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How Can Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Learn from E-commerce Websites and Personalize Visits?

Woman using mobile application on her phone for online retailing

E-commerce websites are taking steps to personalize every customer’s visit. As an article on the Business2Community website explains, they want customers to see a site that’s fresh and personalized based on their interests.

How can a brick-and-mortar store do that? Stores obviously can’t reconfigure the layout every time a customer walks through the door. Online retailers have the luxury of using cookies and other tracking methods to identify customers and pinpoint past purchases.

For brick-and-mortar stores, mobile apps represent the best way to offer a more personalized experience. For example, if a retailer could detect that a customer is coming through the doors, it could offer her a coupon based on previous purchases.

Of course, for this to be effective, retailers would need a dynamic app that’s linked to the store’s sales history. A standalone app won’t work. The app would need to know what products customers have bought in the past and what new products might relate to their interests. Centralized data is the best way to make this happen.

The Business 2 Community article highlights three ways that online retailer ModCloth has been able to create personalized customer service on its e-commerce website and how that has led to consistent growth.

  1. Recommend relevant new product: For each customer that visits the e-commerce website,ModCloth spotlights new arrivals from that visitor’s favorite brands. These “targeted badging campaigns” increased the conversation rate by 15.75 percent, the add-to-cart rate by 5.79 percent and the average order cost by 11.79 percent.
  2. Strategically suggest products: ModCloth’s e-commerce website makes product recommendations based on whether the visitor is new or returning, the user’s browsing history and apparel size. ModCloth’s intimate apparel product page suggests products through a “viewed-also-viewed” feature, which boosted customer acquisition by 16 percent.
  3. Cultivate customer communities: ModCloth attributed the success of its e-commerce website to highly engaged customers. Even ModCloth customers who visit the site multiple times a day will see fresh and relevant products at each visit. As more customers visit ModCloth through mobile devices, the retailer is expanding its mobile capabilities.

For brick-and-mortar stores, personalization can be more challenging, but mobile apps provide a great way to focus on individual customer needs.

Source: Business 2 Community, August 2013