Personalisation needs to be so seamless that customers don’t realise they are getting curated experiences, according to Jo Gaines, area VP retail and consumer goods at Salesforce.
During the Salesforce World Tour in Sydney, Gaines told Digital Nation that the majority of customers want personalisation but some don’t even know what personalisation means.
“It should be the norm that when I walk into the store, you know me by name, you know what I've purchased in the past if I want to go and buy a product that I bought two years ago, it's very easy for you to find that,” she said.
“You should be able to know what stocks are available without having to trawl through the back office and it should be seamless, even if I'm doing it online.”
This personalisation should be translated over to customer service where a service ticket also tells a customer service personnel insights on a particular customer, Gaines explained.
“Service agents can see very quickly, who am I, what have I done with the store in the past? What's my relationship like? What's my you know, what's my history of good, bad and ugly?
“That is the minimum expectation when I call up whether it's a Mecca and it's a $50 purchase or it's a $3,000 lounge purchase, I expect you to know me and know the history that we've had together,” she added.
Evolution of e-commerce
E-commerce has dramatically changed since the pandemic with retailers’ business plans expedited over two years due to the uptick in digital transformation, Gaines said.
Retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG), are leading the way in terms of digital transformation across the industry, Gaines said.
“I'm hearing from lots of other industries they want to think like retailers and they want to know what retailers are doing,” she said.
Gaines uses the example of beauty retail giant Mecca where their CEO Jo Horgan, founder and CEO of the company was an “expert” at understanding how to fit out the physical stores and picking the perfect products for the store.
“Then Jo had to quickly pivot to figure out how could they have an authentic relationship with customers in a digital-first way when they'd been so used to bringing them in-store and creating that beautiful store experience,” she said.
They had to create that experience online, and they went to do so through virtual consultations and virtual events. Gaines explains through these virtual events they used personalisation to create gift boxes filled with products customers have purchased in the past.
“That is what customers want now and that's what retailers are getting much better at. Other retailers like Lorna Jane and RM Williams are realising that physical and digital really needs to merge,” she said.
Gaines said consumer is still king as they want choice and a retailer can be different things to different people at different times.
“Sometimes I want to go in and have an experience and that Mecca flagship stores, that's a place for experiences, you can get your own perfume created, you can have a facial or you can get your ears pierced; it's a whole experiential space,” she said.
“We as consumers, we know we have options now and brands need to get on board with that.”