COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, which means more and more consumers are ready to enter brick-and-mortar stores again for their shopping needs. As retailers welcome back customers, it’s important to find ways to drive greater foot traffic with improved in-store capabilities.
Personalization can help retailers win customers with unique, individual offers, but it’s often underutilized throughout the shopping journey and at the point of sale (POS). If retailers want to engage with shoppers and give them a reason to come back, it’s necessary to invest in ways that bring the customized online experience into the physical store.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping retailers make sense of omnichannel customer data to better serve customers as they complete their shopping journey. With AI, retailers can win with personalization in three different ways.
Providing Recommendations on Employee Devices
One aspect of the in-store shopping experience that consumers missed during the pandemic is interacting with live sales associates to answer any questions and provide recommendations.
To equip sales associates with the data and information they need to help shoppers, retailers can supply mobile phones or tablets that provide support on the sales floor. Associates simply identify the customer by their loyalty card or email address and use that information to view recent purchases and behaviors. Through AI, sales associates will be able to see product recommendations based on customer data across channels and make targeted suggestions to in-store shoppers.
Generating Tailored Coupons Based on Past Purchases
Wouldn’t it be great if a grocer emailed you a 15 percent off discount for your favorite cereal right as you run out? Or an apparel retailer texted you a deal for the new swimsuit you’ve been eyeing? If done correctly, coupons are a valuable way to build customer loyalty and get them into your store.
To increase redemption rate, retailers must offer relevant coupons based on past purchase habits. This can be done with self-learning AI algorithms that automatically calculate product recommendations for each consumer and their individual preferences. Whether receiving a coupon at the POS on their receipt or getting a timely message while they’re still shopping in-store, personalized coupons can drive purchases and increase loyalty.
Customizing Digital Signage Content
When shopping in-store, digital signage serves as a valuable way to promote specific products and easily display engaging messages. To take these signs to the next level, retailers can use AI to automate digital signage spaces with real-time, relevant content adjusted to factors like time of day, location or seasonal events.
For example, if it’s a hot summer day, grocers can display a promotion for a certain brand of ice cream. As well, if there are perishable goods that are going bad or expiring, retailers can incentivize shoppers to buy with a real-time promotional offer. AI makes it fast and easy to display and update relevant content.
Opening the Door to Personalized In-Store Experiences
Consumers are ready to return to in-store shopping, and with AI, retailers can deliver personalized experiences that build customer loyalty and generate in-store sales. According to Inmar, 90 percent of consumers say the amount they spend or shop with a retailer is impacted by how consistently the retailer delivers a personalized shopping experience, and 65 percent are willing to share their data with retailers in order to receive it.
Technology such as AI helps retailers serve consumers better in-store, creating personalized touchpoints that delight customers from start to finish.
Michael Jaszczyk is the CEO of GK Software USA, a leading omnichannel solutions company.
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