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  • Lisa Henry

Data, Tech and Personalisation: the DNA of a Successful Customer Experience

While 77% of consumers say they are satisfied with brands' personalised product recommendations, 52% want innovation in the customer experience. These figures were unveiled at the tenth edition of Retail Tech, a community of retail players who have been meeting regularly since the beginning of 2022. Here we take a closer look at the innovations that have been put in place to personalise the CX.

While personalisation is essential, in the retail sector it can prove tricky, according to Edouard de Miollis, chief experience marketing and digital officer at Louis Delhaize Group: "Our typical customer does what we call 'missions', meaning that they don't buy for themselves but for their household, so it's complicated to personalise the shopping experience."

At E.Leclerc, personalisation already involves the RGPD. In fact, the retailer, in partnership with Untie Nots for its loyalty programme, does not personalise these offers without the consumer's consent. If they agree, the offers are then tailored to the customer's buying behaviour. To personalise offers, the chain, which has more than 15 million active loyalty cardholders, makes a point of finding the right brands for the right people, rather than the other way round.

At Monoprix, personalisation is reserved for premium customers. While the omnichannel loyalty account is accessible to all, only the "best customers" receive personalised push notifications about offers in their shop, between 15 and 20 times a week. "This premium aspect was requested by our shop managers, in order to create a more personal experience for the customers they see on a regular basis", explains Sandrine Sainson, Customer Experience Director at Monoprix. This "premium" targeting strategy seems to be working for the long-established chain, with their targeted digital campaigns recording an open rate of 27%.

Fashion, a promising sector

Personalisation may have its limits in the retail sector, but the fashion sector is opening up even more possibilities. At Zalando, a pure player in clothing sales with a turnover of almost 15 billion euros, the customer experience is based on innovation in terms of data and AI. "We have taken existing CX personalisation tools and pushed back their limits", explains Laura Toledano, Zalando's General Manager for France.

The company's aim is to create a made-to-measure digital experience. In Germany, for example, it has launched a personal shopper function linked to Chat GPT. The principle is simple: customers can chat with the AI and ask for specific shopping advice. For example, if they are going to a wedding, Chat GPT will ask them about the theme, the season, whether they prefer plain colours or patterns, etc. "At first, the virtual assistance suggestions are very general. But the more the customer talks to the AI, the more specific they become, and Chat GPT becomes a real personal shopper", explains Laura Toledano.

Personalising CX to reduce the rate of returns

While this tool is in the process of being set up and should soon be available in France, Zalando is currently working on another, more embryonic solution: virtual fitting. "Since a third of product returns are size-related", explains Laura Toledano, "we are developing a system where customers can enter their measurements to create a highly personalised avatar and 'try on' clothes before buying them".

While waiting for this tool to be perfected, Zalando also offers its customers specialised product sheets, which can indicate whether a garment is a small or large size. "They can be personalised as purchases are made. If a customer has already returned a garment because of its size, machine learning takes this into account and notes warnings about similar products that might not fit." Laura Toledano concludes.


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