Shopper Experience: cinco maneras de personalizar las interacciones físicas con los clientes


By Chad Wagner, CEO, Peachtree Packaging

Personalization, which allows brands to cater to individual preferences and provide more relevant content and services based on customer behavior, has transformed the digital marketing world. In fact, consumers now expect personalized experiences in nearly every channel of marketing. But what are consumer expectations of personalization for physical interactions with retail brands?


We live in a world where consumers are used to personalization in the form of targeted digital ads based on their personal search history, emails that contain up-to-the-second information about their latest interaction with a brand, and highly personalized and relevant social media messages, to name just a few. How can brand managers make a customer’s physical interaction with an in-store display or a product package just as personalized?

Fortunately, there are strategies and tactics that brand managers can implement to personalize product display and packaging designs to increase a customer’s emotional connection with a brand.

Here are five examples of personalization strategies that retail brand managers can use to make a tangible connection in a customer’s physical world.

1.    Get local
National brands are iconic and consumers expect to see consistency in branding every time they see a product. If you buy a bag of chips in a grocery store in New York, you expect to see the same bag of chips in your local grocery store in Lawrenceville, Georgia. What if the bag of chips in your local grocery store was in a display that had a hyper-local focus that reflected a local connection? Now you have a more personal connection with a national product. This connection can be made through local sports teams, local businesses, local schools, local non-profit organizations, iconic local landmarks, or local events. It can catch consumers by surprise and create an emotional response when they see a local connection to a national brand in a store. This connection can also be made with packaging that is shipped directly to a consumer.

2.    Tap customer data
Digital marketing thrives on customer data. The more detailed the customer data, the more personalization is possible via channels such as email marketing and digital advertising. How can brand managers use customer data in physical customer interactions? Perhaps customers who order cat-related products receive a package with cat cartoons, while dog owners are delighted with dog quips. Some customers may receive Merry Christmas packaging while others receive Happy Hanukkah messages based on their customer profile. Eventually digital printing will make it cost effective enough to personalize packaging at scale, but in the meantime, regional and segmented printing is the stepping stone to individually personalized packaging.

3) Make physical displays and packages interactive
One way to increase personalization in stores is to make physical semi-permanent, corrugated, and permanent point of purchase displays interactive. At the most basic level, you can allow customers to choose which video to watch, what sound or song to listen to, or what scent to try on the product display. If you want to go a step further, consider making consumers part of the display. It doesn’t get more personalized than taking a selfie. Product displays can double as selfie photo booths. Displays that provide built–in selfie opportunities are personalized by definition because the customer becomes part of the display.

Product packaging can also turn into «selfie boxes» that allows customers to take photo-worthy selfies. If you want consumers to be more emotionally involved with your product, create a competition where consumers can vote for their favorite choice by posting a selfie online with their selection. For instance, if you want consumers to vote for a specific new flavor option, include the flavor options on opposing sides of the product box and ask consumers to post a photo of their selection online to cast their «vote.» If you want to spice things up with controversy, invite consumers to cast their “selfie vote” for political candidates or hot button issues.

4.    Combine digital technology with physical displays and packages
For more personalized customer experiences, pair in-store displays with individualized consumer apps and offer coupons or information through QR codes or digital displays. The most sophisticated POP displays take advantage of augmented reality, IoT applications, AI, and new technologies such as facial recognition. In 2016 General Motors introduced the world’s first responsive facial recognition interactive billboard that allows people to engage with the ad directly. Similarly, cameras can be used on displays to detect general information from users, such as age, gender, expression, movement, and engagement, which can then trigger a display to play select videos in response to consumer interactions. As the cost of this technology decreases, this form of interactive technology will become more prevalent in product displays and experiential packaging.

5.    Create open-ended personalization options
Consumers can play an active role in personalizing product displays or packaging. For instance, a product display becomes interactive when people are invited to write a personal message to thank police officers, members of the military, etc. Maybe a display becomes a form of artwork in and of itself by inviting consumers to make a small contribution to a collective work of art. Fill-in-the-blank options can make products customizable. Frito-Lay recently included blank speech bubbles on snack bags that allow people to write personal messages directly on the bag. The campaign became digital as people were encouraged to submit their favorite note ideas online for a chance to win $1000 weekly. The sky is the limit when it comes to this type of open-ended personalization, whether it is on the product packaging itself or the box that is used to ship the product.

The more advanced personalization becomes in the digital world, the more brand managers will be driven to bring that same level of personal interaction to the physical world through experiential packaging and customized e-commerce packaging. After all, a customer’s physical interactions with a product’s display and packaging are perhaps the most personal interaction a customer has with a brand and can significantly influence how a customer feels about a brand.


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