The retail landscape is continuing to shift. Mass marketing techniques are out, and personalization is in. The process of personalized retail is one that requires a brand to have a clear understanding of its products, but more importantly, its customers, in order to create the most customized experiences for each member of the brand’s audience.
Some brands conduct their personalized retail strategies through targeted emails and messaging, while others choose to tap into a shoppers recent browsing history on its site and simultaneously recommend similar products based on their specific search history. Regardless of the avenue a brand chooses, personalized retail provides the consumer with a seamless shopping experience and the enjoyment of marketing that is tailored specifically to them.
A recent survey by Infosys found 31% of consumers wish their shopping experience was more personalized. Additionally, 20% of consumers stated they have never experienced any kind of personalized offers or promotions based on previous purchases. To help digital marketers better understand the benefits of personalized retail and inspire innovative strategies for the future, here are three standout brands that have effectively created unique, customized experiences for their audience.
Ulta Invests In Innovative Technology
At the end of 2018, Ulta acquired two technology startups, QM Scientific and GlamST, and simultaneously welcomed a new world of personalization capabilities for consumers. By using advanced technologies – including an optimized recommendation engine, a beauty preference center and an AI-based shopping assistant – Ulta quickly learned each individual customer’s preferences and shopping habits. By tapping into the newfound consumer data, Ulta was able to effectively respond to shoppers with relevant and timely information and offers.
Ulta also introduced mobile, web and in-store virtual makeover tools using augmented reality along with individualized skincare regimens and hair product recommendations based on indicated preferences. As a result, the beauty brand created an enjoyable, personalized experience for beauty lovers.
Enfagrow Implements Timing Personalization To Create Long-Lasting Consumer Relationships
Enfagrow, a line of products nutritionally tailored for toddlers, is a prime example of a brand that recognized the benefits of tailored messaging, and then took it one step further. The family-friendly brand didn’t stop after just a few personalized emails, but rather used calculated timing strategies to grow with its customers throughout their parenting journeys.
When current or soon-to-be parents sign up for Enfagrow’s mailing list, the brand collects consumer data regarding their due dates, the ages of their children, etc. The company then uses each individual’s information to send relevant and timely messages depending on the age of the child. When a child is approaching the age of two, for example, Enfagrow will send out an email with relevant product recommendations and helpful tips for raising toddlers.
Rent The Runway Relies On An Abundance Of Consumer Data
Rent the Runway, one of the first and longest-lasting clothing rental services, has a plethora of one of, if not the most, important assets needed to create an exceptional personalized retail experience – data, data and more data.
“In the past, all a retailer could really tell you was what your sell-through was, but they couldn’t necessarily tell you if the customer actually wore that shirt, how often she wore it, whether it stood the test of time,” said Rent the Runway CEO, Jennifer Hyman.
Since many of RTR’s clothes are returned to the company’s facility, RTR has a first-hand look at which items require repairs, how many dry cleanings an item can withstand and several more valuable pieces of data that the brand uses to improve the customer experience.
Today’s consumers continue to expect retailers to customize their marketing efforts based on shopper’s needs and habits. The good news for marketers? Many shoppers are willing to share personal data in exchange for those personalized experiences, and there are a multitude of possible strategies to implement personalization into a brand’s marketing strategy.
As we enter into a new decade, retail brands must become aware of the benefits they can receive from having a deep understanding of customers and their shopping habits. Now is the time for retailers to invest in their audience and advanced technologies that will allow their brand to access consumer information and use it to build products and strategies that meet their audiences’ needs.
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