The Power of Personalization for the Small Business


November, 2023

As a small business owner, you value your customers—but do they know that? Is it clear to them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make their experience memorable and provide what they need? This post will give a brief overview of the power of personalization and how it can provide valuable insight, allowing you to improve your sales and your customers’ experience.

Admittedly, personalization and connection look different than they did several decades ago. So many of our interactions now happen in the digital space, vs. the days when face-to-face was our only option. There is tremendous power in a small business knowing its customers and these days, customers even expect businesses to anticipate their needs. This is personalization. Personalization leverages the collection of information, whether by hand or by use of technology, regarding customers’ preferences, purchase history, and buying behaviors. Then, based on this data, your business is better able to target sales and personalize your customers’ experience. This has been proven to produce much better results than mass marketing campaigns, whose destination is typically the recycle bin. Customers are more likely to respond to offers that resonate with their personal preferences.

When you sell an experience, you’re actually selling yourself.

Clients/customers often choose to work with small, independent businesses rather than the larger, cheapest options available to them. But what determines this choice? At a core level, we all require personal, human interaction. When you sell an experience, you’re actually selling yourself. Have you ever stopped to think that no other business in your market does things exactly the way you do? Customers choose your business because you are part of the package! Small businesses have the unique opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy and interact with the client while giving attention to the details of the product or service that person is purchasing.

When you understand things such as how your customers interact with your business, the times of day/week/year they tend to buy, and which types of items/services show up in their carts, you’ll make their shopping experience easier, improve sales and increase customer loyalty. If you go a step further and make a point to get to know them more specifically, you’ll likely develop a stronger connection.

Customers choose your small business because you are part of the package!

Be Creative

Consider the local coffee shop. Yes, this is a face-to-face example, but stay with me….You’ve probably received a “buy ten, get one free” punch card when you purchased your first latte from that small shop down the street. And after a few visits, when the barista remembered your favorite drink, you felt more welcomed and connected there. They made your shopping experience easier. Maybe you liked the shop so much that you started meeting your friends there to catch up on Saturdays. You increased their coffee sales. You may have even gone out of your way to head to this particular coffee shop when you were out and about. That’s customer loyalty.

Your small business may not be a coffee shop. Maybe you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location at all. This is where your creativity is valuable. Providing customized contracts and personalized gifts, remembering certain large life events, and recognizing client preferences are all elements of personalization that can help you connect with your customers. But don’t stop there. Part of the reason you are a small business owner is that you don’t want to be a cookie-cutter establishment. You offer something unique, with a personality that big-box stores simply can’t duplicate. Just as your business is unique, consider your customers’ uniqueness—there are ways you can personalize their experience that will be very specific to them.

Are you using technology to grow?

It’s easy to keep track of a small number of customers you see on a very regular basis, as in a small coffee shop scenario. But as any business grows, it can be a challenge to stay on top of everyone’s personal preferences. Can you keep track of all your customers and remember important factoids about them that will make their interaction with your business better? Probably not! If this sounds like a ton of work, don’t worry! Again, this is a great opportunity to leverage software or other tech solutions. You might consider implementing AI technology to gather and analyze consumer data. It is now being successfully employed and will continue to make leaps and bounds in adjusting offers and recommendation to meet buyers’ needs. If you decide to go this route, leave the technical stuff to AI, and keep yourself in charge of maintaining the personal, relational feel with your customers.

Use technology to help you keep that personal touch while growing your business


Personalization should be part of your business’ overall growth process. Consider it alongside customer experience, connect it with sales and marketing goals, and pair it with your business plan. Completely customizing your services for each individual customer would halt your growth and derail your long-term goals. You don’t want to get stuck in the weeds here—remember, you’re working to personalize customer experience, improve sales, and increase customer loyalty. With some creativity and your personal touch, you’ll continue to grow your business, your relationships, and your great reputation!

If you have questions or would like to discuss a personalization plan for your business, we’d love to chat!


I have a passion for using technology to make workflow and the day-to-day easier. Pier5 allows me to help businesses with digital technology, allowing them to focus more on what they love and are good at – their product or service!

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