Why Smart Personalization is Driving the Retail Experience

Retailers are finding it more difficult than ever to compete on product and price. Shoppers have many choices when it comes to buying their favorite items.
Updated on May 21, 2018

Retailers are finding it more difficult than ever to compete on product and price. Shoppers have many choices when it comes to buying their favorite items — the days of buying all your clothes from a single store are largely over.

In this increasingly competitive atmosphere, delivering a personalized customer interaction can mean the difference between securing a sale and losing it to a competitor. Many brands are therefore putting their efforts into creating tailored experiences for their customers using sophisticated smart personalization technology.

Gartner recently released a 2017 digital commerce trends report highlighting the growth of smart personalization technology to automate the creation of these individual shopping experiences.

Here’s how it works: “Smart personalization engines create customer profiles based on the customer’s personal data, as well as behavioral data about the customer and similar individuals, to deliver an experience to meet specific customer needs and preferences.”

In order to do this, smart personalization engines must marry internal and external data sources to understand consumer behavior both online and in-store, and employ machine learning and real-time updates to stay up-to-speed with shopper preferences, choices, and purchases.

Creating smart personalization isn’t easy. Shoppers know their favorite brands and expect their favorite brands to know them right back — down to the styles they love to wear, the size and item types that work best for them, and what products they’ve already purchased.

But retailers who succeed with smart personalization can experience increased engagement and loyalty from their customers (not to mention revenue and return business). Gartner finds that smart personalization engines see increased page views and clicks per page, decreased bounce rates, and higher use of self-service features.

Furthermore, higher shopper engagement drives higher order values, greater conversion rates, more customer acquisitions, wider margins, and fewer returned items. Gartner also predicts that smart personalization engines that recognize customer intent will enable businesses to increase profits by up to 15% by 2020.

We can all agree that does sound pretty good. Smart personalization is driving the future of retail, and those who get on board now will be better positioned for success in the coming years. How will you personalize the shopping experience for your consumers?

Gartner’s “What’s Hot in Digital Commerce in 2017” report highlights how personalization along with customer journey analytics, marketplaces and more are impacting the future of retail commerce. Download the report to see their findings in full.

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