Retailers: Personalize Shopping or Leave Money on the Table

February 17, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It’s never been so difficult to be in retail. A growing body of competitors on one side, changing consumer tastes on the other, and something of a general economic slump hitting in the meantime means that consumer dollars are tougher to land than most any time before.

In fact, a new report says those who missed the boat on one particular development—personalized experiences—missed out on a cumulative total of $150 billion in sales just in 2016.

The word from TimeTrade’s State of Retail 2017 Survey showed not only did retailers miss out big from lack of personalization, but it’s the kind of thing that’s been going on for some time. Eighty-two percent of respondents in the State of Retail 2017 Survey had shopped in brick-and-mortar, but 49 percent had never had a personalized shopping experience.

As the desire for such personalization continues, it’s likely to do further damage to brick-and-mortar outlets, already reeling from present developments in the field.

While it’s clear that people are still shopping at brick-and-mortar outlets—go to any major suburban shopping center on a Saturday for all the proof you’ll need on that point—it’s likewise clear that online is still a major threat and one that brick-and-mortar must work against to reclaim lost market share.

We’ve already started to see some of that fighting come about; a greater use of mobile devices in stores for information gathering, the ability to use a smartphone as a personal check-out stand, mobile device recharging stations…there’s a lot going on to keep users coming to the store.

Personalization at the retail level can be difficult, especially for those who don’t leave information with the store, like those who pay cash. Failing to deliver personalization, though, is one more brick in an already dense wall arrayed against the brick-and-mortar retailer.

There are ways to do this, especially for those using non-cash payment systems, and we’ll likely see more such measures come out going forward. Those who fail to do so, meanwhile, will have a serious problem keeping ahead of the game going forward, and may be the next casualties of a changing retail marketplace.