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Putting the “I” In Retail Through Data-Driven Personalization

Today, consumers can hit “ignore” on any ad, brand or store experience that isn’t relevant. To grab and keep their attention, manufacturers and retailers need to put the “I” back in retail—and create personal, engaging experiences.

Luckily, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence are now enabling marketers to engage intimately with their consumers, one-to-one, and activate their creative content with laser-guided precision.

At this year’s Global Summit of the Global Consumer Goods Forum held in Singapore, Jeanne Danubio, Nielsen’s EVP of Retail, hosted a special session called “The ‘I’ In Retail: Data-Driven Personalization.” This session explored how technology is disrupting three major stages in the consumer journey: how people discover products and stores, how they shop, and where and how they ultimately buy.

“The issue is, we’re still operating in a mass marketing world, but consumers are living—specifically, searching and learning—in a very personalized world, “ said Jeanne.

Jeanne provided recommendations for how the industry’s leading retailers and manufacturers can over-deliver on their customers’ expectations for personalized shopping and brand experiences during each of these stages.

Personalized consumer journey

Next-generation marketing tools, like Nielsen Marketing Cloud for targeting and multi-touch attribution for ROI measurement, will be critical for delivering highly personalized messages and offers. In addition, companies should lean even more into mobile phones, as these hand-held digital devices will enable consumers to create their own better brand and in-store experiences with augmented reality. Finally, companies will need to organize for an omnichannel world. Consumers see little difference between online and offline stores—only the trade offs in convenience. Each store model from local to online will need to borrow the best elements from other channels to create different, complementary experiences.

“For years, companies have tried to build a comprehensive picture of their consumers with customer loyalty programs. However, that view is limited. In order to make personalization a reality, companies must shift their focus from knowing their store or category to knowing the person,” said Jeanne.

With Nielsen data and solutions, it’s already possible for brands to combine their own data with a much broader view of their consumers to identify where else they shop, what else they buy, and which new consumers can be acquired with a personalized approach.

Create a comprehensive consumer profile

When companies bring all of these elements together, they’ll be able to deliver more personalized omnichannel shopping experiences for consumers. Combining networks of physical stores and e-commerce fulfillment will provide infinite, yet highly relevant product assortments. And these personalized assortments will be accessible everywhere people live, work and play—from the store around the block to the palm of their hands.