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6 Ways to Achieve Personalized Customer Engagement in Retail

6 Ways to Achieve Personalized Customer Engagement in Retail

Explore six proven ways your retail organization can deliver personalized customer engagement and elevate the customer experience.

Almost half of customers (49%) want brands to send them personalized messaging that enhances their customer experience. Here we look at how you can deliver personalized customer engagement to boost revenue growth and minimize returns.

1. Incentivize customers to share data

Shoppers are glad to share personal information if there’s something in it for them – 63% say that receiving a discount within an hour of interacting with a brand will help drive loyalty. A good way to collect useful customer information is to get your customers to fill out a shopper profile and reward them for stages of completion.  

Collecting this data will help you to create the type of personalized offers that drive customer loyalty. The information you ask for should include: 

  • Their first name 
  • Birthday  
  • Products they’re interested in
  • Preferred channel of communication 

Knowing your customer’s preferred channel of communication (such as chat apps, SMS, push notifications, etc.) allows you to engage them via one to one marketing on the channels they’re most responsive on. Asking for your customer’s birthdate lets you target them with special birthday deals over these channels. Security concerns may make customers cautious about sharing their full name. This is fine, because you’re aiming to achieve a first-name basis relationship.  

2. Use customer data effectively

You know how to instantly lose trust in a relationship? Try calling someone by the wrong name.  47% of customers said that they ignore impersonal messages.

By using placeholders and matching these to corresponding fields in your CRM, you can personalize highly automated, targeted campaigns. Personalizing the customer experience in this way shows your customers that you value them more as people rather than walking credit cards. 


Getting your customer’s name right is just one personalization strategy. Another thing customers expect you to know is their purchase history. In fact, 63% of customers expect a brand’s mobile app to remember web purchases. When this doesn’t happen, you risk frustrating 71% of your customers. Keeping tabs on their purchases can help you to personalize the shopping experience by offering items based on their spending habits and product ranges that interest them. 

3. Get personal, with the right channels

Millennials and Gen Z live on mobile. Research shows 95% of millennials are doing other things while they shop  – they’re binge watching their favorite shows, commuting, etc… If you want to grab their attention, it needs to be through personalized experiences over the right communication channels. 

While email is good – almost free and has the highest ROI – 74% of millennials say that they receive too many marketing emails.  Also, GDPR has changed how broadly you may use customers’ personal data, including their emails. In a different survey, 49% reported that they were happy to communicate over chat apps and push notification. 

This preference comes from the fact that millennials would rather text than call. Using a chat app for this is ideal since almost everyone uses a chat app, and they allow for one to one marketing. In addition to helping you build a more personal brand experience by texting customers, chat apps also support images and higher character limits. This gives you even more customer experience personalization options.  

4. Don’t silo your customer data

Data silos occur in retail organizations when different strategies are employed for different channels. The result? A fragmented customer profile which makes creating personalized experiences difficult. 

Keeping all customer data in a single central database gives your marketing team the insights they need to create a personalization strategy that drives customer loyalty, but also sales and revenue. 

Utilizing this data in real-time allows you to provide compelling, personalized offers that satisfy the rising demand for instant gratification from today’s shopper. 

5. Don’t forget in-store personalization

It’s no news that brick and mortar stores are struggling to keep up with online. But it’s also not really true. Millennial and Gen-Z shoppers are opting to visit physical stores more and more. In fact, 50% of millennials prefer taking their shopping in-store. The physical experience is important to the price-conscious millennials, as well as to Gen-Z – who are also very value-oriented. 

When they visit your store, they still expect personalized customer service. However, 74% customers say that brands still lack personalization.  

Most importantly, millennials are shopping on their mobile devices, in-store. Consider your brick and mortar a showcase room for them – the better the personal experience in store, the more likely they are to convert.  

6. Grow loyalty and revenue with complimentary offers

70% of millennials are comfortable with retailers tracking their purchasing and browsing behaviors as long as it improves the customer experience. In fact, they expect this and will reward retailers by making purchases off the back of personalized offers. 

When taking into consideration their previous purchases, however, it’s important to make sure your offers are complimentary and not just more of the same. 

Think sofas – they’re expensive, occupy your customer’s private living space, and are long-term purchases. When your customer buys a sofa, they won’t appreciate receiving an offer for another at a discount.  

For true customer personalization, think complementary offers – for example, throw pillows or stain remover. Take it a step further and match the throw pillows to the color of the sofa, and stain remover to the material the sofa is made from. This is the sort of personalized customer engagement that helps build loyalty.


Personalized customer engagement starts here

In today’s competitive retail space, it can be difficult to attract and retain customers. But by paying attention to what your customers are trying to tell you, and by giving them the channels to do this, you can create personalized customer engagement that drives loyalty and pays dividends this shopping season and for many more to come. 

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