Environmental data, like real-time air quality and pollen insights, is a powerful tool that can be used in product personalization innovations.

For retailers across diverse sectors, personalization has become a new frontier in consumer goods. Crafting unique, personalized experiences has become a key to differentiation and gaining a lasting competitive edge. In fact, according to McKinsey, approximately 80% of consumers are willing to pay more to receive a personalized product or service.

This trend is evident in the growing popularity of products developed for more defined audiences, personalized companion apps, smart home devices and voice assistants that provide valuable information, such as local pollution or pollen levels.

What’s Driving Consumer Demand for Personalized Environmental Data?

Consumers want — and often expect — to feel a sense of human connection with the big-name brands that manufacture their cars, home appliances, phones, and applications. In other words, more tailored experiences that address their specific needs. In fact, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business and 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty.

Health and wellness are of major importance for many consumers, with around 50% of US consumers reporting wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives. The increasing frequency of extreme climate and weather events across the globe has helped draw more attention to the impact of environmental exposure on personal health and well-being. For example, many people are concerned about exposure to air pollution and pollen, so they seek out tools and devices that can provide them with real-time information and solutions.

Individual IoT Experiences is the New Consumer Experience

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday devices like air purifiers, humidifiers, and smart home systems to the Internet so they can use and share data like personal details and usage patterns. Consumers have a variety of IoT devices to choose from, so using environmental data, such as air quality and pollen levels and insights can give companies a competitive edge.

Smart home and air purifier companies can enhance their products’ value by making the invisible visible. For instance, when outdoor air quality is good, a home device can show a smiley face, or when it’s poor, the face frowns. They can also add features that react to current outdoor conditions, like automatically turning on the air purification or circulation system, when pollution or pollen counts reach a certain level.

These smart devices can also provide valuable information and recommendations tailored to an individual’s sensitivity to pollution or pollen levels. Through companion apps, they can offer clear instructions such as “close your windows” or “activate your air purifier.”

Customized, actionable insights using environmental data can help determine if a device filter needs to be changed more frequently based on air quality history, the optimal speed settings given air quality levels outside, and if night mode should be activated based on the forecast. Air quality changes multiple times throughout the day, and consumers with access to real-time information are more likely to engage with their home devices regularly.

Wearable devices, fitness apps, and personal health trackers are also embracing real-time environmental data, providing information such as the current air quality and pollen levels at the touch of a button, with a simple gesture, or a voice command. This technology enables the delivery of tailored recommendations that can help them make healthier decisions and access to features that can help them better understand the effects of environmental hazards on their health.

Personalized Skin Care Products

Air pollution is a significant contributor to skin damage, with different pollutants affecting the skin differently based on their concentration and duration of exposure. Conditions like eczema, hives, wrinkles and age spots are linked to air pollution.

In the cosmetic retail sector, innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS) products and companion apps can provide personalized skincare recommendations and routines based on the consumers’ individual needs. Air quality data empowers beauty companies to offer personalized solutions that identify patterns of environmental influence on different skin types, specific to the person’s location. 

Additionally, people can track and better understand how their skin responds to the environment, guiding them towards products best suited for them.

Create Engaging Experiences by Integrating Environmental Data Into Your Products  

Environmental data not only meets the rising demand for customized experiences but also enhances peoples’ well-being. 

People are more likely to remain loyal to brands that use environmental data, and customer loyalty and positive experiences help retailers gain a competitive edge, which can lead to higher sales. 

With an increased focus on climate change and its effects on our well-being, there’s never been a better time to explore integrating environmental data into retail products, services, and companion apps.