Personalization Enhances the Brick-and-Mortar Retail Experience

The retail experience is drastically different from what it was only a decade ago. Back then, Black Friday shopping sprees always made headlines, with lines and lines of crazed shoppers waiting outside stores overnight in order to be the first ones inside to gobble up limited deals on products. Amazon Prime, priced at only $79 a year and barely promoted by the ecommerce giant, celebrated its Cyber Monday’s fourth birthday but still languished in the shadows of traditional retail shopping.

Today, it is a whole new landscape. Consumers prefer to shop online from anywhere they have an Internet connection. They are in control of the purchase process, with what feels like millions of digital shopping options, through websites, mobile apps, and subscription plans. The need to physically visit a store has diminished – people can shop, compare, review, and purchase products all with a few swipes on their phone.

While consumers happily plan their next digital shopping spree from their sofa, retailers are scratching their heads about how to bring shoppers back into stores. Traveling to a storefront to purchase items seems like a hassle compared to purchasing online with two-day free shipping direct to home. Retailers are searching for ways to enhance the in-store shopping experience to make it worthwhile and to get people off the couch and back into the aisles.

Walgreens recognized this downward shift in store attendance and bridged the gap between the retail brick-and-mortar experience and digital shopping by using personalization.  Lauren Brindley, Group Vice President of Beauty and Personal Care at Walgreens, featured in this ClickZ article, recently went on vacation where everything about her experience was customized to her liking – without her even asking for it. The resort used her personal data to create a custom experience for her, making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

“As soon as I had identified myself as Mrs. Brindley on that first connection point,” Brindley says, “each member of the resort used an earpiece to communicate with each other along my customer journey. They’d tell each other, ‘Lauren is on her way.’ They were waiting, they were ready, and they exceeded my expectations at every single point in time.”

Brindley has found a way to bring the same concept of personalization to the customer shopping experience at Walgreens. A primary product category – her area of skincare and beauty – is already personalized by nature. Walgreens now offers an app that quizzes users to determine their skin type and then recommends specific products from Walgreens’s best to meet their needs. The app, Johnson & Johnson’s skinID, is based on scientific research. This combination of digital and physical personalization highlights Walgreen’s creative foray into staying relevant in the brick-and-mortar retail industry amid the proliferation of online shopping.

Curious how we can create a personalized experience for your clients by leveraging the data you have from brick and mortar + digital? Please let us know. We can also map out a personalized experience for your clients, no matter what the industry. Reach out to us for a conversation.