As shopping habits continue to evolve, consumers are increasingly likely to expect a personalised experience when researching and buying products. A number of health and beauty brands have become especially proficient in this area, adding extra dynamism to the customer experience. According to retail technology expert Conversity, the rest of the retail sector could learn some valuable lessons about personalisation from here, and use these learnings to bring added vibrancy to how they interact with their customers.
In recent years, health brands have been experimenting with new technologies that make it easier for consumers to browse, find and buy products that are ideally suited to their individual circumstances. Revive Active, a company that won Best Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement Product at the 2019 OTC Product & Retail Pharmacy Awards, recently rolled out a personalisation platform which is an excellent example of this: by asking visitors a series of questions relating to their needs and benefits they want to get from a supplement, the software is able to recommend a relevant product. Initial results show significant increases in online engagement and basket size, cutting through complexity of choice and increasing shopper confidence.
Daithi O’Connor, founder and managing director of Revive Active said; “Choosing the right supplement can be complex and it’s really important we speak in the right voice, to the right customer at the right time. Our ethos is dedicated to understanding our client’s nutritional needs and providing them with the best possible advice in choosing a supplement perfectly suited to their demographic, goals and lifestyle. An intelligent guided sales solution allows us to interact naturally with our customers and reassure them on their purchasing journey that we appreciate how individual their requirements are. It has been transformational; we have seen a huge increase in customer engagement online helping develop the customer relationship that is critical to our business.”
According to Sarah Cameron, customer experience director, at Conversity, it is this type of innovation that is setting an example for the wider retail sector to follow. Cameron said: “Health brands have made great strides in incorporating new tech elements into their customer experiences, enabling them to go well beyond a token app with basic features or a website offering little else other than a long list of products, and brings a human touch to the online channel. It’s these added touches that are making them stand out as trailblazers in the retail sector – they’re firing the imaginations of their customers and empowering customers to confidently buy products. This approach is certain to pay dividends in the long run.There’s a great deal that other retailers can learn from this example, providing they’re willing to be imaginative in how they can improve the experiential aspect of shopping across any channel.”
To achieve this, Cameron believes that retailers need to think hard about how their customers shop, and what their core needs are and work out how they can differentiate and bring their products to life more effectively, especially online where it is harder to recreate the personalised advice that can be given in-store.
She added: “We know that personalisation and user experience is more important now than ever before, so working out how to deliver this in a way that brings the best out of your products should be a priority for any retailer. Technologies like intelligent guided selling, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have a lot of potential in this respect, given their ability to accurately visualise how a product will look or perform in real life and also help retailers to better understand customer habits.
Cameron concluded: “For example, if you sell healthcare products, focusing on data mining activities will help you to better understand the triggers and behaviours that lead your customers to make purchases. AI can be incorporated here, with this improved grasp of data meaning product targeting can be made much more relevant. Combine this with technology which suggests relevant products in real time according to customer preferences – such as intelligent guided selling – and a more joined-up, consistent and exciting customer experience can be created.”