Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish

Personalisation Is Changing the Retail Customer Journey

8th December 2016

retail customer journey

Personalisation can sound like a buzzword. It’s one of those customer experience trends that retailers talk about and yet there is very little definition around what it really means. I think that it’s wrong to dismiss this as a passing fad; rather it’s an idea that has been waiting a long time for many factors to all work together. That’s now starting to happen, as demonstrated by the changes to the customer journey in recent years.

We often forget how long personalisation has been around. I have been using Amazon to buy books since the 1990s. I might even have a twentieth anniversary of using online shopping on Amazon coming up soon, if I can go far enough back on my order history to check on the first ever item ordered.

Amazon first used personalisation to influence the customer journey a long time ago. It always recommended other items once you placed an order, or even just when browsing a product page. We got used to seeing the words “if you liked that, then you may also like this…” without thinking about the processing power that went into such recommendations. I know that I have ordered because of the recommendations and been grateful that they were so accurate, yet these are really just personalised recommendations prepared especially for me.

As Retail Week recently highlighted, many retailers are now allowing customers to directly influence the personalisation systems, weighting the algorithm to be even better than the store can make it through analytics. Waitrose and Boots are good examples. I can imagine that if I once bought a steak for a friend, but I’m vegetarian, then I would not want my supermarket to keep on sending offers from the meat counter – these manual overrides allow customers to tweak what the store knows about you.

Beacons are particularly interesting at present, and retailers such as House of Fraser and Asda are extensively testing this technology. If the customer stays in one place for a period of longer than 10 seconds and is close to a beacon then the system can push a time-limited offer to that customer, related to products that are within sight of the beacon. So if you stop to take a look at a product and that pause causes the store to send an offer, it may be enough to encourage the customer to make a purchasing decision.

But personalisation is changing the customer journey online as well as in store:

With apps increasingly being used by customers to enhance their in-store experience, it is likely that many of these techniques will soon apply across both areas of retail, creating a true omni-channel experience.

What’s your own experience of how retailers are using personalisation and changing the customer journey? Leave a comment below or get in touch on LinkedIn and let me know.

1 comment on “Personalisation Is Changing the Retail Customer Journey”

  1. Lawrence Mckechnie says:

    I really found this article interesting. Thanks. Its interesting that something as objective as data can be used to make customer service more personal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

David Turner
Article by: David Turner

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Are connected customers becoming overwhelmed with information?

Information overload. We all know about that experience at work. The diary that is just too full of meetings. The emails that can only be answered if they are urgent, with the rest of them disappearing into a sea where they are never seen again. But what about your customers. In general new technologies have been great for customers. They can read reviews, post reviews and comments, check...

Ronald Van schijndel appointed CEO webhelp the Netherlands

Ronald van Schijndel has been appointed as the new CEO of Webhelp the Netherlands. Ronald steps into this role following the unexpected passing of our dear colleague and former CEO Gert-Jan Morsink with whom he’s worked closely on the development and growth of the business since 2012. Thanks to...


How often are travellers using digital methods? What channels are customers using most frequently? And has the internet, as many predicated, replaced the traditional travel agent?   The Travel Industry is one sector that many people believed would be disrupted the most following the...

Brits Are Looking Forward to a Traditional Family Christmas

  Electronic devices and computer games don’t make it into top 10 of gifts   With Christmas just days away, the majority of Brits are looking forward to time with friends and family this festive period, according to the latest consumer research from customer experience expert,...

Case Studies
Webhelp People Analytics