Personalization, Automation, and the Fate of Retail & CPG

Use Cases & Projects, Scaling AI Carla Winston

In the ever-shifting world of Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), two pivotal strategies are redefining the way companies operate and engage with their customers: Personalization and Automation. These two pillars are indispensable in maintaining competitiveness and ensuring success in the dynamic realm of retail. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the significance of personalization and automation within the retail and CPG industries.

The Power of Personalization in Retail & CPG

Imagine scrolling through your favorite online retail store, searching for the perfect pair of running shoes. As you browse, the website starts to suggest various shoe options, and you notice that it not only recommends products that align perfectly with your running style but also highlights matching sports apparel in your preferred colors. The icing on the cake? As you add your selection to the cart, a coupon code for your favorite energy bar brand pops up, tailored to your fitness preferences. This isn't a vision of the future; it's the power of personalization in action.

Personalization stands as the art of crafting and delivering unique, tailor-made experiences that align with individual preferences and requirements. It involves the collection, synthesis, and interpretation of customer touchpoints across the entire journey, encompassing purchase history, online browsing behaviors, shopping patterns, and both online and offline interactions. This is where the true magic unfolds.

The essence of personalization hinges on harnessing the value derived from customer data. It results in the delivery of pertinent messaging, targeted content, bespoke offers, and personalized recommendations. In a world where customers demand personalization (with 71% expecting it), the task of delivering personalized experiences has transitioned from a choice to an absolute necessity.

The post-pandemic world has redefined customer loyalty, with three-quarters of consumers adopting new shopping behaviors. In such a fiercely competitive market, personalization not only sets companies apart but also paves the way for customer loyalty. A personalized shopping experience has the potential to convert 56% of consumers into repeat buyers.

Business leaders have recognized the pivotal role of personalization, with 69% increasing their investment in it despite economic challenges. Nevertheless, mastering personalization is not without its share of challenges. According to the State of Personalization Report, over 30% of companies face hurdles, including a shortage of human resources, concerns regarding data privacy, and obstacles related to data quality.

To thrive in the realm of personalization, companies must undergo a transformation of their technology and ways of working. Leading organizations dismantle silos, experiment with new approaches, and act swiftly to maximize the returns generated by personalization. They identify, convert, and retain their most valuable customers by nurturing relationships through individualized offers, recommendations, and content.

The Growing Role of Automation

Alongside personalization, automation is silently revolutionizing the way businesses operate within the retail and CPG sectors. It involves replacing manual processes with technology and solutions designed to reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and elevate the overall customer experience across the value chain.

Companies are progressively shifting towards automation to safeguard their competitive positioning and protect their profit margins. The benefits of automation span the entire value chain, from streamlining the supply chain and optimizing inventory management to fine-tuning merchandising strategies, sales activities, marketing campaigns, and even customer support.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of today, waiting to implement automation is no longer a viable option for companies. The integration of automated processes is at the core of achieving organizational success. The impact of automation transcends boundaries, allowing for the redirection of human resources toward high-value tasks that not only enhance the customer experience but also streamline business operations.

As per the 2023 Connected Retail Experience Study, nearly 70% of routine, manual tasks within the retail sector are poised to be either partially or fully automated by 2025. This monumental shift is set to redefine the industry, equipping companies with the tools necessary to remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace.

In essence, personalization and automation are two critical strategies reshaping the retail and CPG sectors. Personalization serves as the linchpin for customer engagement and loyalty, while automation improves efficiency, reduces costs, and elevates the overall customer experience. Companies that embrace these transformative trends will be better equipped to thrive in the fiercely competitive world of retail, both now and in the future.

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