Brick & Mortar Personalization

Customer experience is the new competitive battleground for businesses in retail and beyond. As brands shift toward finding new ways to engage their audiences, personalization is a strategy useful for standing out in an oversaturated market.

An essential element in building consumer relations, this concept neared extinction when our traditional retail landscape shifted from mom-and-pop shops to global corporations.

Today, the savvy marketers who work at those corporations are returning to personalization to add value to their brands. Increasingly, companies are making strides towards cultivating and customizing every touch point in the customer journey, even adding new ones by integrating pop-ups into their omnichannel marketing strategies.

Research company, Gartner, predicted that 2017 would see 50 per cent of product investment redirected to customer experience innovations. This shift in investment can be reflected in the recent growth in demand for pop-ups, a customer-centric marketing tactic that leverages experiences to give brands a competitive edge.

Pop-ups have become an effective method for brand differentiation and building consumer relationships, especially when integrating an element of personalization. To be successful, brands need to tailor their pop-ups to suit the needs, desires and goals of their target audience.

An emphasis on personalization resurfaced over the last decade as a digital strategy, and often means using online consumer data to tailor individual marketing messages – think Amazon or Netflix recommendations. As it has evolved, international campaigns like Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ name bottles and Nike’s customizable shoes have leveraged this trend to build brand equity.

Pop-ups can take it to the next level by combining exclusivity and personalization, an undeniable powerhouse for consumer engagement. Coupled with their temporary nature, pop-ups provide companies the opportunity to briefly depart from their usual operations. Brands can not only create memorable experiences but can also offer exclusive services or customizable products for a limited time. The advantage in this context is that pop-ups can sell products amplified by experiences or they can sell experiences as products.

For example, French luxury brand Hermès set up a pop-up shop where visitors can receive a custom dye-job on their new or vintage brand scarves. The one-of-a-kind service allowed visitors to personalize their product and the buzz generated in response gave Hermès a leading edge over its competitors in terms of brand exposure.

According to a study by Infosys (2013), 86 percent of consumers and 96 percent of retailers said personalization has an influence on the purchasing decision. While not all pop-ups directly contribute to the bottom line, attendance at an event is an active choice on behalf of the consumer to engage with your brand. Such interaction is not only a vital step in securing a purchase, it is also an opportunity to collect further insights. Gartner predicts that by 2018, companies that have fully invested in all types of personalization will outsell companies that have not by 20 percent. As the pop-up industry continues to expand, brands will continue to find new ways to innovate and diversify the customer experience. Building consumer relationships through personalization will be one of many smart strategies to leverage in the years to come.

As read in Developers & Chains