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From a Shopper to Retailers: Personalize Me All You Want

Earlier this week, I attended NRF Retail’s BIG Show 2015 in NYC. Wow – what an incredible show in an incredible city. It was my first trip to both NRF and also NYC. I can’t imagine a better place for Retail’s Big Show to be hosted. There is so much to take in including the size, multiple vendors and thousands of people.

IMG_0696Since Perficient is a leader in omni-channel through our IBM Sterling Order Management practice, I decided to attend a session on the “new’ Omni-Channel. The message was clear: We consumers, of all ages, expect personalization. We want the retailer to know us before we walk in the door.

Take me, for example. A 30-something mom of two preschoolers who, like most consumers, starts my journey online. So, do my retailers know me? Maybe most do, especially if I log in. But what if I don’t log in? Do they know my behavior data such as blogs I visit, news sites I frequent, or if I’m an impulse buyer? Do they know how I access their site? I access retail sites from a number of places: my iPad, iPhone, and laptop. Most likely the retail sites I visit have a large treasure chest of data, but is it actionable?

It all makes me wonder, though: Do I want my retailers to know me THAT well? What do consumers think about personalization? I, for one, am all for it, as long as my security is not jeopardized.

In a recent study that is soon to be published, 83% of respondents agree they see value in being recognized. They realize they buy more when recognized. I know, without a doubt, I buy more when the retailer knows me, knows what I like, and helps me spend my money. And when the message is consistent across multiple channels, even better.

It was said that 2/3 of retailers believe they have the data they need for personalization, but only 1/3 say it’s actionable. With multiple silos of data, whether it be device silos, data silos, or channel silos, they must be brought together into a single unified view.

When retailers were surveyed about priorities in 2015, personalization is a higher priority than mobile.

IMG_0693Where does a retailer start if they fall into the silo’d scenario? According to the speakers in the NRF session, one must dedicate resources; evaluate existing processes; start simple; test, test, test; set expectations with the consumer; and collect and analyze the right data.

As a busy working mom, I’m all about time savers and if retailers can help me find what I like and what I want faster, be it online or in the store, I’m all for it. Personalize me all you want.

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