From personalized emails prompting me to get items I’ve reviewed to ads shooting up in my social media feeds, retailers are using every tool they will to succeed in and have interaction with today’s consumers. Among this digital alteration, retailers are leveraging ways and tools to personally customize each customer’s shopping experience to win the faith of potential buyers.

"Given the appeal and a spotlight, these displays already draw; imagine the chances of using technology to personalize each viewer’s experience with voice-responsive window interactions as they walk by the window"

In today’s retail setting, personalization is vital to engaging and keeping customers loyal to your brand. Personalization, in its recent form, is employed to draw customers in with distinctive offers through innumerable communication channels and touchpoints, including SMS texts, email, spams, and more which leads to edge personalization utilization of a customer’s historical purchasing data. This not only finds the proper thanks to contacting a customer but also provides new products that may be appealing supported previous purchases.

While personalization tools and methods are a need for retail marketers, there are other upcoming customer experience (CX) digital tools that retailers should consider incorporating in 2018. Within the past year, we’ve seen immense growth within the number of shops using chatbots, tapping into artificial intelligence-based functions to reinforce customer relations, offer new experiences and supply self-service means to consumers.

Not only are sellers leveraging AI-based tools to widen and have interaction with their customer base, but retailers also are refurbishing the layout, design, and functions of physical stores in an attempt to drive more pedestrian traffic. Take Nordstrom’s “Local” concept store for instance. Nordstrom has created new locations whose function is to simply accept returns and offer appointments with an in-store stylist. These new stores haven't any on-premise merchandise to sell and instead function another touchpoint for online consumers to put or devour online orders and obtain fashion advice. This is often a major example of the wedding between in-store and e-commerce working cohesively to supply a singular, engaging and personalized experience to both digital and in-store customers.

With composed digital and in-store tactics being deployed by retailers across the U.S. (and the globe), retailers now obtain more data and customer data than ever before, giving them a leg abreast of personalizing each and each interactivity they need with a customer.

In 2018, retailers should think about using this data and knowledge to rework how they interact with customers. Here are two concepts that illustrate the utilization of knowledge and digital tools.

The transformation of shopping 

Traditionally, brick and mortar stores dress a storefront window with the newest and most original merchandise and products of the season. the revealing of whimsical and crowd-pleasing setups became a longstanding tradition in retail. During the vacations in NY City, for instance, the department shops on 5th Avenue draw many visitors and tourists who come to the town to catch a glimpse at the ornate, over-the-top window displays that are assembled. Given the appeal and a spotlight these displays already draw, imagine the chances of using technology to personalize each viewer’s experience with voice-responsive window interactions as they walk by the window. Augmented Reality (AR) paired with location-enabled devices and therefore the data derived from each device can transform window display during a way that will resonate with consumers like never before.

The alphanumeric exhibit tools of the future—most likely a mixture of AI, AR, app-based geofencing—will grip search history, shopping history and historical purchasing information to spot consumers passing by and virtually curate an electronic window display with items an individual is most curious about. The power to electronically alter window displays will give retailers more opportunities to execute personalized campaigns to re-engage customers. Taking it a step further, if and when the retailer senses (via location-enabled apps) that the buyer is constant to steer past the shop entrance, the tools of the longer term will leverage this information and automatically send the buyer a reduction or promotion to lure them back toward the shop.

While most retailers aren't able to take their storefront to the present futuristic state just yet, there are subtle ways to start out testing these technologies. For instance, retailers may consider implementing geofencing widget capabilities inside their application to permit them to supply incentives to customers within a particular distance range to entice them into the shop. From here, you'll begin to know how customers respond and react to personalized offers supported their activity.

The transformation of in-store associates

As many brick-and-mortar businesses looking to compete with online retailers, brands also are introducing new mobile technologies to streamline in-store transactions and support. Mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones, became popular tools for associates to use on the retail floor for these transactions. For instance, Apple store co-workers are all equipped with devices permitting them to roam freely within the store, answer consumer questions and complete transactions without the utilization of a register or long lines. Another advantage of equipping associates with movable devices is that it allows the worker who greets customers within the store to follow them through their entire transaction. 

With the utilization of mobile devices on the sales floor, retailers also are working to rework and train their greatest sales assets—their associates. Training employees to use these new technologies may be a must for retailers in 2018—and it'll help support the future attempts to introduce new digital tools.

While it’s hard to predict the precise digital tools of the longer term or what subsequent big development is going to be, what we do know is that the trail to retail success is through the info and resources already available to brands. These tools and tactics might not be the solution to the defense against the retail Armageddon, but the personalization and experiences they assist create will undoubtedly make consumers more likely to stay faithful specific brands.