Uncovering the Big Topic of 2015: Personalization

FitForCommerce released our first Annual Report last week!FitForCommerce report on personalization

Through our 2014 survey, we discovered that about a 1/3 of brands and retailers said that personalization is among their top 3 priorities in 2015.
Of course, that made us want to dig deeper and investigate what personalization really means to omnichannel businesses, in our hyper-connected world.

Here’s a brief overview of the report – but the full report is now available for you here. When you download the report, you’ll also get a 10% discount to IRCE Focus: Digital Design and IRCE! We’ll be at both shows, so come talk to us about personalization – what you’re doing now, what you’re planning on doing, and what is going on in the marketplace.

What’s the fuss around personalization

In today’s omnichannel retail world, customers want and expect personalization. And not just with the Hi, [firstname] emails. It is all about knowing who the customer is and using that information to create a meaningful and relevant shopping experience, guided by what she wants, when she wants it. And helping her even when she does not know exactly what she wants. Every step along the shopping journey is an opportunity to connect and engage with her to build a strong personal relationship that drives sales and loyalty.

What surprised us most about the current state of personalization

In the report, you’ll see our perspectives and retailers’ lessons learned. We knew that personalization is a hot topic for retailers and brands in numerous industries, regardless of their maturity stage.  Of course, there are numerous challenges when implementing a personalization strategy, such as not having enough resources, not having the ability to dynamically create personalized content, other site priorities, FFC-blog20-FAIR-statsblogand lack of capital. But one of the findings that caught our attention is that 30% of respondents named “data limitations” as one of their top challenges. Throughout the report, we emphasize the importance of collecting rich customer data. Making data actionable and leveraging it to personalize all customer interactions through marketing, content, delivery, customer service, and more, are the most critical steps for a successful omnichannel personalization strategy.

What you will get out of this annual report

Since personalization is a broad and complex topic, with no “one size fits all” solution, it is unquestionably an overwhelming task. Therefore, our goal in this report is to make it all less overwhelming by breaking it down and by providing insight on how retailers and brands approach personalization. This in-depth report breaks it down into 8 operational elements organized around the 5 stages of the shopping journey:

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Throughout the report, you will also gain insights and best practices on how retailers and brands have addressed this challenge. So, download the report now. IT’S TIME TO GET PERSONAL!

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Written by: Kanaru Fukushima, Director of Marketing

2015 Outlook via NRF’s Big Show

Welcome to 2015! Are you all enjoying your hoverboards, jet packs, and robot butlers that every movie about the future has told us would be here by now? With every new year comes new predictions about the next great thing.

At NRF’s Big Show in New York City this month there was no shortage of great ideas and technologies to help retailers engage with their customers in new, exciting ways. With all of these possibilities, what will be your biggest initiative to drive revenue this year?

  • Launching a drone home delivery program that complies with FAA regulations
  • Developing a robust demand generation plan to encourage customers to buy on their new iWatch
  • Improving online engagement for new and existing customers who shop my products

While it isn’t going to make the cover of Wired magazine, you should strongly consider #3 as your biggest initiative for 2015. The retailers who continue to improve the online experience for their customers will see increases in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales. While it’s important to be aware of the latest technology trends like wearables and beacons (and drones?) and how they may impact your business, it’s more important to improve the experience for your current customers and those who will be shopping your brand for the first time this year.

One of the key (and much discussed at NRF) areas of focus is Personalization. Customers want you to recognize them when they shop with you and are increasingly expecting you to provide recommendations, shopping history, “exclusive” deals, etc. to provide a more complete experience. Creating a differentiating store experience will encourage your customers to shop based on attributes other than price, leading to stronger loyalty and driving word-of-mouth to new customers.

In fact, FitForCommerce will be publishing our first Annual Report, on Personalization, in the next month. Here’s a peek into what our retailer survey taught us:

Jan blog

Written by: Karen Greenberg, SVP Sales, FitForCommerce