Shopping without Boundaries: The Quest for Omnichannel Personalization

illustration of omnichannel retail sales Avatar for Lauren Mead

According to McKinsey & Company, when it comes to retail personalization, the next digital frontier is in the physical world.

That should not come as a surprise. While e-commerce growth is real, more than 90% of retail sales take place in a physical store. Even Amazon is opening more brick-and-mortar stores, a telling sign  that a successful omnichannel strategy is key to retail success.

The need for personalization is clear

As many as 83% of consumers say they want their shopping experience to be personalized, and 80% of customers are more likely to purchase products or services from brands that provide personalized experiences. The need for personalization extends across channels: for 85% of consumers, a positive customer experience includes a human touch.

The implications for retailers are significant: BCG data shows that 40% of shoppers tend to buy more when the retailer provides high level of personalization. According to McKinsey, effective personalization can generate a lift of up to 30% in store revenues.

The state of personalization today

Retailers are acutely aware of the benefits of cross-channel personalization. In a recent survey of retailers, personalization was identified as an important element of omnichannel strategies by 90% of the respondents.

Executives know that to thrive in the new world of retail, their brands must focus on creating memorable, personalized experiences that go far beyond pushing products. These experiences cover a vast range of touchpoints — from one-to-one consultations to product training and customer service appointments.

Yet the reality is a bit different today. For many retailers, personalization efforts, especially in the physical channel, are still in the early stages. Best-in-class retailers are focusing their efforts on improving how they personalize the online and offline buying journey as one — with the goal of creating a seamless experience that is frictionless and more satisfying for customers.

Quick wins on the road to omnichannel personalization

For retailers embarking on an omnichannel personalization strategy, Intelligent Appointment Scheduling offers an opportunity to score a quick win. Our research shows it can deliver immediate and impressive results:
  • Engagement — 83% of consumers are likely to schedule an appointment if offered by a business.
  • Revenues — 94% of buyers tend to buy more when they have live interactions with a knowledgeable employee.
  • Loyalty — 91% of customers are more likely to shop at a store in the future after being helped by an associate.

What does omnichannel personalization look like?

Intelligent Appointment Scheduling bridges the gap between retailers’ digital properties and local stores – offering both consumers and associates the transparency they need to schedule, manage and prepare for high-value face-to-face interactions.

As the McKinsey article illustrates, the typical in-person shopping experience fails to meet consumer expectations and the standards that have become common in the digital world today. The following example demonstrates what a successful personalized omnichannel experience looks like, powered by Intelligent Appointment Scheduling.

workflow diagram showing the personalized omnichannel experience

Real-life examples from retail leaders

Leading retailers are already putting in place successful strategies for omnichannel personalization. Here are a few examples:

To help customers make the most out of their online purchases, Best Buy has created a “buy online, learn in-store” offer. Customers can purchase products online, then schedule personalized appointments at their preferred time and location to learn how to set up, configure and use their new device. This integrated digital-to-store customer journey provides an opportunity for buyers to get timely and personal expert advice — creating a valuable individualized omnichannel shopping experience.

Sephora provides another example of successfully using Intelligent Appointment Scheduling to enable personalized cross-channel customer interactions. The company uses appointment scheduling and event management technology to manage its Happenings — in-store events designed to drive meaningful interactions between customers and employees — ranging from product releases to classes where beauty lovers can learn best practices and new techniques.

David’s Bridal is upping the ante on its already successful appointment scheduling services by integrating these capabilities directly into the customer digital journey. Even before visitors reach the David’s Bridal website, they can book a personalized appointment at a nearby location from Google search results via “Reserve with Google.” This innovation is part of a broader engagement strategy that pairs customers with a personal shopper who can tailor the experience to their specific event requirements.

These are just a few examples of companies that are taking the lead in enabling personalized customer journeys that transcend traditional channel boundaries. For additional examples from companies such as UPS, Starbucks and Lowe’s, check out our eBook 10 Ways Retailers Are Using Appointment Scheduling to Drive Customer Engagement & Loyalty.  

Avatar for Lauren Mead

Written by Lauren Mead

Lauren, TimeTrade's Chief Marketing Officer, is responsible for TimeTrade’s marketing strategy and execution, including branding, messaging, demand generation, digital and product marketing, and public relations.

Schedule a Conversation with TimeTrade