Close
 

Are retailers falling behind on personalisation?

  • Opinion
  • June 10, 2015
  • Antony Ede
Are retailers falling behind on personalisation?

More and more, consumers are coming to expect a brand to be relevant for them. They take it for granted that when the brand has access to information about them, it is used in their interactions. They think, "Don't email me about back-to-school, I don't buy stuff for kids!"

Today’s leading brands are doing this well. Google personalises search results based on what you have searched for and clicked on in the past. eBay personalises their entire homepage with things they think you might like based on what you've bought in the past. Netflix, though, are the reigning champions of personalisation; altering the experience so significantly based on the viewer that Joris Evers, Netflix’s director of global communications, likes to say in reference to the total number of subscribers, “There are 33 million different versions of Netflix.”

This trend of so-called ‘mass customisation’ isn't just limited to digital goods. Physical goods too are undergoing the same level of personalisation. Australian shoe retailer Shoes of Prey allows customers to design a custom pair of women's shoes on their website and have it made and delivered to their door. The number of possible combinations is nearly infinite (over 190 trillion be exact!), allowing for an unprecedented degree of personalisation.

Two significant developments have laid the foundation for this change, the full implications of which we are still years, if not decades, away from experiencing.

The first of these is the democratisation of the tools of production and the movement away from large-batch to small-batch manufacturing. It used to be the case that there was a significant cost advantage to producing the same generic product for all consumers. Whether this product was in the form of media and this was due to the cost of changing over print equipment, or in the form of physical goods and the cost of retooling inflexible manufacturing equipment. Now however, both in physical and digital products, the cost advantage of large batches is eroding due to the digitisation of media and more versatile manufacturing equipment. As an example of this, Instagram was able to serve up a user-specific experience on its platform, supporting 30 million users, with just 13 employees at the time of its acquisition by Facebook.

In parallel with this unprecedented increased in our ability to deliver more personalised products, data analytics has allowed us to understand more about what each consumer actually wants. At its most basic level this is as simple as assigning customers to different segments and providing a differentiated experience of the brand based on these segments. This is not true personalisation though; that involves understanding each customer across potentially hundreds of different dimensions and tailoring every aspect of the experience around this.

The combination of these two factors puts us at an inflection point for brands. The tools are well established, the knowledge of how to do it has been created and leading brands like Shoes of Prey, eBay and Netflix have proved the concept. Despite all of these stars aligning for the first time in history, retailers in New Zealand have been slow to move on the opportunity.

Today mass customisation presents an opportunity for strategic advantage but tomorrow it will be just another hygiene factor. Why then are retailers in New Zealand missing the boat? Is it that they see this as being only the purview of the online mega-retailers? How is it that they came to be mega-retailers in the first place?

This story was originally published in NZ Retail magazine issue 737, April/May 2015.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

  • Property
  • May 16, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

The company that owns Courtenay Central in Wellington says it has big plans for redeveloping the complex - which is closed due to earthquake risks.

Read more
 
 

How to tell if you're a born retailer

  • Opinion
  • May 16, 2019
  • David Farrell
How to tell if you're a born retailer

Retail is a profession, but true retailers are born not made, says Dave Farrell.

Read more
 
 

Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

  • Opinion
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sue Archibald
 Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

A sustainable, heat sealed soap wrapper that is claimed to saving tonnes of PET plastic film, petrochemical wax and glue from landfill each year, has won a major award in the Pride In Print industry awards. Sue Archibald, Pride in Print Awards manager, shares more.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

  • News
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

Wellington social enterprise Little Yellow Bird is seeking to scale its ethical apparel operation to the next level with an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Read more
 
 

Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

As a benchmark for impeccably designed packaging of consumer products, The Dieline Awards this year saw creative agency Onfire walk away with recognition for fantastic design for their retail products. We spoke with Matt Grantham, creative director at Onfire Design, about the importance of a strong visual brand in the retail product sector.

Read more
 

BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

Customers at Foodstuffs supermarkets’ instore butchery, seafood counter, delicatessen and bakery will be able to have food packed into their own clean, leak-proof containers from June 1.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}