I recently returned home from a trip to the West Coast. It was my first time visiting California and I loved everything about it – the sun, the sand, the al fresco dining. As a lifelong New Englander, summertime temperatures in February is something I’ve only ever dreamed about.
While I absolutely took advantage of soaking up the sunshine, I couldn’t help but do a little shopping. After all, I am an ecommerce professional and I wanted to check out the trends.
It was so nice to walk into a store and not be bombarded with winter-specific products and promotions. In Rhode Island, the stores have been full of cozy sweaters, warm mittens, and weather-proof boots for months.
What’s amazing is that even stores I was familiar with through their East Coast locations were merchandised totally different on the West Coast. And it makes sense why – it would be impractical to think that a full length down jacket would sell as well, if at all, in sunny California as it does in Rhode Island during the winter months.
That is a great example of a little thing called personalization – and it goes a long way with shoppers.
Brick and mortar stores have it relatively easy – each of their multiple locations can be merchandised and decorated to meet demographic or geographic needs and sales associates are available to help shoppers find the item(s) they’re looking for, offer advice on product fit or reviews, recommend products they might also like, and answer questions at checkout related to promotions, coupons, or return policies.
But how can retailers give their customers the same personalized and engaging experience through their digital store? Do your West Coast customers have to be bombarded with wintery products on the homepage when they visit your site? Thanks to ecommerce technology, it’s relatively effortless to create. Just be sure your ecommerce platform can support the functionality:
Is it worth the investment in updating my technology?
YES! According to a Forrester report, U.S. online retail sales are expected to grow 57% by 2018 and account for 11% of total retail sales. With such a significant rise in online shopping, it is imperative that you deliver the same brand experience to your customers regardless of the channel they use to shop, because that’s what they expect:
In today’s digital world, personalization is a key component of any commerce site. Show your customers that you know who they are and that you want them to enjoy a great shopping experience with your brand.