‘Personalisation’ is a ubiquitous term in the retail industry and one which poses as many challenges for retailers as it does opportunities.
The consumer internet and the proliferation of mobile has meant that shoppers are now beginning to redefine how, when and where they want to engage with retailers. Although these market forces need to be met with appropriate solutions, what matters most is getting your personalisation strategy right and this should be seen as an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth in an ever-challenging marketplace.
The single view
The key to achieving seamless personalisation across all channels lies in the retailer’s ability to attain a ‘single view of the customer’. This is the culmination of all available data streams (online, social media, in-store, loyalty cards, etc) into one easily accessible and intuitive platform. Information and insights extracted from the platform will enable retailers to provide a much more targeted and personalised shopping journey for the individual consumer.
As with any disruptive technology and parallel changes in customer expectations, there will always be a number of stumbling blocks to overcome before reaching nirvana
So why has this not been universally achieved? As with any disruptive technology and parallel changes in customer expectations, there will always be a number of stumbling blocks to overcome before reaching nirvana. For example, retailers can attain significant insight into individual consumer behaviour across online platforms such as websites, email and social.
Transcending this ability into the physical store, however, will prove to be a much more challenging feat. This is before we even consider the issue of integrating these disparate data sets into one platform and ensuring the responsible department is structured for optimum analytical output. However, in choosing the right partner and building and cultivating a digital infrastructure that connects networked sensors to the cloud, retailers can alleviate the in-store and analytical aspects of their personalisation quandary and begin moving towards the coveted ‘single customer view’.
Getting it right
But just how close are we to making true personalisation a tangible reality and how can we avoid the term evolving into another perpetuated buzz word which never quite reaches its potential? Current, powered by GE and Retail Week are partnering to answer this very question. In the coming months we will be releasing a comprehensive, prescriptive report into the personalisation of the consumer shopping experience. We will be asking industry leaders and consumers for their views, as well as offering expert insight into the technological building blocks required to realise this vision.
If you’re interested in ‘getting personalisation right’ then watch this space for our report and, in the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts and own experiences with personalisation in the comments below.
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Ryan Almond is software marketing manager for EMEA at Current, Powered by GE. Click here to contact him.