With data and analytics, it’s easier than ever for retailers to identify and target their high-value shoppers and build highly personalized recommendations. But, personalization also helps retailers in another, perhaps deeper way, by connecting them with their customer base on an emotional level. Done properly, a retailer can lock in faithful customers for the long-term.
In short, the future is personalization with a purpose. The best, most savvy retailers will use data and customization to build a bond that transforms their customers into lifelong evangelists.
An emotional connection drives loyalty
First, it’s important to understand that an emotional connection is the foundation for retailer loyalty. Research shows that retailers who connect deeply with their customers often perform better.
In a Harvard Business Review article, analysts found that emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers – a subtle but very important distinction. Customers with a strong bond are simply more invested in your store and your success. They buy more products, visit your website or storefront more often, are less sensitive to price, and recommend you to more people in their social circles.
One reason for this might come down to a simple quirk of human nature. The first rule of thumb: The more a retailer and its employees seem like real people (vs. just a building with shelves or tables), then the more likely it is to connect with customers. If your store comes across as a person and offers things just for your customers – then the game is yours to win.
How to use personalization to build an emotional connection
Pulling this off isn’t easy though. One way is to pay more attention to laying the groundwork for a relationship with your customers. In fact, the most effective companies build in this emotional aspect into every part of their business, especially where it concerns personalization.
Personalization and an emotional connection are the cornerstones of customer success. Delight them with a special incentive and encourage them to look forward to the next one.
The little touches matter
Lastly, when it comes to personalization and the emotional connection, details are important. Something as simple as directly accepting customer feedback and putting care into your products and services can make a huge difference. In today’s fast-moving, fiercely competitive environment, it is critical that retailers figure out ways to connect with their customers on an emotional level.