In-Store and Online Personalization

It should come as no surprise that consumers have flocked to online commerce more so than ever before. According to a recent report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association in collaboration with McKinsey, e-commerce as a share of total retail sales is projected to reach 25 to 40 percent after the pandemic abates.

This shift has gotten the attention of retailers and brands across the globe. It was a huge factor behind Conversity’s development and refinement of Connect, a SaaS-based hyper-personalization solution that embeds on e-commerce platforms. Connect helps retailers and brands gain more strategic insight about their consumers and what their needs are to more effectively generate product and/or service recommendations. It leverages dynamic question sets and imagery that change as consumers answer specific questions about their mindset, motivations, and budget. The dynamic nature of the question sets is important to point out as there were already quizzes, wizards, and product finders in the marketplace. The value of the dynamic question set is critical as it enables true online personalization rather than relying on filters only for consumers to navigate their purchase experience. The filter process, while helpful to those who know exactly what they are looking for, can create consumer fatigue and drop off as they often don’t help the consumer reach a targeted product. The dynamic nature of our solution creates a unique customer experience and delivers a highly individualized and relevant product or service recommendation. The customer selects the item and it is then placed in their cart to purchase.

Online shopping still lags the in-store experience in terms of customer engagement and personalization. By getting to know consumers’ online needs, brands and retailers are able to establish a connection that fosters brand loyalty. It further provides the very rich zero party data that is increasingly important as access to customer data continues to be degraded through the actions of companies like Apple, Firefox, and others.

Conversity Connect has been well received by retailers across various categories, including cosmetics, mobile phones, home broadband, consumer electronics, health & beauty care, pet care, shoes, and many others. Companies who adopt the approach of embedding dynamic customer journeys report 5x greater online conversion rates, 6x longer session duration, and 3x larger average transaction values. In addition, brand loyalty is strengthened because consumers feel genuinely engaged and heard by the solution. And obviously, they get the right product, which builds their confidence to buy and reduces returns. All wins in today’s digital marketplace.

What has been interesting about Conversity Connect is its recent adoption in-store. Retailers are increasingly looking for innovation in their stores to create a unique and differentiated experience. A recent prediction suggested that by the year 2025 50% of the retail sales floor would be dedicated to experience, not product. A global toy marketer has recently taken their Connect customer journey, already deployed on a number of retailer websites globally, and developed an in-store application. This brand is collaborating with both retail affiliates as well as their own retail stores to deploy a tablet version of the solution. They are placing the dynamic journey on a screen in the store so the customer can take the journey to find the right item for them. Once the consumer has identified the right product, they can simply find that item in the store and purchase it. This has been cited as a great approach to retail formats where store staff is limited or customer traffic is such that the wait for help takes too long. Conversity Connect is available for consumers who are comfortable engaging tech on screens. The key difference between the online version and the in-store version is at the product recommendation page. The product might not be in stock for any number of reasons, including i) the store is just a kiosk location, ii) the store is out of stock, or iii) the item is simply not available in that version of the planogram. The recommendation page provides a QR code for the item(s) recommended that the consumer scans with their smart phone. The act of scanning that QR code takes the consumer to the brand’s website so they can order the item and have it delivered to their home.

Brands and retailers are reacting to the new retail environment in a variety of ways, but all recognize the importance of convenience and personalization. This in-store approach provides a true omnichannel customer experience that delivers real customer engagement and minimizes the risk of missing a sale due to breakdowns in staffing or supply chain at the store.

According to that same RILA study, it was noted that all of top retailers surveyed cited omnichannel personalization as a top five priority with only 15 percent of retailers having fully implemented personalization across all channels. Deploying a dynamic guided selling customer journey SaaS solution could be just what you need to get underway.

 

The full RILA study can be found here.