In this digital age, any activity over the internet, be it shopping, streaming movies, listening to music, is driven by personalization. An internet user won’t get satisfied if they realize that they are being given the same kind of staple services as the rest of the other billion users.
According to Segment’s personalization report, which was published in 2017, we know that around 71% of consumers get disappointed when their shopping experiences don’t have a personal touch. As per a survey made in the United States Of America, almost 91% of the customers said that personalized marketing makes them feel more connected to the brand and it’s more appealing to them.
Therefore, large brands and businesses worldwide are now focusing on investing their resources in methods that can provide consumer-centric products and services based on consumers’ tastes and preferences, which means services should be highly personalized.
All businesses in the world, no matter what size they have or from which industry they might come from, have to prioritize their time, effort, and money in providing personalized solutions to their consumers so that they can fetch an enhanced shopping experience. Businesses that don’t? Well, then they should be aware that it may hamper their sustainability in the future.
The demand for ‘frictionless shopping’ motivates brands to transform themselves as browsing products and buying them have constantly evolved. Let’s go back to 2010 when you wanted to buy a pair of running shoes; what was your action? You would have headed straight towards the nearest shopping mall. Isn’t it? But what about now?
In the present scenario, you would open an app or visit a website, quickly skim across hundreds of options, filter your search based on your budget and preferences and place your order. So two things are clear for sure, firstly, online shopping will steal all the limelight; secondly, brands and businesses have to deliver personalized services to their customers to keep them engaged and their cravings satisfied.
Digitization Of Physical Stores
We have witnessed more and more brands lifting the torch of personalization in the quest for business growth. According to the statistics provided by Harvard Business Review, when consumers see ads based on their previous activities on several websites, the revenue of that particular commodity grows by 38%.
It opens up a new horizon of opportunities for businesses. But what about the physical stores? Can they be personalized too? As the world was under the attack of a pandemic, we all were skeptical about the fate of the offline stores in the market; the reason was simple – a dramatic rise in the number of customers relying on online stores.
But the rapid adoption of online stores won’t let the offline business die. According to a study published by Google, it is expected that 78% of consumer purchases would be made via offline stores by 2024.
But one phenomenon is guaranteed to take place; these physical stores have to evolve too. Several business giants are using AI-based tools to enhance their offline services. AI tools like facial recognition, customer journey, etc., are helping them in digitizing their offline stores.
Many stores are also providing virtual try-on features on their websites that help a customer in making a much stronger decision to buy the product from their offline store or not. Let’s consider Nike’s latest physical stores that offer features like –
- ‘Reserve & Try’ feature
Customers can browse through the Nike mobile app and figure out what they want to try out. They can quickly reserve that particular product for themselves and visit the offline store to try it. Nike supervisors would be ready with that specific product; you can directly pay through your smartphone and collect your package from the store. It will allow the customers to try a product quickly, pay for it, and get out of the store without waiting for their chance in a queue to make the payment.
- ‘Shop The Look’ FeatureNike customers can scan the barcode given on the mannequin and receive all the information related to the product on their phones. Then they can ask the staff to get a particular size of the product to try on.
They can also use their smartphone to pay for the product directly and then walk out of the store.
Nike also uses their app to drive intimate insights about its customer’s choices and demands. Using the same data, they can choose what products they must have in their physical store.
Building Product Ecosystems To Boost Personalization
Several big market giants like Apple have already adopted the strategies to build their product ecosystem, making the brand immortal in the marketplace. You must have seen how Apple has moved ahead in creating gadgets like iPhone, Apple TV, iTunes for streaming music, and MAC.
They can partner with other tech companies that act as a white label service company for them. How does it help them? It maximizes their consumer retention while boosting their customer’s lifetime value. Old school businesses rely on one-on-one services to build customer relationships, but the game has changed.
With advanced technological developments and rigorous research, brands have managed to change the dimensions of doing business. They now aim to create related products and services that allow consumers to make quick buying decisions as they get everything under one roof.
It places the consumers in the center while a variety of products surround them. Other brands that have implemented the same strategy are brands like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, which offer a wide range of services under one umbrella. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that Ecosystem innovation is going to explode for sure!
Similarly, digital brands are sliding towards building digital ecosystems. The market share of such ecosystems is expected to rise as more and more brands approach the development of a consumer ecosystem. It would help them in providing a smooth user experience to their customers.
Understanding The Emotions Of The Customers
The roots of consumer-business solid relationships are based on trust. It’ll be a new challenge for brands and businesses to build trust among their customers on a digital or a virtual level. But technological advancements like machine learning and artificial intelligence will allow brands to know more about their audiences.
Internet algorithms and ML-based (machine learning) data are running together. It allows the program to understand and interpret the data with much more effectiveness.
Machine learning can grab a user’s emotions, which allows you to detect some personal information about your customers, like how do they feel, whether they are excited about something, do they exercise daily? Do they wish to have a fitness regime? Are they sad or lonely?
Many brands are also focusing on voice-based data results like if you have a stuffy nose, they’ll quickly suggest some medicines or some recipes to cure your cold. The same strategies can be used by health and fitness brands, healthcare brands, etc. Similarly, several streaming platforms also analyze how you feel based on your mood; they’ll show you results like the music of a specific genre or films that match your current mood.
What do we conclude from this? One thing is for sure – marketers need to start making efforts to offer personalized solutions. They need to invest in customer data and analytics to know the means to create high customer value services. Customers buying behavior, buying journeys, buying history, search histories, etc., can help them provide hundreds of other benefits to their customers.
Thus, the need for personalization, customer insights, and analytics are crucial factors in deciding the dimensions of shopping. Therefore, large brands and businesses worldwide should emphasize investing their resources into methods that can provide consumer-centric products and services based on consumers’ tastes and preferences, which means services should be highly personalized.