Retail Touch Points: NRF 2018: Retail Personalization Reaches A Crossroads
Mark Stibbe

Relevance Represents The Next Generation Of Personalization

By: Klaudia Tirico, Retail Touch Points Last year, my big takeaway from NRF 2017 was the increasing demand for highly personalized experiences for the individual shopper. This year, that demand has only gotten louder. Personalization is a key ingredient to retail success, but now it goes well beyond just inserting a recipient’s name into an email promotion. In more than a few conversations I had during NRF 2018, the talking points always led to relevance. One quote that stood out to me in a meeting with GroupBy was “personalization is prelude to relevance.” Imagine sending a customer a personalized email. Her name is in the subject line and body of the email, and you’re offering her a discount on a product she purchased before. All sounds great and personalized, right? But what if that last purchase was a gift for someone else — say a male nephew? Then the discount is not relevant to this customer, and even though her name is in the subject line, she won’t think twice about deleting the email, because your brand and the offer are not relevant to her. That’s why relevance is as important as personalization. As personalization is now the backbone for retail strategies, the impact goes well beyond marketing communications. Retail employees must be equipped with the right tools to deliver a one-on-one experience for the shopper. One tool that stood out to me at NRF 2018 was Salesfloor, a mobile application designed for store associates that takes clienteling to the next level by bringing the in-store experience online, and vice versa. With Salesfloor, store associates can create their own online storefront, with recommendations on their top product picks and an easy way for customers to interact with them after shopping with the associate in the store. This means that even though a customer may not have bought anything in the store, the associate can continue to help them online with their own personal page on the retailer’s web site. When the customer is ready, they can make the purchase virtually under the associate’s name. But empowering store associates goes beyond the fancy tools and applications. Deploying a sense of family and community within the workplace is also important, and that comes down to hiring employees that believe in your value proposition and have the same beliefs. During two separate sessions at NRF 2018, Michael Lastoria of &pizza and Catherine Laporte of DAVIDsTEA each revealed that some of their customers and employees are so in synch with their brands that they’ve gotten tattoos of their logos on their bodies! Talk about having an impact! (Read More)