Five-point checklist identifies how retailers can implement personalised shopping experiences online


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Retailers should look carefully at their online shopping platforms to see if they are offering a personalised shopping experience for customers. That’s the message from digital retail specialist, Sherwen Studios, which is seeking to transform the retail status quo and is encouraging retail brands to think differently about how they manage their online platforms.

Sherwen Studios, which has worked with national retail brands such as ScS, Booker, Londis and Premier, is urging retail brands to think about how they can facilitate personalised experiences into their shopping channels. Today’s customers want to feel individual. They want to benefit from bespoke shopping experiences that are targeted towards their personal wants and needs.

Sherwen Studios believes incorporating personalised shopping experiences into online platforms should be a priority for all retailers, as the results could have a significant impact on your bottom line. Through its own research, the firm has identified that simply adjusting your website homepage to enable changing imagery for individual customers, responding to their particular preferences could increase sales by almost 40%.

As we head into another challenging retail period, Sherwen Studios has created a five-point checklist that could help brands to think about how they can integrate personalised experiences into their online platforms. 

  1. Make the most of bespoke website imagery. Once a customer has logged into their personal account, changing imagery can be an effective way to highlight any relevant products that match the customers personal likes or relate to any previous purchases. This not only allows the customer to see relevant items that they are likely to want to buy, but it can help retailers to maximise any upselling opportunities.

  2. Focus on offering accessible customer service. Automated chatbots have their place, but Sherwen Studio’s research has identified that a third of shoppers believe that online shopping misses the ability to talk to a human. The challenge for retailers is to find a variety of ways to facilitate customer service that match an individual’s personal preferences. Some shoppers will prefer emails or customer feedback forms, while others may actively want to use apps such as Messenger or WhatsApp. Taking an omnichannel approach to customer service will ensure that customers have a way of making contact that suits their preferences.

  3. Use your data analytics to understand customer demographics. Sherwen Studios want to encourage brands to move away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to retail. Different customer demographics will have their own preferences and being able to respond to specific groups will help you to personalise your shopping experience. Thanks to targeted data analytics, retailers can identify distinct patterns and trends relating to different audience groups. This use of data can be used to adapt your online platforms to meet the individual wants and needs of different groups.

  4. Self-service can be integrated into online platforms. We’re used to seeing self-service checkouts in physical stores, but the notion of self-service can also be integrated into online platforms. By anticipating what a customer may want to know, you can create ways to integrate that information into your wider eCommerce and digital marketing strategies. From video tutorials showing the trends and written FAQs, to detailed product descriptions and even CGI marketing techniques, retailers can help customers to find the information that they are looking for quickly and easily.

  5. Tailored messaging via your email marketing can be successful. Tailored messaging is about responding to data that you already have that is readily available. For instance, if a customer has provided their date of birth as part of their online profile, you can easily set up automated techniques to offer bespoke discount codes or sales incentives to celebrate your customers’ birthday. Not only will this create a positive relationship with your audience, but it could also entice them to return to your online store. 

Matt Sherwen, owner of Sherwen Studios, says: “If you’re not already offering bespoke experiences to your customers online, it can be daunting to know where to start. Our five-point checklist is just the tip of the iceberg of what personalised experiences are available for retail brands. These suggestions are just as suitable for smaller, independent brands as they are large retailers. We’re advocating for a change in the retail status quo. We want to challenge retailers to move away from singular shopping experiences and ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches and make use of the wide range of accessible technology that can quickly facilitate these suggestions.”

He adds: “It’s also important to remember that adding in personalised shopping experiences shouldn’t have a start and finish timeline. Customer shopping habits are always evolving and changing, so it’s more cost effective to take a ‘continual improvement’ approach to your digital transformations. If you can continually add small changes, and make minor improvements to your online platforms, you’ll be better positioned to respond to your customers and see what is and isn’t working. Not only is it a more economical way of working, but you’ll be able to benefit from any improvements much quicker.”

As a digital retail specialist, Sherwen Studios has worked with national brands, helping them to incorporate personalised shopping experiences into their online platforms. As well as facilitating the right technology, the firm has also conducted extensive research into consumer shopping expectations through the publication of a white paper, ‘Bricks and mortar vs online retail. How to combine online and offline experiences to improve shopping for your customers’. 

The research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 2,009 UK adults aged 16+, nationally representative on age, gender, and region. The data was collected between 16.08.2021 – 23.08.2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Sherwen Studios is a team of digital retail specialists located in Chester. As a family-owned agency since the 1980s, the company specialises in providing clients with digital innovation. Sherwen Studios has worked with many national retailers including ScS, Premier, Budgens, Perrys, Londis and Booker.

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