Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical retail environments, according to a study by Boston Retail Partners.
The study found that 79% of consumers indicated that personalised service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop.
Consumers understand that receiving personalised service requires retailers to identify them. While this has been the normal standard online or via mobile, identifying the customer in the store is a little more difficult and not as common.
Most retailers who identify customers in the store use the customers’ mobile phone as the identification tool paired with a combination of beacons, WiFi, MAC address, etc.
While 64% of consumers are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience, only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers prior to checkout.
The Boston Retail Partners report says customer identification is a requirement for any type of personalisation of the shopping experience – if a retailer can’t identify the customer until she is at the checkout then it’s too late to empower the associate to influence the current purchase decision.
Ken Morris, Principal at Boston Retail Partners, said: “Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities to deliver a personalised customer experience and increase sales. And in today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.
“The customer has spoken and she wants a personalised shopping experience in the store, how are you going to provide her that experience?”