Whether you are starting to think about your online retail strategy for the upcoming holiday season, or you want to make overriding changes to your customer experience, personalization will play a critical role. That’s because customers see personalization as a component of the overall experience they seek from your brand.
According to Accenture, 44 percent of consumers are frustrated when companies fail to deliver relevant, personalized shopping experiences. At the same time, 49 percent are concerned about personal data privacy, even though they are subscribing to intelligent services designed to help understand their personalized needs. The same report from Accenture noted that poor personalization and a lack of trust cost U.S. companies $756 billion in 2016, when as many as 41 percent of consumers switched to competitors that could deliver.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, you’ll need to deliver that customer personalization in a way that ensures all their personal data is secure. While these customers want you to know everything about them so you can create these unique interactions, they don’t want everyone else having that information.
Therefore, online retailers have to strike a balance when they create these experiences to make them both personal and secure.
Beyond Personalized Recommendations
And, if you think that just generating personalized recommendations is the answer for the personalization-security issue, then think again. According to Salesforce, only seven percent of site visitors click on their personalized product recommendations, which account for 26 percent of revenue.
Although it’s still a worthy endeavor to continue offering personalized recommendations on your online retail site, you’ll have to do more when it comes to customizing their experiences.
Secure Personalization Strategies
Technology offers some direction for this dilemma. You may want to consider facial recognition software. First, this technology can provide a way to instantly recognize and verify each customer that enters your website, addressing both personalization and security simultaneously.
Then, you can add specific personalization features like greeting them by their name, suggesting various products, and offering them an avatar or picture of themselves to virtually “try on” products. Alternatively, consumers might upload pictures of their home like rooms so that these can display a personalized approach to how new furniture you sell might look.
Adding Other Technology
You may also want to explore other types of technology that help with the dual objective of personalization and security. For example, customer identity and access management (CIAM) technology can assist you in securing the personal identities of your online retail customers.
When your customers create an account on your website, you can use this technology to verify their identity. All it requires is a one-click process that uses validated social media credentials to conduct the identity verification. The enhanced security measures will make your customers feel better shopping with you and more willing to share information about themselves so you can improve the personalized experience.
Working with Available Data
There may be situations where you have limited access to customer data, so it’s important to know the type of personalization you can offer with just a few data points.
For example, you can use on-site and off-site retargeting tactics to keep your customers on your site or encourage them to return. You can create personalized pop-ups that reflect what is in their cart or in the one they abandoned. This is a way to also provide personalization to those who may have never ordered with you before. Another option is to use their browser history to entice them with a personalized promotion based on that specific information.
Also, it’s easy to track the location of your site visitors without needing much information. With that data, you can provide a personalized home page or navigation related to where they live, including local store and site specials.
With these examples, you can see how to implement personalization in different ways, using limited customer data, without compromising security. As you build trust with customers, you can seek more detailed data and share your security strategies to deepen those personalization opportunities.