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Tailoring retail technology for the ultimate personalized customer experience

Tailoring retail technology for the ultimate personalized customer experience

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By Robert Vis, CEO, MessageBird

In our increasingly on-the-go, on-demand lives, shoppers are caught up in an internal tug-of-war. We want the convenience and easy access of a point-and-click shopping experience, but we don't want it to feel generic. Instead, we want a personalized, end-to-end shopping experience that fits seamlessly into our busy lives and reflects of our unique preferences and tastes.

Up to this point, big brands and megastores have had an edge on providing a brand-building customer experience — especially when it comes to online and mobile shoppers. That is, until now. Broadly-available technology is leveling the playing field, making it possible for retailers of all sizes to create brand loyalty while ensuring the customer experience doesn't feel like it's "part of the machine."

Retail isn't simply a transactional experience that starts and ends at the point of sale. It's a relationship. Building brand loyalty hinges on having a strong connection with the consumer, understanding their needs and meeting them where they are. The key here is context. Whether it's a marketing campaign or a response to a support inquiry, consumers will respond to communication as long as it is relevant and delivered, with the context of their shopping history and via their favorite communications channels — whether it's SMS, messaging apps or voice.

Think about it this way. It's one thing to tell a customer you're having a sale via an impersonal email blast. It's another thing entirely to message a customer about a sale on an item in their specific size, in the color they like, at the store location closest to them.

The trick is plugging into cloud communications software that lets you pull all of that information into one thread, organize it, and then send it out via your customers' preferred communications channels. When businesses have easy access to their entire interaction history with a customer, it improves the customer experience and extends the customer journey. Plus, with advancements in cloud communications software, including no-code programs that can be used intuitively by non-technical teams, it's easier and more accessible than ever for retailers of all sizes, even those without Amazon-sized developer budgets, to give customers the ease-of-use they need.

Several retailers are incorporating an automated-yet-personalized approach into interactions with customers. Take SuitSupply — a retailer that helps customers find their perfect fit in tailored fashion by incorporating tailored technology into the customer experience. Through its Box Office service, customers connect with personal stylists via whichever communications channel they prefer, whether it's WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, phone and email. It's the same idea over at CataWiki — an online auction platform for rare collectibles that leverages real-time alerts via bidders' preferred channels. That way, prospective buyers know the moment they're being out-bid for one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-million treasures. It's the same technology that Hugo Boss and Rituals Cosmetics use — not just to tell customers when products go on sale, but to tell customers when their favorite products go on sale.

In this new era of digital transformation, easy-to-implement, agile technology is more accessible and affordable than ever for retailers, enabling them to provide the on-demand customer experience customers have come to expect from industries across the board. By adopting cloud communications technology, retailers can ensure they maintain a human touch to the customer experience, even if a customer's touch point to a brand is digital.

Topics: Customer Experience

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