Getting personalization right

The retail experience of the future is personalized, but what actually resonates with consumers? How can retailers deliver personalized experiences at scale? In this episode, research experts Joe Beier and Rachel Bonsignore from research firm GfK share insights from their latest study.

It all starts with leveraging the customer insights and data retailers already have to provide an experience for customers wherever they want it: in the store, online, mobile. “How can you provide something that’s tailored to that specific customer profile?” Bonsignore says. Retailers need to “enhance the experience in a way that’s very customer-centric for their particular needs and their particular pain points.”

“With anxiety comes a huge desire for simplification and streamlining, which is really relevant to personalization.”

Rachel Bonsignore, GfK

To find those pain points, Bonsignore focuses on lifestyle metrics that won’t change — personal values and aspirations, what people want from their daily lives, what they want from brands broadly — rather than category- or retail channel-specific metrics. She sees a “rising focus on being true to yourself” and consumers being driven by their own senses of self-expression and individuality.

People are also facing rising levels of stress and anxiety, she says. “With that anxiety comes a huge desire for simplification and streamlining, which is really relevant to personalization.”

Beier encourages retailers to start with basic principles: What are the benefits your shoppers are looking for? What can retailers do about customers’ anxiety and stress, for instance? “It opens a door for something like product curation,” he says. “That’s going to deliver tremendous benefit value to our shoppers.”

Any successful approach to personalization must include a careful consideration of what people are already doing. “We need to draft off what people are already doing,” Beier says. “You can’t ask folks to change the fundamental ways they prefer to shop.”

Listen to the episode to hear more insights from Beier and Bonsignore, including how consumer empowerment is driving best practices and what surprised them in the recent report, “Decoding the Personalization Paradox.”

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