Off-the-shelf products are so last week. The days of being restricted to exactly what is available in-store are over. E-commerce opened a world of opportunity that provided consumers with greater variety, the ability to shop on their schedules and terms and the potential for greater price comparison. This change to how we shop has pushed the envelope with our demands as shoppers and hence created the movement for products and services that are tailored to our exact demands.
So how did we get here? Let’s take a look:
1. What are normal business hours?
For many, the traditional 9-5 business hours are dead. Replaced with around the clock connection the work day is seemingly endless. This helped to perhaps bring together the first step in a shift to personalization as schedules became crunched and everyone found themselves in a time drought. This helped propel the world of e-commerce, which addressed a key need in this new dynamic, convenience. And what became even more convenient than browsing the virtual store shelves was setting up an automated shopping experience thanks to curated and tailored online shopping programs (think Amazon Prime).
2. The need for convenience breeds innovation
Beyond the virtual world we are seeing convenience define services that we are offered in the physical world. Some services are just really unavoidable for deploying through e-commerce. Retailers have found work-arounds for this and a way to personalize programs to meet consumer needs. Banks have extended hours, you can try on eyeglasses in the comfort of your home and if you are too busy to get a haircut, a hairdresser can come right to you.
3. Offers become uber targeted
There is a true onslaught of information and consumers are becoming numb to deals, discounts, promotions and offers. What can cut through the noise? A personalized offer that speaks to the direct needs of the consumer in the right place and at the right time. Targeted marketing through the use of data analytics is becoming so much more common that consumers themselves have even come to expect it. Whether it is a mail flyer, digital display add or customized loyalty programs, consumers expect materials to be just as unique as they are.
4. B2B joins the personalization bandwagon
A lot of progress has been made in the personalization of direct to consumer targeting but this trend is also making strides in the business world. Business interactions are increasingly looking like consumer interactions – individuals expect seamless services and products that are made to their exact specifications. Customized products and offerings are no longer a differentiator in business interactions. With consumers expecting personalized products wherever they turn, businesses will have to look beyond customization to really stand out.
Want to learn more?
Download our one-page infographic, Welcome to the World of Personalization to understand more about these current trends and potential impacts to your business.