What is in-store personalisation?

Jarno Marin

Integrating our digital lives with the real world will considerably enhance many of our experiences. This integration enables modern in-store personalisation to improve our shopping experiences.

But why is in-store personalisation such a hot topic right now among retailers? 

From a marketer’s perspective, personalisation refers to all the business processes that aim to accommodate the differences between individuals. In marketing, the term “personalisation” has recently started to become more common. During the last decade marketers have been analysing customer interests and modifying their messages based on an individual’s online behaviour and purchase history. Before this personalisation was mainly limited to activities like mass customisation of direct mail.

Technology has always worked as an enabler for personalised marketing. Its most important role is to handle the different processes of personalisation efficiently, like data gathering and message delivery. Even though technology is not a necessity, it provides the means for wide-scale personalisation.

From e-commerce to the in-store environment

The proof of concept for personalisation has already been created in online stores, with Amazon.com leading the way with personalised product recommendations based on customers’ past purchases. With the recent rise in mobile device use in bricks-and-mortar-stores, retailers are being driven to combine these two trends to their own advantage. Benefits can arise by keeping the consumer in focus and having the appropriate technology on hand. 

Even in the era of the continually growing e-commerce space, the greatest opportunities for retailers to improve the shopping experience and overall conversions exist within stores. According to a recent study by Google, smartphones are transforming the in-store shopping experience. The study pointed out that 79 per cent of smartphone owners are “smartphone shoppers” and eight out of ten “smartphone shoppers” use their mobiles in-store to help with shopping.

Two trends enabling in-store personalisation

Two recent trends have contributed significantly to the development of personalisation in physical spaces:

  1. The use of mobile devices has continued to increase ever since the first mobile phones were introduced. The mobile devices that customers carry provide a two-way channel for communication and a point of identification.
     
  2. The technological improvement of indoor positioning has made it possible to identify individual anonymous users based on their mobile device within a certain physical location.

This has created a great possibility of real-time personalisation for in-store environments. When retailers combine 360-marketing approach and their existing customer insights with the new technology-enabled personalisation they can delight their customers and increase sales.

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