The 1-to-1 customer experience: it’s what your shoppers expect. They experience it with Netflix and Facebook on a daily basis, and they anticipate that same convenient experience when they shop with you, too. If your experience doesn’t make it easy for your shoppers to find the right products, they’re likely to give up and go somewhere else. And in grocery, where your catalogue consists of tens of thousands of products, the challenge is even greater and more important.

Good news! By leveraging data from a shopper’s online transactions (and their in-store purchases, if you have a loyalty program), you can tackle this challenge and deliver a world-class experience. From the home page to the catalogue to the cart, you can present each shopper with the products and specials that they are most likely to want, based on the trends in their purchase history.

To be clear, this is not about personalizing the customer experience via segmentation — this is about giving each shopper a completely unique, 1-to-1 experiencewhen they access your website/mobile app/emails. No two shopper experiences should be the same.

To help you implement the relevant and convenient experience your shoppers have come to expect, we’ve developed three guiding principles:

1) Personalize from the very first click

Right from the home page, the shopper should be able to see that the experience has been tailored to them. Their previous orders, most frequently purchased items and recommended products should be front and center. This level of personalization will create an incredibly convenient experience right off the bat.

From that point on, the shopping journey should continue to be 1-to-1 personalized; search results, the catalogue and the weekly ad should all showcase the most relevant products based on each shopper’s purchase history.

2) Continuously refine the experience

The personalized experience should continuously evolve as you collect more and more data about your shoppers, leveraging both their in-store purchases and online behaviors such as previous purchases, browsing history and what they add to their cart.

As a shopper’s habits shift, from meat-eater to vegetarian, or from single to parent for example, so should the products and specials you highlight for them.

3) Use personalization to bring your shoppers back in store

Don’t stop your 1-to-1 personalization efforts after the checkout. Use your data to target your shoppers with relevant messages and offers after and in-between their trips in order to drive them back in store. For example, grocers should consider offering:

  • Weekly emails highlighting any items on sale the shopper has previously purchased.
  • 1-to-1 personalized offers sent to those who haven’t visited your store in X days.
  • Reorder emails sent out X number of days after an order is placed, allowing shoppers to quickly re-load the items from their last purchase back into a new order.

Let’s recap: 1-to-1 personalization is what your shoppers expect, and not having it could cost you their business. To do it well, ensure that the shopping experience feels personalized right off the bat, remains relevant as your shopper’s purchase habits evolve, and is supported by timely and personalized communications. By doing so, you’ll create just the right level of relevance and ease to keep your shoppers coming back again and again.

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