Saima Alibhai, Managing Principal Consultant EMEA, Bronto Software
Convenience is the new luxury. But the desire for convenience isn’t just about getting things faster. For retail customers, it’s about the entire shopping experience. Personalised recommendations and clever integration of the mobile in-store experience are two ways retailers are using technology to augment convenience and help drive purchases.
Recommending the right product
There was a time when an online ad based on your recent browsing history was the height of personalisation, but those days are long gone. Deliveroo, for instance, remembers your previous order history so you don’t forget that delicious Indian food you had last Friday night. And Amazon keeps frequent purchases at the top of your browser so you can easily replenish them.
Looking at the entirety of the customer journey there are numerous data points that can inform your understanding of shoppers’ behaviour and drive sales by increasing convenience: real-time browsing data, past order behaviour and cart abandonment to name a few.
Using predictive modelling, retailers can automate personalised product recommendations so that, for example, a customer can see running shoes in the colour they like and at a price point that doesn’t go above their maximum budget. Further, retailers can create business rules to ensure products recommended are in line with revenue goals and inventory. For example, recommend top-rated products above a specified profit margin, new products sorted by price, sale items prioritised by sale end date, and low stock products above a specified product review rating.
Recommendations that hit the convenience sweet spot can save consumers hours of search time and generate sales for your business.
Connecting online and offline
Whether checking purchase decisions with friends, comparing prices online or browsing social media while waiting for a changing room, shopping with a smartphone in-hand is a normal part of the modern shopping experience for 83 per cent of consumers according to research from Euclid Analytics.
But despite developments in technology that can help connect online and offline retail experiences, for many retails the two can still be treated in silos. Consumers don’t have a strong preference on which is the best platform to shop on so long as the experience is smooth. What they want is seamless mobile commerce that links the two worlds together.
Poundland, for example, recently ran a successful text-to-win campaign on the back of customer receipts issued with an in-store purchase. This enabled them to connect the in-store experience with mobile while collecting customer information for future personalised email marketing.
Retailers must break down silos to meet the expectations of the ever-connected consumer or risk losing business to the competition that offers the convenience you don’t.
Ultimately, by introducing different technologies to facilitate convenient shopping across all platforms and at all stages of the purchasing journey, retailers will unleash the true power of mobile commerce. Being able to offer the most effective and exciting shopping experience, wherever their customers happen to be, is of the utmost importance to forward-thinking retailers. And as mobile shopping becomes quicker and more secure, and as our lives become saturated with the latest devices, convenience really is the new luxury.