The customer journey for a furniture shopper, as of now, is messy and unmanaged. When furnishing a room, shoppers enter a store and explore each department with little direction, only relying on lists, printouts, or simple ideas that they collected through their own research to bring their vision to fruition. In these circumstances, the shopper is the creator of their own journey – an unideal situation for furniture retailers.
However, we no longer live in an era where letting customers wander, in-store or online, is the desired behavior. With retail growing increasingly competitive, the role of customer data is on the rise and the use of personalization technologies is now generally accepted as crucial for retail success. Nearly all retailers can agree that capturing and utilizing customer data lifts your brand and allows you to better reach your target customers with the products they aim to see.
The recording of valuable, actionable customer data fuels personalization solutions. It is essential to understand that personalization solutions are not just another minor tool in the toolbox – they may be the only thing that will keep your brand alive during this massive retail transformation we’ve only just begun.
Discovering a New Customer Journey
Shopping should be a playground of discovery – an engaging, interactive experience that caters to and inspires shoppers to pull together a dream room ensemble. At Shoptelligence, we help a shopper identify their own unique style by presenting them with products they most likely would not have organically discovered. Our technology allows the shopper to customize the presented selection of products to create their own dream ensemble. Being able to create personalized ensembles online as a shopper begins their shopping journey helps them remain engaged with the retailer throughout their entire journey.
Often, retailers try to engage the shopper by ‘strategically’ inserting attention-grabbing incentives– from similar product listings to BOGO deals – between shopper browsing and purchase. Typical “things you may like” conversion modules fail to actually provide shoppers with relevant products that they would be interested in. Those “black box” solutions are based on general group trends, extrapolating the idea that group behavior is indicative of individual preferences. This results in situations such as a shopper looking for a dining room table being pushed product detail pages of football sofas due to the collection and extrapolation of group preferences.
Retailers should view themselves as an entity guiding the shopper through the customer journey – helping the shopper by allowing them to discover the retailer’s broader catalog based on individual style preferences.
Conversion and Loyalty Through Personalization
A truly personalized experience is key to driving conversion and maintaining customer loyalty. Shoptelligence’s machine learning and AI-powered technology understands style. The technology can both discern what items go together, but more importantly, why those items go together. The technology also continuously learns by analyzing shopper preferences and engagement, moving beyond traditional same-category recommendations by providing a rich style-based shopping experience.
Convergence of Digital and Physical
Retailers wishing to achieve omnichannel excellence must think of the shopping journey on each platform as a congruent experience, not a siloed one. It’s about getting shoppers to the same mountain peak – despite the trail they take. As such, digital and physical must work hand-in-hand to lift each other up and offer customers access to the products most relevant to them regardless of the channel.
Customers should not have a solitary journey. Not only does this make the experience less enjoyable for the customer, but it also neglects key opportunities to build trust and loyalty among shoppers. By reimagining this journey, retailers can build a customer experience that embraces personalization and enhances discovery, resulting in better conversion, customer satisfaction, and a long-lasting relationship between retailer and customer.