that 75% of consumers are far more likely to buy from a retailer that remembers their name, preferences, and previous shopping history. It is convenient from a shopper's perspective, to be able to see that information quickly, but it also shows how well you know your customer database -- which is equally important.

The customer experience is now all about how you leverage data to make more of an impact on the journey, no matter what channel the customer is using. Latest research demonstrates that 74% of shoppers report that they are more likely to remain loyal if they receive personalized offers from retailers they have shopped within the past.

So, How Is That Done?

The first step is evaluating and analyzing your data, how it is being collected, the amount collected, and using that to build customer profiles. Most retailers use this, as well as purchase and browsing history, to create the recommendations. But there must be data-driven infrastructure in place in order to really extract meaningful insights and tailor the experience accordingly.

Another way to go about this initiative is to look at customer loyalty data, and use that as a foundation for building personalized content for loyal customers as an extra value add. While most companies are spending vast amounts to scale their tailored content recommendations, there are simpler ways to incorporate this that do not necessarily stretch a budget. Wi-Fi opt-ins are one low-cost way of doing so, as well as segmented email marketing.

Ultimately, the personalization trend is here to stay, especially as retail becomes increasingly competitive. Using data to create meaningful customer relationships is key to thriving in this industry, but how you choose to do so matters. Investing in the right technology early on that allows for increased personalization can drive long-term success for your business, but having a strategy in place to deploy it is just as important.

As the digital trends continue to grow in complexity, business operations continue to grow in complexity as well. From this, consumers demand more from their relationships with the companies they buy from. In order to gain more customers, businesses must be in-tune with their customers' tastes, preferences, buying habits and behaviour in order to retain them. By leveraging digital platforms such as Drupal businesses are able to provide customized consumer experiences that reach a diverse audience. When OPIN comes across a retail business that struggles with personalization, we enter the project with an ambitious attitude understanding how important personalization is in today's times. On the backbone of our digital services like Enterprise Drupal businesses can better harness modern methods of personalization.