Unique Strategies for Personalising the Customer Experience in Your Retail Store

By Sam Iontton03/04/2023

In the highly competitive world of retail, providing a unique and personalised customer experience is more important than ever. Creating an enjoyable and memorable shopping experience can be the difference between a one-time shopper and a loyal customer. Fortunately, there are many ways to personalise the customer experience in your retail store. In this article, we will explore some unique strategies for personalising the customer experience, including the benefits of doing so, examples from top retailers, and actionable steps to take in your store. Whether you're a small boutique or a large retail chain, these strategies can help you differentiate yourself in the market and build customer loyalty.



What Is Customer Experience In Retail?

Customer experience is the overall impression that customers have of your brand. The process involves all aspects of the buyer’s journey, from the awareness of the customer that they need your products or services to the decision of actually buying those products or services. This impression on your customers results in their overall view of your brand and impacts bottom line factors in your business, including revenue.



What’s The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience?

For a successful business, you should be able to provide top-tier customer service and customer experience. Although it’s a common misconception, these are not the same thing, and understanding the differences is vital to putting together the right strategy.

The easy way to define the difference between customer service and customer experience is that customer service is one event during the customer journey, whereas customer experience encompasses all interactions customers have with your brand. For example, customer service refers to the interactions between a customer and a company's representatives when the customer has a question, concern, or issue that needs to be resolved. It is reactive and focuses on addressing specific problems as they arise.

On the other hand, customer experience is a broader concept that encompasses all touchpoints along the customer journey, from the initial marketing and sales interactions to post-purchase support and ongoing engagement. Customer experience is proactive and aims to create a positive emotional connection with the customer throughout their entire journey with the company. While customer service is important in resolving problems and building trust, customer experience is a key differentiator that can drive long-term loyalty and advocacy.



What Are The Benefits of Offering A Personalised Customer Experience?

Personalising customer experience in your store is vital to customer relationship management strategy for several reasons. Although it definitely does benefit your customers, since they may become returning customers off the back of a good personalised customer experience, improving personalisation in customer experience is also advantageous to your business. Here are just some of the benefits of implementing personalised customer experience from both points of view.

For Your Business

Personalising customer experience in your store is vital to customer relationship management strategy for several reasons. Although it definitely does benefit your customers, since they may become returning customers off the back of a good personalised customer experience, improving personalisation in customer experience is also advantageous to your business. Here are just some of the benefits of implementing personalised customer experience from both points of view.

  • Repeat Business - Making a customer feel valued, appreciated and understood can go a long way towards encouraging repeat business. Pleasing consumers through customer service experiences and employee interactions makes them more likely to become a repeat customer or return to buy more items from that business.
  • Increased Brand Loyalty - Brands with a more personalised customer experience are less likely to experience disconnecting customers. For example, if a customer doesn’t feel heard or understood during interactions with your company, they could be less likely to exhibit brand loyalty and purchase from your competitors. In fact, customer experience now drives 66% of customer loyalty to a brand !


  • Better Insights To Improve Current Strategy - Through creating a more personalised customer experience, you will witness first hand what customers expect from conversations and interactions with your brand. Gaining valuable information on your customers expectations from your brand will help you improve in the future.


For Your Customers

Naturally, an improved and personalised customer experience will bring several benefits to each consumer. Benefitting your customers should factor into your business plan, since happy customers make for a happy business. These are the benefits of personalising your customer experience to your consumers.

  1. Improved Satisfaction Overall - Customers expect quick, reliable service, and an immediate response to their queries and complaints is important to them. In fact, 82% of consumers class an ‘immediate’ response as under 10 minutes . Being able to provide the service that customers expect will ensure that they have more overall satisfaction with your brand.
  2. Increased Brand Trust - Many of us want to spend time with people that we trust and confide in, and the same principle can be applied to customer experience. Customers are more likely to trust real people over the values of a brand, and ensuring that each customer receives a personalised experience while in store helps them to build trust with your company.


  1. More Purposeful Interactions - Customers want to get as much out of their interactions with the people and services of your brand as they can. Companies that are able to curate custom resolutions to problems they raise provides a better experience in store and affect their impression of your brand.




Retailers with Fantastic Customer Experience examples

Creating personalised customer experience strategies can be tricky to get right. Fortunately, there are plenty that have worked in the past that you can use as guidance. From Amazon with their Prime service to Coca-Cola’s creative approach to encouraging consumers to share a Coke, there are many prime examples of creating a personalised shopping experience both in store and online. So, take inspiration from some of these businesses that have levelled up their customer experience to benefit your own business.


Amazon is one of the most recognisable companies around the world but, without personalised customer experience, they may not have made it as far as they have. They put customer data to good use in a variety of ways to ensure that each user’s experience is personalised to them. For example, Amazon uses purchase history data to recommend new, relevant products to customers and send out targeted emails detailing products and services that may be of use.

As well as personalised experience based on collected data, Amazon offers custom solutions through their Amazon Prime service. Prime is a loyalty programme that offers free delivery and other exclusive deals for its members, giving subscribed customers a more personalised service. And Amazon Prime is consistently shown to be successful, with more than 200 million Prime members worldwide as of 2023





Nike has stepped up their in-store customer experience with the ultimate in personalisation: personalised clothing. In some Nike stores, customers can configure and design their own shoes. Through a 3-D customization platform, shoppers can generate real-time snapshots of their shoe designs that they can share on their social media. Naturally, they also have the option to personalise and purchase shoes on their site too. This customisable experience is called Nike By You. Although there is no specific number showing how many people have invested in personalised shoes through Nike By You, Nike continues to hold the largest market share when it comes to athletic brands, with a staggering 43.7% of global sales in athletic stores taking place in Nike shops


Coca-Cola’s ‘Share A Coke With…’ campaign is an ideal example of providing a personalised customer experience without having to actually collect any data. This campaign saw the famous drink company print labels for their Coke bottles and cans that included the most popular names in each country beneath the tagline ‘Share A Coke With..

The campaign started in Australia, where Coca-Cola felt they needed to reconnect with their key audience. Gradually, it spread around the world, with this campaign running in over 80 markets during a seven year period. The ‘Share A Coke’ campaign helped the brand boost their reputation and credibility worldwide, with 1.25 million teenagers trying a Coke drink during the summer following the introduction of the campaign.







The Steps To Take To Start Personalising Customer Experience In Your Store

Before you jump into implementing strategies to start personalising the customer experience in your store, it’s important that you have the right plan and data to support your next steps. In most cases, to provide a personalised shopping experience, you will need to create a clear business vision that focuses around your customers, gather data from your customers and know how to use it, and invest in customer relationship management technology to get you started. Here’s how to take these steps to start personalising the customer experience in your store.



1. Have A Clear Customer-Focused Vision

A business vision, or the goal for what you want your business to be in the future, is vital to maintaining a successful company, since it reminds everyone in your business of why they do what they do each day. Building the value and importance of customers and providing a fantastic customer experience into your business vision will help show both your customers and employees where your loyalties lie and show your customers that you care about them.

Read More: How To Put Your Customer First In Retail

2. Leverage Customer Data

To provide a truly personalised customer experience to everyone that enters your retail store, you will need to collect and leverage customer data. From their name to their preferences while shopping, collecting customer data will show you insights to your customers shopping habits and allow you to personalise their experience in your store around these.

Leverage Customer Data


3. Make Use of Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a technology that businesses can use to manage their interactions with past and potential customers. CRM is a fantastic route to take when looking to provide an improved and personalised shopping experience, since it segments customers and anticipates their needs for you. This way, you can be sure that any communication with customers remains relevant and useful to them, leading to better customer retention and a more personalised customer experience for all. Other ways you can use CRM to benefit your company include:


 Make Use of Customer Relationship Management

The Best Strategies To Personalise The Customer Experience In Your Retail Store

Once you are ready to start implementing strategies to create a personalised customer experience in your store, you can start searching for unique ways to do so.

1. Implement A Loyalty Programme

Loyalty programmes are a non-intrusive way of retaining customers, and they are perfect for building a personalised customer experience. With a loyalty programme, you can put together personalised discounts, offers and other benefits based on what each customer has previously purchased or shown interest in to ensure that they receive benefits they will want to use. Plus, loyalty programmes are great for customer retention, since relevant discounts and offers will encourage them to return to your business. Some other ways you can make good use of loyalty programmes are:


Implement A Loyalty Programme

2. Improve Employee Interactions

Your employees really shape your brand and, most importantly, they are likely who your customers will deal with on a regular basis. So, ensuring that employee interactions are positive and beneficial is vital. Providing the right training to your employees and encouraging them to treat each customer interaction, from someone asking for directions to someone with a customer service complaint, in a positive and human way will help cultivate a good customer experience.



3. Provide Your Loyal Customers With A V.I.P Service

Brand loyalty is something you want to be encouraging, and definitely rewarding. You can treat regularly returning customers with a bit of luxury by providing them with a V.I.P service, whether this be exclusive discounts or samples of new products before they go on the market. Perks are a great way of keeping past customers engaged with your brand, but rewarding long-term customers shows that you appreciate their continued business, resulting in a top customer experience overall.


4. Understand Your Customers On A Personal Level

Building relationships with your customers is vital to creating a personalised shopping experience. Understanding more about the people that regularly enter and use your business besides their purchase history will ensure you build strong relationships with your customers and they with your brand, reducing the risk of them churning, or stopping buying your products. So, build relationships with your customers - learn their likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests to create a strong connection and build loyalty.


Understand Your Customers On A Personal Level

5. Provide A Smooth Omnichannel Experience

It’s unlikely that your customers are interacting with your brand only in store or only online. The reality is that customers are never just online or offline, and ensuring that every experience your customers have with your brand is positive and smooth is essential. So, invest in your omnichannel strategy by learning which channels your customers prefer to use and working to improve these so they are up to scratch. With omnichannel options, your customers can reach your brand on their terms and preferences, helping to build a personalised customer experience and improve your customer service all in one. However, remember not to neglect your in-store appearance and personalisation while focusing on a smooth omnichannel experience. For example, you can create an engaging in-store experience by promoting products and offers at strategic points through the customer journey.


View our range of glass display cabinets to promote products in your store


Provide A Smooth Omnichannel Experience

6. Respect Your Customer’s Time

The old saying ‘time is money’ doesn’t just relate to your sales targets. Your customer’s time is just as important as your business’, and wasting or disrespecting their time is one of the easiest ways of losing their custom potentially for good. To create personalised shopping experiences for all of your customers, you must show that you respect the time they have taken to enter and buy from your business. Follow these strategies to boost the in store experience of your customers and show them that you respect the time they have taken to make use of your business:

Take a look through our range of chalkboards and noticeboards to keep your customers updated while in store.


Respect Your Customer’s Time

7. Connect With Customers on an Emotional Level

The majority of consumers are ‘emotional shoppers’, with Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman concluding that a whopping 95% of a customer’s buying decision-making is emotional since it comes from the subconscious mind . So, connecting with your customers on an emotional level is crucial to building strong relationships with customers, increasing customer retention and influencing their buying decisions. Whether this be through marketing before customers even make it into the store or ensuring that all interactions end on a positive note for the customer, your customers emotions when seeing, thinking about or interacting with your brand greatly influence their decision to return to you. Here are some of the best practices to start tapping into your customers emotions:


Connect With Customers on an Emotional Level

8. Send Personalised Emails

Email marketing is one of the most beneficial marketing channels for both online and offline businesses to invest in. And tailoring these communications is the perfect strategy for creating a personalised customer experience that fits each individual customer. However, you must be sure that your emails provide relevant, non-intrusive emails that provide them with helpful information or offers. Otherwise, your emails will likely go straight into the trash can.


Send Personalised Emails

9. Set Up Live Chat Online

Live chat used to be a nice-to-have feature, but one that was hard to integrate into a website. Now, live chat is an essential asset if you have a website. Businesses that use live chat on their websites can keep in contact with customers old and new, and quickly answer queries and complaints in real time. Live chat is consistently one of the most preferred ways for customers to receive support when browsing or shopping online with a brand, and the feature gives your business the chance to build stronger connections, have real personal conversations and convert customers.


Set Up Live Chat Online

10. Collect Customer Feedback In Real Time

When it comes to collecting customer feedback, there is no such thing as ‘too much.’ As a business, you should always be working to improve. But, if you’re working on personalising customer service and experience, customer feedback is where you will discover the best strategies for your company. Collecting customer feedback in real time will inform you of your customers thoughts and feelings, and you can put this information to good use to further personalise the customer experience in your store. Some ways of collecting customer feedback in real time include:


Collect Customer Feedback In Real Time

11. Regularly Gather Employee Feedback

Your employees are on the front lines, and will witness first hand how customers feel and act when engaging with your business. So, you should gather their feedback on how you could improve the customer experience. They will likely have a better understanding of what customers are looking for since they deal with them on a daily basis, and can inform your customer experience strategies. However, gathering employee feedback is vital for another reason - their happiness. Unhappy employees can lead to unhappy customers. If employees aren’t satisfied or engaged with their job, customers may not have positive interactions with them, which will have a knock on effect on your business and brand. So, make sure that you are gathering feedback from employees as well as customers and consistently check in on how they are doing as well as asking how they feel your business could improve the customer experience.


Regularly Gather Employee Feedback

12. Provide Top-Tier Customer Service

Although the difference between customer service and customer experience is vital to know, that doesn’t mean they don’t go hand-in-hand. Being able to provide strong customer service is essential to a good customer experience, since bad dealings with your customer service team will likely cause a customer to find somewhere new to shop. So, make sure that your staff are well trained in customer service and can handle queries and complaints in a calm, collected manner. To further personalise the customer experience while handling complaints online, you can use CRM technology to ensure that the customers details are always to hand to ensure a smooth, personal experience.


Provide Top-Tier Customer Service


13. Improve The Customer Journey

A satisfying customer experience depends on the overall customer journey, rather than certain touchpoints throughout. As such, you will require a clearer understanding of the entire customer journey to help create a more personalised customer experience. Analysing a customer’s journey and recognising the problems that may occur will offer new opportunities for you to improve the customer experience in your business and enable your team to grow. For example, freeing up floor space and making it easier for customers to explore your store at their own pace will ensure that they have a better customer journey. However, you can use clothes rails or hanging rails to display merchandise without invading your customers'space.


Improve The Customer Journey

Personalising The Customer Experience In Your Retail Store: In Summary

In conclusion, personalising the customer experience is critical for retailers, since it will help you remain competitive and build customer loyalty. By implementing unique strategies such as loyalty programs, V.I.P services, omnichannel experiences, and employee training, you can create a personalised and emotional connection with your customers both in store and online. Ultimately, by prioritising the customer experience, you can differentiate yourself in the market and achieve long-term success.




What are the advantages of personalised customer service?

Personalised customer service is a powerful tool for businesses to enhance customer experience and loyalty. By tailoring your approach to individual customers, your business can better understand your customers needs, and provide more relevant solutions. This will lead to improved customer satisfaction and increased loyalty, as customers will feel valued and appreciated. Personalisation will also help your business stand out from the rest and can lead to higher customer retention rates and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Finally, personalised customer service often results in higher sales, as customers are more likely to purchase from a business that provides a personalised experience.

What are the 4 R's of personalization?

The 4 R's of personalisation are:

  • Right message: Delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time is crucial in personalisation. By analysing customer data and behaviour, businesses can tailor their messaging to be more relevant to their customer base.
  • Right channel: Personalisation also involves using the right channels to communicate with customers. Whether it's email, social media, or physical interactions, businesses should choose the channels that their customers prefer and are most likely to engage with.
  • Right time: Timing is everything in personalisation. Businesses can use customer data to understand the best time to reach out to customers, whether it's for a product promotion or a follow-up call.
  • Right offer: Personalisation also involves offering the best solution to the customer. By understanding their preferences and needs, businesses can offer products or services that are tailored to the customer's specific interests, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.


What are the two types of personalization?

The two main types of personalisation are:

Implicit personalisation: Implicit personalisation involves using customer data such as browsing history and purchase history to personalise a customer's experience without them actively providing the information. For example, a website may use a customer's browsing history to recommend similar products.

Explicit personalisation: Explicit personalisation involves using information that the customer actively provides, such as preferences, interests, and behaviour, to personalise their experience. For example, a website may ask a customer to fill out a survey to better understand their preferences and use that information to make personalised recommendations.










Unique Strategies for Personalising the Customer Experience in Your Retail Store

Unique Strategies for Personalising the Customer Experience in Your Retail Store