In today’s competitive retail climate, the winners are those who manage to personalize our shopping experience and tailor their products to fit our needs to at. Once we get offline and lift our gaze from our devices, we are all about experiences and special treatment. It has definitely been the case when people lived in small communities where every shop owner knew everybody’s name, hobbies, favorite food, and shopping habits. Modern retailers have been striving to get back to that for years, but it’s not very easy when they have thousands of chains to manage and online processes to figure out.
However, the hope of personalized service and products is not dead. There are those who were able to connect to their customers with the help of data and technology better than others. The companies that are good at multi-channel personalization win people’s hearts and repeated business because they design their policies and offers with individual customers in mind.
Let’s take a look at top 10 retailers who have personalization down pat:
The beauty retailer is personalizing all your shopping channels – in-store, online, via the app, and through customer service. They even have an app feature for a virtual 3D augmented reality mirror to try makeup on. This way Sephora can connect all your shopping personalities into one picture of you and offer you products that you seek. And they do have a lot to offer with over 300 beauty brands and their own very high quality and affordable private in-house brand.
Sephora staff is training all the time and learning ways to be more inclusive and cater to the needs and desires of all clients personally. Marketing is attuned to the same thing too – personalized emails about products they showed interest in. Finally, there is a loyalty program Beauty Insider with countless free gifts.
Nordstrom has always been known for excellent customer service and you don’t get famous for that if there is no reason. The retailer always approached its customers with “white glove” kind of attitude and that didn’t change with the invention of internet. Online shoppers feel the same ‘go above and beyond attitude’ as they were used to in stores.
Many locations have alterations, express returns, in-store pickup, and even stylists who can come to you and help you within the comforts of your home. Online customers enjoy product recommendations and style inspirations based on location.
This e-commerce retailer has so much data available that personalization is simply a given – the clothes customers receive and wear are then sent back and can be examined for wear and tear, how they were worn, what can be adjusted and improved, how many dry cleanings can they withstand. All this allows for finding ways to improve customer experience for online and in 5 physical locations. In addition to all those features, Rent The Runway is expanding its offers and now includes not only evening gowns, but office apparel and more casual pieces.
The home improvement store uses product and customer data to make shopping experience more customized by emails and online or app channels. This type of personalization is not common for DIY category retailers, but Home Depot is rocking it. Whatever you are doing yourself, from gardening to lumber work, you can choose between one million products, read all kinds of reviews, get personalized and knowledgeable service in store, watch how to videos on the app, and feel treated like royalty.
Personalization is in the name, but the company does a lot more than just monogram and embroider names of products. They have unique capabilities to learn a lot about their customers – important dates, life events, hobbies, and likes. They do take that information responsibly and then use it for narrowly targeted emails and invitations to shop for specials.
Personalization Mall invites people into the stores to shop and then personalize, but also allows to bring an already purchased item for personalization touches. They do provide excellent customer service and flexibility, which both are needed for high customer retention rate.
Best Buy is working on innovating its customers’ in-store shopping experience by innovation. For example, when you walk into your local store, your app detects it and tailors product offers based on local availability. You can also let the store know when you are on the way to pick up your ordered items.
Emails also come very personalized and feature items that can be of interest to you based on your shopping history. Loyal customers are rewarded and everybody can take advantage of their Geek Squad, which is definitely an upper hand when compared with online only retailers. Best of all, Best Buy now offers free in-home assistance with smart home, home theater, appliances, or computer needs. Finally, there is unlimited technical support in person, over the phone, or online.
Ulta is going very tech about personalization. It recently acquired QM Scientific and GlamST to help with customer data collection, preferences, and habits, which are then used to target specific needs and send relevant information about products. GlamST provides technology for 3D virtual makeover tools.
Ultamate rewards program members get personalized skincare regimen suggestions, product recommendations, and extra rewards.
Urban Outfitters has been having a very good year so far and all of that is thanks to its loyal Instagram followers and rewards program members who shop there repeatedly. Customers enjoy exclusive offers, prizes, early sales invitations, extra coupons, and perks. The app is known for extreme personalization capabilities and makes shopping easy by helping customers find exactly what they need at that moment.
Urban Outfitters is currently exploring new brands from third parties and starting to offer buy now, pay later option. You can count on the retailer to communicate and send an email right when you are thinking about shopping.
Adidas knows business and knows that nothing brings business more than collaborations with famous people, even Kanye West. The millennials are now waiting what’s in store from the upcoming fashion duet with Beyonce.
Adidas stays in touch with its customers by giving them information they need and offering tools for personalized search and criteria. For example, fitness fanatics will get info about upcoming products that might be of interest to them.
The shoe retailer decided to be bold and innovative in its approach to get more people into the stores and opened “nail bars” in 7 locations so far. What can encourage more summer shoe sales than modeling them on feel adorned with fresh pedicure?
DSW combines data from transactions and online shopping patterns to know when to send that email about abandoned shopping cart and when to stop if the customer already bought the same thing in-store. Thanks to quizzes and customer answers, the retailer knows when to send ads via emails based on shopping patterns and footwear needs of particular customers.
The app can sense a customer close to the store and will send a coupon or a code to lure her in for some retail therapy or a pedicure.