How can brands capture and use data to create personalised in-store experiences

Although online shopping has surged in popularity over the past few years, bricks-and-mortar stores still account for around 85 per cent of retail sales around the world. However, it’s common knowledge that digital-savvy millennials expect an in-store shopping experience that rivals an online one, so to stay ahead of the curve, brands must use the data to know their consumer and give them an experience that lives up to their expectations.

Following the introduction of GDPR in 2018 consumers are more aware than ever of how their data is stored and used. By harnessing the power of data, and using it to gain insight into shoppers’ behaviour, brands are now better equipped to provide a personalised retail experience.

American fashion retailer Nordstrom has invested in innovative, data-driven shopping experiences over the past few years. It introduced an app that tracks the customer, informing sales staff when they are coming into the store, giving the sales team information in advance about the customer’s shopping habits.

Stores should also look to create a frictionless shopping experience. E-commerce has taken on this approach – after all, it’s easy for customers to be distracted by phone notifications and ditch their shopping cart – so physical shops should look to become more streamlined. Amazon launched Amazon Go – supermarkets that eradicate the need to go through the check-out process – as customer purchases are recorded by sensors and charged to their accounts automatically when they leave. Given the choice between waiting at a checkout and being able to simply walk out, or even scan a barcode on their phone as they browse, there’s a clear winner – so consider simplifying the shopping experience where you can.

Similarly, several retailers have implemented in-store tracking technology, which uses information from mobile apps, sensors and smart shopping carts to send special offers and information about products to consumers as they are looking at them. As many people look up items online before deciding to purchase them, it can be a good way to boost sales.

Using data and technology to make the shopping experience interactive is also a way to turn it into a memorable customer experience. For example, interactive mirrors that allow customers to try on a range of different looks with just a few clicks, or augmented reality mirrors where people can test makeup styles virtually. Consumers will actively seek out offline retail experiences that offer personalisation and interactivity – it creates a buzz around the store and can maximise footfall.

If you’re looking for a retail specialist to help you evolve your business and improve the offline shopping experience for your customers, get in touch.

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