We live in an advanced new technological age of the modern customer. Many leading brands already know this. They’ve felt its effects, and have taken considerable efforts to offer customer experiences that fit the needs and preferences of these new consumers. But it is still surprising to see so many other brands still falling behind, and they need to understand what it takes to stay ahead today.
Simply put, brands that do not offer personalized and digitally connected customer experiences are quickly losing their competitive advantage.
This was most recently confirmed by Planet Retail and Wipro Limited, which conducted a new study of retailers across France, Germany, the UK, and parts of North America.
The study from Planet Retail, the world's leading provider of global retail intelligence, which was commissioned by Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology agency, found that 82% of all retailers agreed that investing in digital technology to target customers with hyper-personalized offers was a leading priority.
However, the study titled, “The Era of the Individual: Unleashing the Power of ME,” also found that even though most agreed on this premise, only 18% of all retailers were actually satisfied with their ability to cater to individual customers’ behaviors and preferences.
“The importance of personalization is not to be underestimated in this ‘Era of the Individual,’” said Miya Knights, Technology Research Director of Planet Retail. “The fact that an overwhelming 82% of retailers surveyed agreed that investments in technology and operational improvements help them to target customers as individuals with hyper-personalized offers and promotions speaks volumes."
For brands seeking to create more personalized and meaningful customer experiences, the study showcased three prominent areas of focus. These included enriching merchandising attributes, driving digital supply chains, and reimaging stores as digital magnets.
“The research clearly highlights that, while retailers have embarked on their digital journey, much remains to be accomplished to support more meaningful engagement with the consumer,” said Srini Pallia, Chief Executive, Consumer Business Unit of Wipro Limited. “Further, consumers entering the store today are painfully aware of the obvious divide between the physical and digital worlds. We, at Wipro, believe that harnessing the power of the individual and creating meaningful experiences is imperative to gain competitive advantage. Together with Wipro Digital and our Strategic Design Business, Designit, we are certainly on the right path to understanding the customer journey better.”
Additional key takeaways of the report included:
• The era of the individual is here and retailers must respond.
• Obtaining a 360-degree view of the customer is key.
• Retailers must go “back to basics” to optimize individual shopping journeys.
• The store is evolving to become a digital magnet.
• Empower store associates to “save the sale”.