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The Custom in Customer

Jake McGonigal

The retail industry is in the midst of a fascinating paradigm shift. Review the current state of retail, and you will see a rising number of well-known brands with stores that are continuing to close. As e-commerce has gained momentum, store visits have decreased, and many brands have dramatically reduced or abandoned brick-and-mortar locations altogether. However, success in retail is not born out of pitting the shopping outlets against one another. Instead, it's about digital and in-store shopping channels working in harmony to deliver a seamless shopping experience for consumers. And because different buyers have different preferences and tastes, each interaction must tailor to their individual needs. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work anymore: today's customer demands personalization. We egotistically expect the stores we shop at to remember who we are, whether we are in-store or online. But few companies have been able to deliver a personalized online and offline shopping experience.

Each shopping channel, in-store or online, offers unique benefits and includes different aspects of personalization. In-store employees can direct you throughout the store, provide their expertise, and maybe even greet you by name. However, they do not know what your last purchases were or what is sitting in your online shopping cart. Online stores, by contrast, understand your shopping habits in great detail but do not have the human aspect and cannot offer a professional opinion that consumers appreciate. Finding a way to integrate the benefits of each shopping outlet to develop an innovative personalized experience is the ultimate goal for retailers. Retailers must create unified commerce that positions customer experience as the top priority.

Creating a truly personalized shopping experience requires an in-depth understanding of the consumer's behaviours beyond market level. Preferences, household information, financial situation, education level, professional status are all valuable insights in attracting and keeping consumers. The wealth of data available to retailers will allow them to transform the customer experience and unleash the unlimited possibilities in personalized retail.

Today's consumers are more technologically savvy and empowered with information than ever before. They can get almost anything they want, anywhere, and at any time. Personalization is more than understanding what consumers want and where; it's about how they want that need to be fulfilled. When retailers provide a more engaging and personal shopping experience, consumers feel more valued and understood by the brand. By cultivating a stronger relationship with their customers, retailers can encourage customer loyalty, boost repeat purchases, and therefore drive revenue growth.


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