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Last week I purchased a new car. I’d been meaning to upgrade the daily vehicle for some time, so after much research, test drives, talking to friends, YouTube videos (I never knew there were so many car vlogs around) I settled on one.
A few days later my shiny new AMG Mercedes was sitting in my driveway.
So shiny and new, in fact, I soon realized I needed one of those linings that fit in the trunk to protect it from everyday punishment.
I went online to a well-known e-commerce platform that had recently rolled out a checkout-less store and found the very thing I was looking for, which duly arrived a couple of days later.
What I hadn’t bargained on, however, was that after another couple of days, I had another delivery — this time in the form of an email from said e-commerce platform making recommendations for the very item I had just purchased.
Sure, I can amend my recommendation settings, but that misses the point.
In the lemming-like pursuit of so-called personalization, most, if not all, retailers have lost sight of the very thing that makes something personal: relevance and context.
If I draw an analogy with an experience of dining out, it would be akin to the waiter at a restaurant bringing me a starter before I’d even chosen from the menu: Well, sir, you had this the last time you were here so we assumed you’d want another.
So now we’ve looked at how not to delight your customer, what are some of the ways you can delight them in this digital age?
Here are five lessons to remember:
What exactly do we mean by personalizing an experience? And how do we achieve it?
Personal is personal, right? Well, my personal is going to be different from yours.
Sadly, most if not all retail brands appear to believe that simply identifying us and linking us with historical purchasing information is good enough. Wrong.
Personalization must incorporate two fundamental characteristics: relevance and context.
It helps if it’s also exciting and inspiring but without the former two, exciting becomes intrusive, and inspiring becomes creepy.
And the only way to achieve this level of personalization is through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“In the pursuit of personalization, many retailers have lost sight of the very thing that makes something personal.”
Who remembers the dot-com bubble? As with all bubbles, it burst. It seems like a distant memory now, and we’ve moved on from those heady days when anything and everything went “dot com.”
But if you care to take a look at the early website offerings from the likes of even Apple, as seen through today’s lens, they appear extremely archaic. And of course, our shopping habits were very different back then; going online through conscious thought.
Nowadays, we slip effortlessly between online to offline, clicks to bricks; all the while expecting a consistent engagement.
We should align the online experience with what we find in store and vice versa. That doesn’t mean simply devising a few more digital screens or smart mirrors.
I want it, and I want it now. How many times have we heard that?
Next-day delivery and same-day delivery will soon become hourly delivery — and to a location of your choosing.
A brand’s final-mile capabilities will come to define it as more people shop online. Globally, the United Kingdom is one of the most advanced marketplaces for e-commerce, according to the government’s Office for National Statistics. Online sales as a percentage of total sales grew from 2.8 percent in 2006 to 17.1 percent in 2018.
As such, this much is clear: Fulfilment capability is rapidly becoming the No. 1 priority for many retail brands in today’s world.
“We slip effortlessly between online to offline, clicks to bricks; all the while expecting a consistent engagement.”
The Uber app is the definition of ease and simplicity. No one needs extensive training to use it.
It’s elegant and frictionless – a necessity to reach any consumer today.
Retail has become a fertile landscape for new technology. Seemingly every day the newest shiny toy hits the market.
But the secret lies not in the technology itself, which is ephemeral. The secret lies in how the technology is deployed – and in what fashion.
Deploying the right blend of technology to deliver on your brand’s reputation is key to knowing which technology to invest in and which to leave alone.
But if all else fails and you’ve tried everything with varying degrees of success, remember: We’re all human after all.
We are unpredictable, emotional, sometimes irrational and at times downright difficult to reach.
As humans, emotions drive our decisions. So tap into those emotions, and you’ll discover the best path to success.
Longitudes explores and navigates the trends reshaping the global economy and the way we’ll live in the world of tomorrow: logistics, technology, e-commerce, trade and sustainability. Which path will you take?