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EDITORIAL How Tesco and Footasylum are getting up close and personal with their customers

Tesco and Footasylum are using different techniques in a common aim this week – to get to know their customers better, and boost sales as a result. Tesco is doing that by offering its Clubcard customers lower prices on selected items in store, in a step that is already an example of personalisation that it says has never before been offered in a UK supermarket. As more people sign up for its Clubcard in order to benefit from those prices it will gain further insights into its customers’ behaviour both online and in-store.

Footasylum, meanwhile, is using machine-learning to understand its customers’ behaviour and make them the most relevant offers on products – and has gained ’outrageous’ results.

What both retailers have in common here is that their use of personalisation is set to extend to the store, giving insights into how shoppers use that channel and also, says Footasylum’s Tom Summerfield, enabling retailers to respond through localising their stores, and to ‘future proof’ both individual stores and the high street more generally. By understanding how shoppers want to use shop, he argues, retailers will better understand the important role that those shops play in their online and in-store sales.

New research, meanwhile, suggests that many customers find the way that connected devices including the home assistants that are used for voice ecommerce, ‘creepy’ – and a significant number are holding off buying them as a result. Clearly, there’s a line to be drawn between useful and creepy as retailers aim to understand their customers better. The most successful retailers will find, and respect, that line. 

We’re also reporting as Domino’s Pizza reports growth at home and online, if not abroad, and we cover a GlobalData study looking at how gift retailers might act now to make sure they are selling the gifts that shoppers currently buy from their local department store – but may not as those store numbers decline. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Michael Cross of Brightblue Consulting, who argues that offline advertising might help to revive retailers.  

Image: Fotolia

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