Fendi "Customize It" Online Personalization Service

Retail technology continues to advance, often leading to retailers attempting to bundle the latest tools. This inevitably results in convoluted and lukewarm strategies that fall short where it matters most — the consumer experience. GPShopper’s “Reality of Retail Personalization” report details the most relevant features for retailers and brands to incorporate into current practices and what tech is best left on the table.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, personalization overwhelmed as the most crucial feature to extend to shoppers. This is an exhausted topic — but the report goes one step further, expanding on what types of customization are most relevant to consumers. According to the report, “forty-seven percent of shoppers want retailers to offer personalized coupons for the types of items they often buy.” Deal-hungry consumers want retailers to help them score a steal — 42 percent said they wanted to receive notifications for clearance sales at stores where they only peruse the sale rack.

Retailers might be able to improve shopping cart abandonment by sending push alerts to shoppers that have added items to their wish list or saved in a basket. “Thirty-eight percent want individual promotions on specific items they’ve been eyeing for a while,” the report said. If the real thing isn’t marked down, 20 percent said they want suggestions for items similar to what they’ve left in their cart.

Merchants should take a page out of Starbucks’ playbook. The report added that 41 percent of shoppers said they wanted the option to choose loyalty perks that are most in line with their preferences and tastes. Consumers catch on quick — removing free shipping or returns will likely result in lost customers. “Thirty-seven percent reported they would actually stop shopping at a retailer if they stopped offering free returns, 29 percent if they stopped offering free shipping,” the report said.

There are other technologies that are proving their lasting power, too. “For big box retailers already implementing ‘Scan and Go’ technology for shoppers, it would seem that the trend is already concrete among a modern consumer audience — nearly half (48 percent) of shoppers agree that ‘Scan and Go’ will make shopping easier,” the report said.

And while this feature is still mainly reserved for grocery shopping, consumers are turning the corner in the fashion and beauty segments. According to the report, 27 percent of shoppers would use ‘Scan and Go’ tech when buying fashion items — 25 percent would use the payment method when shopping for beauty and cosmetic items.

What tech isn’t worth the investment yet? Facial recognition. The report said that 49 percent of shoppers don’t think facial observation will enhance shopping experiences.

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