Diversity and inclusion are top demands in the current retail industry – as discussed in the 4th annual Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas. Four action-packed days with multiple sessions and more than 8000 attendees later – the consensus was clear: 2019 will be the year of experience management and community-centric marketing¹. The main reason for it? As perfectly stated by Retail Week², “because consumers become more conscious about the brands they engage with” – which is also why personalized customer experience is becoming more important than ever.
While 2017 was the year of aspiration and 2018 the year of transparency – our future is focused on customer obsession. But, personalization isn’t a new topic in retail. Recently however, it seems as if brands have come closer to a universal understanding – even though no solid solutions have been found yet³. Nevertheless, the creation of a more personalized customer experience was a recurring theme at this years’ ShopTalk. Particular emphasis has been put on how to offer the most relevant content for each customer³. The reason for this focal point was because – as beautifully said by Rebecca Kaden (Union Square Ventures):
“customers don’t fall in love with a business model; they fall in love with a product or service that makes them feel something. People connect to emotions and not business models.”
The big question is, how can it be done? A predominant theme was Artificial Intelligence. And as expected, the general agreement of the must-attend retail event of the year was: if you’re not using AI, you’re way behind. Still, it hasn’t been clearly concluded how AI can make customers feel connected. Allure Systems believes the solution lies in providing relevancy. By using digitalized models to create size-inclusive photography, AS simplifies the process for retailers/brands to showcase diversity and size-inclusive visuals on their website. And consequently – offers an opportunity for retailers/brands to connect with a broad variety of consumers – as they get the chance to show their understanding that people come in all shapes and sizes.