There has been a lot of talk recently about how consumers are starting to opt-out of loyalty programs due to lack of true value. I have to say, I have been a little annoyed myself at how some retailers can’t give me the same experience whether I am in the store, or buying online. Why do I continue to keep giving them the same information, and why are they only offering me deals on items I have never bought, nor do I intend to? This doesn’t mean I haven’t found myself purchasing a new brand, a color I don’t really like, or a size that doesn’t really fit, just because I couldn’t pass up the deal. I mean, who doesn’t like a great bargain?
54% of consumers polled feel that programs lack personalized messaging and valuable rewards. — Consumer Insights
To justify this thinking I have to go no further than my own closet and I know I’m not the only one who convinced themselves “I can just put a footpad” into the size 7½ Prada pumps when I really wear a 7, only to find them—unworn–with the other “great deals” mocking me from my closet. Obviously this type of impulse shopping does come with its share of buyer’s remorse, so I can see why some brands are shifting towards a one “honest” price strategy, rather than offering discounts or sales, but I think a lot of shoppers would tell you it’s not the sale that retailers should get rid of, but the how the sale is presented to the shopper.
Let’s face it, most of us still want the thrill of finding that awesome deal, we just want it to be something we were already in the market for, the brand we love, and the size we need. In fact, technology has come far enough that retailers could be doing a lot more to personalize the shopping experience with the right deal, at the right time – for the moment of purchase.
Picture this: you need a new dress for a corporate event. You’re browsing the dress aisle of your favorite designer, at your favorite department store and are a little put out that nothing you want is on sale, when all of a sudden you receive a text message: it says, “Hi Kim, how would you to save 25% off the red dress from brand ABC?” And it continues with, “…All you need to do is make the purchase in the next 40 minutes.” Yes – this is possible; and this doesn’t even scratch the surface using today’s technology. Retailers, are you listening? This is a win-win for both driving revenue and maintaining customer loyalty. In an age where most customers are swamped with data, this personalized experience would definitely make a difference.
21st Century Sales means a 21st Century Infrastructure
In order to stay competitive, retailers need to redefinehow their customers interact with them. It’s no longer good enough to offer coupons or let a customer know about a sale. This new customer is looking for relevant information at the right time. They expect you to know who they are, what brands they buy, the size they wear, and present relevant offers to them where they are.
Contextual relevance is at the forefront of how this can be achieved and brands that equip themselves with the power of what’s possible can have technology with the intelligence to contextualize customer data with real-time events to seize opportunities with relevance and purpose. This level of personalization will lead to deeper connections with your customers.
Obviously, retailers will have to assess what is right for their customers, but I’d hope that most of them have this on their IT roadmap.