If there’s one thing that consumers and brands agree on, it’s that personalization is a priority. But they think about it in slightly different ways, according to the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, a report by BRP.
For example, 79% of consumers say personalized service from a sales associate is an influential factor when choosing where to shop. But only 53% of retailers rate personalization as one of their top goals.
In addition, 63% of consumers use their mobile phone in-store to compare prices, look for offers or coupons and check available inventory. However, only 49% of retailers see mobile engagement as a top customer engagement goal.
Presumably, that means in-store email interaction is also lagging.
Yet “mobile shopping (browsing or buying) will continue to grow as 41% of consumers in the Consumer Study indicate they plan to increase their shopping frequency on their phone or tablet in the next 24 months,” the study says.
One problem is that 63% of retailers can’t identify customers prior to checkout (and 20% can’t ID them until afterwards or not at al).
At the same time, 56% of consumers are more likely to shop at a store that offers a shared cart across channels.
“Customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or even in the store – they want to ‘start anywhere and finish anywhere,’” the study notes.
Retailers are ahead of the curve on this one — 94% have, or are planning to debut, a single uniformed commerce platform within three years. That total is up 84% from 2018.
In addition, 34% apiece have deployed pricing/promotion and analytics/reporting systems that are now working well. Higher percentages need improvement in these area.
However, of the retailers polled, only18% say they have implemented, and are succeeding with, electronic receipts with personalized suggestions, which are largely delivered by mobile or email.
Still fewer — 9% — are skilled at sending personalized promotions based on real-time location, weather or other analytics.
Again, higher percentages need improvement in these areas.
Their top network objectives?
The most important capability of all, whether in-store or in email communications? Data analytics “offers the ability to pair the vast amounts of data gathered on customers and their preferences and synthesize this information to help personalize the customer experience,” the study states.