By now, you’ve probably heard of the information collected by Google searches and from display advertisements based on interests and other data about you. Many retailers and websites offer similar data in exchange for a fee or to improve advertising products, marketing and conversion rates. Now we have another example of how internet companies can use consumer information to their benefit, this time to determine which products are in high demand, in what stores, in where, at what price.
Building a better shopping experience
A launch video for e-commerce giant Amazon’s Black Friday event began with the words, “We love Black Friday. It’s the holiday of all holidays, it’s all-inclusive, it’s great for shoppers. Even worse, it’s very expensive.” This video is intended to promote the next smart phone shopping experience called Amazon View, which will allow people to shop shopping features, like product reviews, coupons and product pricing, all from their mobile phones and onto connected displays that will appear in stores. The new Shopping features will not appear in brick-and-mortar Amazon locations.
Tapping into human interaction and human needs
Nike’s All Star campaign last year took a different approach to using non-invasive personal data to create improved customer experience. The campaign showed that all-star athletes are willing to wear specific footwear or other products based on a shopper’s desire to look like an all-star. Shop at a Nike store, look good and be hip, apparently, which leads the customer to purchase more products. Nike said, “The entire idea was to communicate the fact that sneakers are really special and they wear them a lot and wear them well. Even the best in the world won’t be able to fake that kind of authenticity.”
Target: the “Make it personal!” store
While Target has not provided such a personal experience as Nike did, Target’s holiday advertising boasts the fact that you can choose one of three experiences of personalization and service: All-Star Club Rewards, Private Pickup, or Project-based All-Star Program. If you opt into one of these, in addition to all-star merchandise, you will get personalized notifications about gifts, offers, loyalty programs and more. Your research will also help to improve in-store and online experiences through the use of learning algorithms and in-store processes that are made more efficient because the customer did not just shop online or shop the store, they shopped both. They shop multiple chances at personal fulfillment.
In a few weeks, Target will start testing thematic in-store experiences from Discovery to Sex and Fitness, “to discover if they work,” a spokesperson said. Curriculum aligned to shoppers’ interests will be created and tested.
Why select a digital store?
Why might Target choose to go digital over an in-store experience? First, Target has successfully disrupted a shopping industry through digital sales. But, more importantly, the National Retail Federation expects sales in digital and store sales to grow at equal rates for the holidays.
Similarly, it’s been proven that in-store shopping is more satisfying than online shopping. A study conducted by Pew Research Center found that 41 percent of American consumers say shopping in stores is the most enjoyable part of the holiday season, but only 8 percent report it’s online.