How Customization and Personalization Became a Key Retail Trend

Giving customers agency over their own shopping experiences has revitalized retail in the age of ecommerce.

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As ecommerce becomes an increasingly dominant force in the world of retail, businesses will have to get innovative if they hope to compete. For many, investing in a personalized, tailor-made customer experience is shaping up to be the key to future-proofing business.

Over half of consumers are more willing to shop with a company that recognizes them by name, either in-store or online — and that goes beyond autofill email blasts. By providing a shopping experience that offers more than the anonymity typical of giants such as Amazon, businesses can make customers feel more invested in their purchases — and by extension, more loyal to the brand. For companies willing to go further, offering products customized to consumers’ specific wants and needs may give them the leading edge.

 

An Emerging Ecommerce Landscape

Online shopping has done more than change the way people find and purchase goods — it’s encouraged businesses to rethink how they relate to their customers, and how customers relate to their products. Through personalization and customization, businesses can better position themselves to meet consumer expectations for increasingly tailored retail experiences.

For example, Nike’s NIKEiD customization service allows customers to design shoes unique to their tastes — at a premium, of course. The initiative is part of Nike’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) initiative, and with a quarterly revenue growth rate of nearly 30%, all signs point to it being a wise investment.

 

Streamlining the Retail Experience with Personalization

Personalized retail experiences have given brick-and-mortar businesses the means to adapt to the ecommerce economy. By offering customers a more memorable way to shop — one that can help patrons make more informed decisions with the help of friendly, well-trained experts — companies can make a lasting impression on consumers with a wealth of ecommerce options at their disposal, who may be wondering why they should even bother shopping in-person in the first place.

Take Bonobos as an example: at their retail locations, customers benefit from the guidance of staff who are specifically trained to help them find the right size and fit. Although the clothing company maintains its inventory online and ships patrons their orders within a few business days, their “guideshops” are meant to ensure that customers make the right purchase and avoid the hassle of the returns process. The level of personalization that defines these one-on-one interactions has made this model a hit.

 

Driving Value for Your Business

Your business doesn’t have to be a global powerhouse to benefit from the trend towards personalization and customization. Even small businesses that operate on platforms such as Etsy and eBay can incorporate custom packaging and personalized, friendly customer service into their repertoire to boost customer loyalty. By demonstrating to your customers that you’re willing to meet their unique needs even as a small business, you’ll be making a positive, lasting first impression — one that will set your company up for success in a market increasingly shaped by consumers’ desires.

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