“The whole concept of personalization is simply on steroids right now. It’s all about the consumer in that one moment in time,” states Terry Lundgren, Executive Chairman at Macy’s. “We’re doing anything we can do to connect directly with consumers and make shopping convenient for them.”

Lundgren was just one of many high-level executives at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show and Expo; the focus this year was on continued personalization and technology coming together to create the ultimate customer experience.

Karen Katz, President & CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, adds, “I think the people that can combine technology-powered personalization with a human will be the winners.”

It would be wise for automotive dealerships, banks and other businesses to take notice of what retail industry leaders are doing to stay relevant amongst their customers.

One such way modern retailers are staying ahead is by providing a true omnichannel experience. Many believe physical locations are not going away, so retailers must use their online marketing to drive traffic to stores. Omnichannel experiences are all about connecting online and offline behaviors to drive revenue.

In the case of Macy’s, what’s known as “buy online, pick up in store” is helping to keep the retail giant afloat. In a similar fashion, car buyers conduct a considerable amount of research online before heading to the dealership. A dealership must have consistency in their marketing channels so that the customer journey connects online browsing buyers to the dealership experience.

According to Convenience Store News, location-based personalization is being used to market to customers who are in the proximity of specific retail locations. One convenience store chain uses location-based technology to know when someone is within 200 to 500 feet of their store, so they can send out a reminder of a promotion or a special deal. Personalization technology is allowing retail stores to compete on the level of Amazon and meet the customers’ growing expectation.

  • 85% of online retail shoppers are fully expecting personalization

Personalization is poised to increase exponentially. At least one-quarter of marketers admit that they are not using their tools to their full potential, but many are optimistic of its possibilities. As the technology gains more widespread use amongst marketers, personalized marketing will be the difference between a business’s capability to thrive, not survive.

Personalization is about the ability to cut through the clutter. It’s about relevancy. The challenge is implementing personalization when there are massive amounts of customers in the database and seemingly endless data points to consider. Having the right platforms/software, though, and having the algorithm to do it, allows companies to create highly personalized, automated content on a massive scale without scaling the costs.

While the intricacies of personalization are complex, what it comes down to is good old-fashioned customer care combined with automation. What Amazon lacks, is mapping the customer experience to a physical, person-to-person level – when implemented correctly, this can be very advantageous to the customer and the company’s bottom line.