Retail Personalization

Neethu Harikumar

It’s 2021 and the word “personalization” has been thrown around for 5 years with businesses across segments implementing it to varying degrees of effectiveness. Retail has had a complicated relationship with personalization. Some retailers have been early movers with companies like Amazon and Stitch Fix making retail personalization a part of almost every part of the shopper journey. However, many retailers have been slow to adapt, offering bad experiences to shoppers on their websites. Even those who have implemented personalization in retail haven’t done it right.

74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized -Instapage

Shoppers are moving from retailer to retailer with the knowledge that there will always be a better deal out there. But giving discounts is not the only way to make shoppers come back to the site. It is neither sustainable nor profitable. But what else are shoppers looking for? 

Shoppers are willing to pay up to 16% for personalized shopping experiences –PWC

Shoppers expect personalized experiences rather than be flooded with a slew of products. They want their favorite brands and websites to know them as well as they know the brand. Brands are now expected to tailor experiences taking into account each person’s individual style preferences. 

But do brands really understand retail personalization?

What is Retail Personalization?

Retail personalization is explained beautifully in this quote by Jeff Bezos.

“If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores.” –PC World, June 28, 2000

Retail personalization is the process of providing every shopper with a unique journey across every single touchpoint and channel, based on historical data and real-time shopper intent, powered by customer and product Intelligence. The ultimate goal of personalization in retail is to make shoppers feel unique, special, and emotionally connected, to improve their shopping experience.

While almost every retailer today claims to “personalize” their shopper’s experience, very few do it right.

“63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.” – Smart Insights

Neethu Harikumar
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