Looking for Seamless Omnichannel Personalization? In‑Store Tech Might Be Your Solution

Personalization is like a jigsaw puzzle: the different pieces have to fit together seamlessly. Otherwise, the big picture doesn’t turn out quite right. Take omnichannel personalization, for example. It’s a recurring highlight in Sailthru’s annual Retail Personalization Index that digital and in-store experiences should be linked… but in most cases, they aren’t.

In order to solve this long-standing issue, it’s important to first explore the possibilities that brick-and-mortar space offers personalization-wise. From there, retailers must look at the various solutions that can deliver a holistic omnichannel customer profile.

Missing Out on Omnichannel Personalization Is No Longer an Option

The time when “omnichannel” was a hot buzzword is long gone. Since then, bridging the gap between your online and offline channels has become an absolute necessity. According to the CMO Council, 91% of consumers suggest that omnichannel experiences are either important or critical. And failing to meet consumer expectations means they’ll start considering your competition.

Omnichannel is more than just a box that needs to be ticked in order to appeal to your customers. Companies can immensely benefit from a holistic personalization strategy. Just look at post-purchase emails, for example.

When it comes to online shopping, this is pretty straightforward. For one, customers have already identified themselves in one way or another. And, if you did your homework in terms of profiling, adding relevant content to follow-up emails is a piece of cake.

The Untapped Power of Brick-And-Mortars

On the contrary, brick-and-mortars are uncharted territories, where people can come in, make a purchase and leave without identifying themselves or leaving any contact information. Naturally, this makes personalization (or any kind of follow-up) a nightmare.

Imagine the scenario in which in-store shoppers would take the time to leave their email address, or even better, log in to their online profile at checkout! You’d have an extremely rich customer profile, combining the data of offline and online purchase frequency. Even better, you could add product recommendations to emails based on what the person has bought in the shop.

The truth is, all of this can be a reality. You just need the right in-store technology.

Solution #1: Mobile Passes

Customer loyalty programs are almost always considered a fitting solution to this problem. When someone is a loyalty program member, they’re more inclined to identify themselves both online and offline to keep earning points or to redeem a benefit, right? That’s absolutely true. But in an era where modern customers expect it all — quality, speed, good price, convenience, experience, sustainability — you should go one step further to stand out from the crowd.

Mobile passes can easily enhance the performance of an omnichannel loyalty program. All current-generation smartphones can support them, they can feature a wide variety of offers or rewards, and you can easily distribute them via email. Actually, sending out a mobile pass including a coupon in a post-purchase email could be a wonderful surprise for customers.

Beer Hawk, a UK-based specialty beer retailer, uses this system to deliver recommendations in a truly innovative way. The company has both an ecommerce shop and three High Street bars, with a POS built in at the counter. Since purchase history is stored in one place, customers who identify themselves using their loyalty passes receive beer recommendations from the bartender, who can see the customer’s established taste profile.

Solution #2: In-Store Kiosks

The only drawback of mobile passes is that they are no longer a novelty. For a truly groundbreaking in-store experience, consider implementing technologies of the future, such as visual search, or an engagement hub, like the Loyalty Experience Kiosk. These touchscreen devices enable people to log in to their loyalty profile and then interact with various in-store features.

The Kiosk aids omnichannel personalization on multiple fronts. For starters, using the device requires sign-in, ensuring that offline shoppers identify themselves. The Kiosk is also fitted with incentivized profiling and survey modules. Rewarding members who share their preferences unlocks a treasure trove of information that will help fuel your personalization efforts. And above all, having a fun time engaging with the interactive kiosk increases the likelihood of another visit.

Turn Omnichannel Personalization up to Eleven

As you can see, introducing an in-store solution has the potential to really kick your personalization efforts into high gear. Of course, achieving a holistic customer profile requires several interlinked tools, but having a next-gen loyalty program definitely makes the job easier.

On Thursday, January 30, Sailthru and Antavo, the leading customer loyalty technology for retail, will host a breakfast seminar to further discuss how loyalty can supercharge your marketing automation. Click here to register.

Jess Mizerak is Antavo’s Loyalty Strategy Lead.

Forrester Wave for Cross Channel Campaign Management