Voice of the Industry

How to personalize the shopping experience when handling a large volume of sales

Wednesday 17 November 2021 14:32 CET | Editor: Anda Kania | Voice of the industry

As part of our peak season series, Jan Pieter Lips, Head of Retail and Hospitality Solutions at Adyen, provides useful tips on how customer experience can be personalized even when the sales volume is very high

With the high volume of sales and pressure that come with peak season, it may seem strange to think about adding one more to-do to the list. Especially as personalization is never a one-and-done strategy. 

Since the pandemic began, the forced shift in shopping behaviour has led to online and in-store experiences merging. New buying journeys have formed, including virtual consultations or ordering at a restaurant with a QR code. And plenty of new opportunities for personalization have sprung up as a result.

But you shouldn’t see personalization as a source of more work. With your existing technology, personalization can help elevate the shopping experience and simultaneously make your business more efficient during the busiest of times.

Help sales assistants serve shoppers faster

First of all, your sales assistant is your most important asset to help you personalize one-to-one. As more shopping moves online, the in-store experiences you offer have become even more valuable.

At scale and with large groups of customers, this level of personalization is difficult, but it can be a lot easier with the right tools. Implementing mobile Point of Sale terminals, or mPOS, means your sales assistants aren’t tied to a cash register but can carry out transactions wherever the customer is. For example, Lush, a handmade cosmetics store, has shown that this is not only their shoppers’ preference, but it also reduces queues during peak season.

In the same way, endless aisles can help personalize and alleviate the pressures of high sales volumes. Maybe the customer knows what they want to buy but doesn’t want to carry heavy bags around for the next few hours. Endless aisles allow them to have their items shipped directly to their home. You can also use endless aisles to respond to out-of-stock issues. Superdry, for example, allows staff to order on behalf of their customers from their whole online inventory via an iPad.

The payment flow should be seamless

Once the customer has reached the point of payment, the possibilities for personalization don’t stop there. On a POS terminal, you can recognize the customer’s local region through their card details and show their native language and currency. You can even recognize loyalty program members through their payment card, saving them from typing in their email address or scanning a QR code. 

Via the online channel, you can recommend certain payment methods based on the customer’s billing address, or offer one-click payments through tokenization, which allows a shopper to securely save their card details for future use.

These small touches don't only leave the customer impressed. The increased efficiency also means your sales assistant can help other customers faster, and your website is less overwhelmed by traffic.

Personalization doesn’t have to be one-to-one

No shopping experience can be highly personalized every time. And it doesn’t have to be as shoppers’ preferences change constantly. It might be one day that they want a guided shopping experience with a sales assistant, and another day they might prefer to head to a self-service kiosk and get their purchase done as quickly as possible.

Having these options ready for your customers can make them feel like the experience meets their individual needs. But the list of options keeps growing, with new choices emerging like curbside pickup, and Buy Online, Return in Store.

The best way to give your customers a full range of possibilities is to combine your online and in-store payment data, from all locations, in one system. With this setup in place, you can start offering customers a unified commerce experience, and blend online and offline more easily.

Don’t let your systems slow you down

Your best personalization tactics don’t matter anymore if your systems go down. There’s more bad news, with 71% of shoppers claiming they won’t return if they’ve had a bad experience in store or online.

This is a particularly risky situation with high sales volumes. Choosing systems with maximal uptime is a start, but it’s also a good idea to have solutions in place that act as a backup. For instance, with store and forward, your POS terminals will queue transactions and process them later if they do go offline. Or, for online purchases, if your distribution centre runs out of a certain item, you can ship that item from a store where it’s still in stock.

Personalization helps optimise your entire business

There are many ways to personalize and offer your customers a superior shopping experience. But what’s also important to remember is the advantages of personalization don’t stop there. Meeting shoppers’ individual needs means they’ll move faster through the buying journey and convert more easily. Which also helps to reduce traffic in-store and online, and maybe even give you the headspace to start thinking about your next personalization project.

About Jan Pieter Lips

Jan Pieter Lips works for global payments platform Adyen where he’s responsible for the retail vertical.

About Adyen

Adyen (AMS: ADYEN) is the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, providing a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers' globally preferred payment methods. Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in-store channels. With offices across the world, Adyen serves customers including Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Casper, Bonobos and L'Oréal.

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Keywords: retail, customer experience, Black Friday, digital payments, Adyen
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce

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