Personalizing the retail experience with Salesforce
This post was originally published on the RelationEdge blog.
Customer experience is critical in retail for building engagement and generating revenue. Offering personalized interactions—from advising customers based on their preferences to following up with them after they have made their purchases—can provide transformative business value, particularly during the biggest shopping season of the year.
Fifty-six percent of marketers cited retail personalization as the most exciting trend of the year. That means your marketing team is probably also considering how to integrate personalization into your business strategy.
In this blog, we look at the importance of creating a personalized customer experience in retail, how it can affect brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers, and how Salesforce® can help.
Why is a personalized experience important?
Recent surveys show that customers crave retail personalization when they need new ideas, are in the mindset to shop, or want to receive rewards from brand loyalty programs. Millennials, in particular, are more receptive to features like robot-guided shopping experiences and artificial-intelligence-generated recommendations.
While personalization can provide huge benefits, following best practices can help your consumers see the value without feeling watched. Customers who have a negative interaction with your company can quickly spread the word about their frustrations, costing you valuable business over the holiday season. For this reason, it is vital to understand how personalization factors into the retail experience for both brick-and-mortar and online stores.
Personalization in e-commerce
In-person shopping offers the benefit of face-to-face interaction combined with the gratification from an immediate purchase. Customers can get one-on-one support from an actual person if they need advice, have a problem, or want to complete a return.
Although personalization can be easier to implement at brick-and-mortar stores, 51% of people now prefer to shop online. Online shopping is convenient because it can be done around the clock and from the comfort of home.
By 2019, e-commerce sales are forecasted to account for 12.8% of the retail market, illustrating a pattern of steady growth. Despite the convenience of shopping online, customers still want the in-store experience of exploring products and getting the help they need before making a purchase.
By personalizing the retail experience for your e-commerce consumers, you provide the best of both worlds by including an interaction specifically targeted to them. But how do you ensure that you engage with consumers at the right time and in the right way—especially during the busy holiday season? That is where a robust CRM like Salesforce can help.
How can Salesforce help?
Salesforce Retail connects every part of your retail business so you can create a seamless, real-time personalization experience for your customers. In-store kiosks let your customers find detailed product information, compare pricing, and check online reviews—while you benefit from being able to track purchase history. You can also expand your offerings to products that are not in stock at your individual brick-and-mortar stores.
With the Personalize Shopper Marketing solution, you can promote your brand advocates and deep-dive into individual shopping interactions to fine-tune your customer offers. This can help give your retail business a competitive edge with holiday shoppers.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud makes up a significant part of Salesforce Retail. The full Marketing Cloud platform allows you to provide the same exceptional personalization experience across email, mobile, web, and social channels. This Journey Mapping capability not only helps you observe the customer journey from start to finish—it also allows you to engage with your customers at every step along the path from lead to loyalty.
Einstein Engagement Scoring is another valuable feature of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It enables you to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to gather key demographic, behavioral, and contextual customer data. You can find new customers and continually deliver experiences that are unique to every shopper's journey. Einstein Engagement Scoring also helps you develop both e-commerce and in-store purchasing options to suit customer needs and boost your revenue.
Upgrade your customer experience with a consulting partner
Find an experienced consulting partner to help your business offer personalized shopping experiences over the holidays.
Rackspace is a Salesforce Platinum Consulting Partner and a full-service digital agency. Our technology experts can ensure you have the powerful CRM you need to stay up to date with your customers. Our marketing specialists help you effectively engage with every customer. Contact us today to learn how you can increase your revenue this holiday season.
Visit www.rackspace.com and click Sales Chat to get started.
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