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Report: Personalization of store experience is key to retail growth

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Personalization of the in-store customer experience will be a key objective for retailers over the next two years, according to two new Aberdeen Group reports sponsored by HP.

According to the 100 senior retail executives surveyed from industries such as apparel, grocery and department stores, 76% do not possess the technology tools or the business processes for executing web, catalog or special orders from stores. This challenge is being fueled by rising consumer expectations of rich, multimedia in-store shopping experiences.

The research advises retailers to make customer-centric store improvements that utilize digital signage, point-of-sale systems and kiosks to further in-store product information, promotions, sales and service personalization for customers.

“To remain competitive and profitable in today’s connected society, retailers must be able to engage with consumers at all points of service throughout the shopping experience with real-time, personalized information,” said Ray Carlin, VP retail solutions global business unit, HP. “HP’s broad technology portfolio, consumer insights and partnerships empower retailers around the world to deliver a more alluring and differentiated customer experience.”

According to the Aberdeen reports, interactive solutions located throughout a store will play an increasingly important role in delivering a highly personalized sales strategy.

In other findings:

  • Forty percent of retailers reported plans to adopt digital signage to deliver the right message at the right time.

  • Twenty-seven percent of retailers will look to deploy interactive solutions that enhance audio and video communication, which in turn will help shoppers find products more easily and provide retailers with another chance to interact with consumers.

  • One-third of retailers surveyed also are likely to invest in kiosks designed for customers who want to experience web commerce and check inventory while inside a store, a key reason HP continues to innovate in customer-facing in-store technology.

According to the Aberdeen research, retailers that provide customers with this type of in-store activity (for example, the ability to place web or catalog orders in the store) are 1.4 times more likely to see higher than 80% customer satisfaction in stores, compared with retailers that do not provide cross-channel order capabilities in stores.

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