This Holiday Season, You Don’t Need to Sacrifice Personalization for Security (and Vice Versa)
By 2020, customer experience (CX) is expected to overtake both price and product as the key brand differentiator. This is critical for retailers to understand, as consumers today aren’t willing to compromise on either personalized experiences or security measures, especially when it comes to their personal data.
Here are some ways that retailers can leverage next-gen technology to improve personalization, both in-store and online, while ensuring consumers’ experiences and personal data are secure.
Next-Gen Tech for Next-Level Experiences
This holiday season, shoppers will continue to expect personalized rewards from their favorite brands. The challenge for retailers is that only 7 percent of site visitors click on personalized product recommendations, yet these recommendations account for 26 percent of revenue. This year, it will be key for retailers to offer new and unique personalization experiences, whether a consumer is on their phone or tablet, watching a product video online, or browsing in a physical store. Doing so will incentivize shoppers to click through to product recommendations and, ultimately, convert to sales.
One way to personalize physical and digital shopping experiences is through facial recognition software. L’Oreal, for example, has a virtual try-on feature called ModiFace that allows consumers to try on hair colors and cosmetics before purchasing them. Brick-and-mortar stores can mimic this experience with virtual reality (VR) beauty counters, in which consumers can receive a “makeover” before deciding whether to purchase products.
Personalization Requires More Data, and Greater Security
Consider how much data and personal information retailers collect from customers every day. Even basic account registrations require a customer’s name, email address, phone number, username, password, credit card details and birthdate. When you add features like facial recognition software and VR that capture physical details, it’s understandable that consumers might feel vulnerable and exposed.
Customer identity and access management (CIAM) technology is playing a key role in securing personal identities. When shoppers create an account with a brand, for instance, CIAM verifies end-user identity in a simple, one-click process using validated social media credentials.
Companies with lax or poor implementation of consumer identity security not only risk losing business when they inconvenience users with registration and password authentication, but also suffer reputational damage in the event of personally identifiable information and payment card breaches. CIAM solutions provide better authentication methods than old password-based systems, and they do so with speed and efficiency so that shoppers don’t have to wait for their information to be validated before moving forward with purchases.
Consider these steps to enable personalization for your customers while still protecting their privacy:
- Understand your customers. Combine data collected with facial recognition during a store shopping experience with e-commerce data in order to enhance the customer experience while providing security measures through CIAM and data encryption.
- Balance the role of privacy with business processes and innovation into the analysis of marketing, customer experience, product development, security protocols and risk assessment.
- Build customer trust by establishing best practices for transparency, incorporating privacy and security. Reward your customer’s loyalty when they click or interact with a personalized offering.
It's estimated that over the next few years, $800 billion in sales will shift to e-tailers that use site personalization and away from those that don’t. This holiday season, it's critical that retailers establish a personal relationship with customers as a part of their digital transformation. The future success for retailers lies in creating personalized experiences and delivering them in an authentic manner. Successful retailers will ensure that these experiences are secure and seamless both in-store and online.
Viktoriya Reyzelman is strategic engagement manager at Akamai Technologies, a globally distributed intelligent edge platform.