3 Non-Creepy Ways Brands Can Use Personalization In-Store

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by Lisa Cramer

Today’s shoppers want a personalized retail experience.

Gartner Stat

But, as I’ve explained before, there’s definitely a line here that shouldn’t be crossed. Personalized can quickly become too personal.

With that in mind, I’ve pulled together 4 non-creepy ways brands can use personalization in-store to drive sales and improve their customer experience.

  1. Create targeted marketing campaigns

    Certainly beacons paired with a mobile app is one way of serving up targeted marketing campaigns based on the shopper’s profile, i.e. email addresses and other data you’ve collected when they opted-in to your mobile app. However, there is another way to deliver targeted campaigns that does not rely on the presence of a beacon or mobile app: facial dectection. This technology allows brands to gather and act on real-time demographic information on shoppers in-store, including age and gender. Armed with the knowledge that a shopper is young and male for example, brands can then serve up targeting ads and promotions on digital screens based on his age and gender. These technologies also provide vital feedback on a promotion or merchandising’s effectiveness based on whether or not shoppers look at, stop and engage with a display or walk right by.

    Another method of targeting that can be used with facial detection is emotion-based targeting. The Hershey Company is also rolling out new in-store technologies using facial detection technology to dispense free candy to happy consumers. Dubbed the “Smile Sampler,” Confectionary News reports, “Hershey plans to introduce an interactive sampler to retail stores that dispenses products after shoppers smile in a bid to enhance the in-store experience and create a sales opportunity.”

  2. Offer information based on a selected product.

    For example, allowing a shopper to quickly access price comparisons, product location in-store, detailed product specs, similar products in your product line or reviews by simply scanning the product.

    Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a tracking technology that allows shoppers to use remote scanners to read tags placed on individual products for more detailed information. When paired with a digital screen or kiosk, there are a number of creative ways this technology can be applied to give shoppers access to valuable information about products they are interested in, without needing to look it up on their smartphones or wait for a sales associate. In this way, you can help push shoppers further along their path to purchase and increase purchase likelihood.


    69% of shoppers stated they would be more likely to buy in-store if given self-help options in-store like digital kiosks or displays (InReality).

  3. Send relevant offers, content or reminders based on location or certain shopping behaviors.

    For example, alerting shoppers nearby your brand of relevant offers or upcoming product releases to increase engagement and purchase likelihood.

    Or perhaps, sending content such as a demo video to shoppers who have been lingering in front of your brand for a certain amount of time.

    The technology behind these kinds of concepts is beacons. A low-cost solution to sending messages or prompts to a shopper’s mobile devices via a mobile app, giving brands an opportunity to influence consumers and their path to purchase.


    • Beacon-triggered messages could directly influence up to $44.1B this year (Business Insider).
    • 57% of customers are more likely to engage with advertising that is location-based (JiWire).

These are only a few ideas on how to bring personalization in-store without being creepy. But, really it all comes down to what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve figured that out, you can mix and match technologies to stay true to your brand and goals while giving your store that personalized touch your shoppers expect.

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