On a recent stroll down the high street in London we had a typical problem. We’d been on the website, saw a picture frame that we liked and now that we’re opportunistically outside that store, we decide to stop in and find it. But we can’t remember a lot of the particulars and don’t see it right off because we weren’t on a specific mission to find it. We’re browsing, as you do. We aren’t a cult follower of the brand so we don’t have the app on our phone from a previous download.
What to do?
Of course, we’ll grab a staff member and ask them whether they can help us find it. We describe that white frame with a black line. She is helpful and after we walk the aisle to no avail, she takes us to the paper catalogue. We thumb through the pages together but its not there.
And that’s when she gets us, as she calls over the counter asking for the iPad. Now we have no excuse other than not being able to recall it or find it.
This visit just shows the evolution in the ways we can be helped – walking the aisle, hitting the catalogue and then going digital. But again, all of this depends on our memory and recall. Depending on whether I’d seen that picture frame last week or three months ago determines my level of accuracy.
With a CloudTags universal Preference Profile, I’d have that picture frame in my browsing history or marked. Although I may not have the specific app for that store, my preferences for pictures frames, whether available from that store or not, would come with me and be accessible by the staff of any store.
Imagine if instead she asked permission to access my Preference Profile upon greeting me and, should I grant it, she could see on her iPad all the picture frame preferences I have. Then she can add truly personalized value to my experience with thoughtful recommendations. It would show her whether there were any direct matches that they sell. If not, it would show products that I’d be likely to buy. Although the iPad is like a kiosk on demand it still depends too much on the customer and doesn’t allow the staff to add value. Retailers have the chance to inspire and surprise customers when they understand them and show it with personal attention.