The questions that keep up retail marketers at night have evolved over the last ten years. It wasn’t too long ago that entrepreneurs would spend their time debating which highway to put their billboard on, whether or not their next TV commercial ought to be comical or heart pulling, as well as what the best time of day was to burst an email campaign to their entire customer list. However, the data-driven environment of today has turned the marketing landscape on its mind, and companies have a completely new set of conflicts which revolve around data and identity.
1. Knowing What Data to Capture
There’s an excess number of data available, from both offline and online resources. When a customer shops at a brick and mortar store, they’re generating data points — what things did they buy? What time did they shop? How long were they in the store? And when the exact same customer shops online, they’re creating a whole new set of data points — what device did they use? Did they navigate certain items that they ultimately didn’t buy? How much time did they spend on a specific page? There’s a never-ending slew of data. That retailers are currently struggling to understand what data to concentrate on. The first step is to clarify. By knowing what your problem is, you can help drive the decision of what is the data that is perfect. By way of instance, if you would like to ascertain when a fantastic time to offer an online incentive is, you should pay attention to what days and times your customers are shopping online the most, and don’t just pick one time, but customize it based on individual preferences.
2. Understanding Customer Behavior
Not only is having information that is too much a challenge, but unable to combine it all together to create a comprehensive single client view is a feat to accomplish. Today’s consumer travel is no more linear, clients use a revolving door of devices like tablets, cellular phones, and notebooks, and retailers need to keep up. A customer could be in a store and see a pair of shoes they want, but due to the long line at the cashier, they pull out their mobile phone and put in the shoes. However, because they are on the go, they decide they will complete the purchase afterwards. Back at home, they may go to purchase the shoes from their notebook and chances are if they aren’t recognized and the shoes aren’t in their cart they may feel inconvenienced and nix the purchase. Retailers need to be able to combine CRM and purchasing data with a customer activity regardless of the channel or device.
3. Building Trust Between Consumers and Your Brand
Trust is the bedrock of any relationship that is internet. And customers who hold trust will be willing to share more data so as to make their experience more convenient. However, by ensuring client data is accumulated transparently and respectfully, retailers need to establish this confidence. In actuality, according to current Experian data, 80 percent of consumers say that the more transparent a company is all about using their information, the larger trust they have in that business. The same report also found that 56 percent of companies plan to invest more in transparency-inspired programs, such as consumer education, communicating terms more concisely, and consumers feel in control of their personal information.
4. Establishing Customer Loyalty
The consumer of today has an array of opportunities and choices available at their fingertips. This makes it more challenging than ever for retailers to build and maintain customer loyalty. Retailers can offer, by using insights and data to help brands socialize with people in meaningful ways. By understanding your customers’ needs and delivering what they need (i.e. chilly weather products until they head skiing for a weekend or new swimwear before a shore vacation) you are not only helping to bring in extra revenue but you are building a relationship and maintaining the customer shopping with you.
5. Locating Your Technology Solution
Retailers will need to integrate technology so as to actually make all their information actionable and use it to enhance the customer experience. Retailers need to have the ability to integrate data storage platforms with a reporting and fulfillment solution, such as service providers, marketing intelligence tools and display networks. Whether retailers gearing up to make a significant investment in the technology partner or are exploring the industry, it is important to ensure you’re currently assessing potential partners equally and consistently.
Experian can help retailers use their data and insights to interact with their customers and prospective clients in meaningful ways. Our core capabilities revolve around activation, linkage and data. We work with retailers and supply them with the essential data about their customers to help build a picture of what they need and who their customer actually is. We also work with retailers to help them reach their customers across multiple channels including: cellular, email, societal, direct mail, TV, and screen, and supply the identity and data solutions necessary to make sure that same customer who put the shoes in their cart while in the shop, is the same customer who wants to finalize the transaction later that day on their laptop. Last, Experian helps retailers will increase ROI in the long term and monitor the impact of their marketing campaigns to determine what strategies are effective.
Today marketing landscape has opened the door for challenges and new opportunities. Retail marketers need to change their way of thinking if they want to continue to flourish. They must sort through mounds of information and figure out what to use and how to make the most of it. They need to identify who their customers are or what device they are currently using. They need to be able to build trust so that customers are comfortable sharing information by finding ways to turn that information into decisions and create customer loyalty. Lastly, retailers need to discover partners and the right technology solutions to ensure they are keeping up with today’s customers and making the most of the marketing tools available in the current age.