Customer identification is the first step necessary to personalize the shopping experience, yet most in-store shoppers are anonymous until they check out. According to BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, only 13 percent of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store and another 10 percent identify customers pre-checkout. Retailers fare better online, as 30 percent identify customers when they enter the website and another 30 percent identify customers pre-checkout.
“While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalized experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president, BRP. “Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalization and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store. This is tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – turning anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.”
It is critical to identify the customer early, as soon as they enter the store or begin researching online. This allows retailers to personalize the experience and influence customers’ shopping behaviors. Unfortunately, in most cases customer identification still happens at the point of checkout in the store, which is too late to empower associates to influence the current purchase decision. Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities, such as clienteling and guided selling, which can increase sales and deliver an enhanced customer experience. Even more concerning that 20 percent of retailers still have no ability to identify their customers in the store, even at checkout, which eliminates any opportunities for improving the post-purchase experience or customer loyalty.