In a competitive market, with key shoppers (think Millennials and Generation Z) craving unique experiences, offering customers a personal touch is key. Sailthru, a personalization platform, just released its first annual index to analyze how 100 top retailers are managing personalized experiences for their customers, and to find relevant gaps.
The results revealed that while some leading retailers are paving the way for top-notch customized experiences, the industry still has a long way to go.
Leading the way was Sephora, ranked as the retailer with the highest Personalization Index score (79 out of a possible 100), but among footwear retailers analyzed, Jason Grunberg, VP of marketing at Sailthru, expressed surprise at how comparably well Famous Footwear was doing (at 55), and noted that ShoeDazzle (at 54) — tied with the likes of Nike — also boasted good results. Foot Locker’s score closely followed (at 51).
Grunberg noted the leading retailers of this index do not treat personalization as a simple marketing tactic — instead, he explained, these retailers incorporate it as a core tenet of their business strategies. “When you think of things as a strategy, things change,” he said.
He stressed the importance of well-designed websites and strong mobile experiences, as well as how imperative it is to work within a cross-channel approach.
Still, Grunberg acknowledged the fact that there are only two retailers whose PI scores reached the 70-range (Sephora and JustFab) speaks an amplitude about the extent to which retail is lagging behind. “It should be a signal of how much room for growth and evolution there is to create that connected, personalized experience,” he said.
“You want to think of personalization in the context of what it is that makes your brand — and your buyer — unique,” summed up Grunberg. “A personalized experience brings brands and consumers closer together.”