Shoppers are increasingly no longer satisfied with a one-size-fits-all approach to the retail experience. Instead, consumers are continuing to favour more personalised shopping habits, including both online retailing as well as in-store spending.
According to predictions set out in a press release by Daymon Worldwide, a US-based sales and brand development company, personalisation has replaced local as the latest retail buzzword.
Bernard Luthi, CMO and COO of Rakuten Shopping, reinforced this view in a recent Business Insider article, stating that “the concept of customisation should extend beyond the product itself”, suggesting that along with engravings, businesses should look to create a unique and one-off interaction with all their clients.
SMEs can particularly benefit from this new personalised approach to shopping, Luthi continues, by securing themselves in the market with a clearly defined and distinct offering, that many larger companies are unable to provide.
With the advance of technology, such as Apple’s iBeacon, which can track shoppers movements in a particular store to base offerings upon geographical location and other local preferences, the move towards hyper-personalisation continues. This is also being exhibited through the incorporation of apps, mobile platforms and other technological improvements to focus attention on customers’ real-time habits.
Outside of the store, many companies are also recognising the importance of big data to make key retail strategy changes so that shopping becomes a special and unique interactive experience. This is achieved through information collected and trends analysed that can be applied across a chain of stores to have significant impact for each customer that walks through the doors.
The handling of this data is likely to be a key concern for many business leaders as well as consumers, however understanding and clearly showing how and why the data is being collected and used is one way to ease potential fears for improved shopping experiences.
In fact, in a recent TATA Consultancy whitepaper, the term ‘metail’ was used to describe the combination of personalisation and retail, reinforcing the focus on the individual customer at the centre of the international retail industry.