by Jörn Leogrande
May 22, 2017

Learn more about how to increase profitability of sustainable customer relationships via Smart Data: In times of growing digitalization, today’s customers are more empowered and connected than ever before. Order new shoes with advice from family or friends while taking the bus to go to work – this is already the new normal: Today’s customer wants to buy anything anytime from any place with just a few mobile taps. And this development hasn’t come to a full stop yet, especially as customers’ expectations further rise.

Why? They are online, they are mobile and they are very social. Plus they are already used to having access to any bit of information – anytime, anywhere.

Note for readers in a hurry: scroll down to the bottom of this page to download our infographic about “Smart Data in Retail” free of charge!

This is why the retail sector must act urgently to address these new challenges: Retail cannot simply continue to provide available goods for its customers – that’s old news.

 Customers anticipate seamless shopping experiences across all channels that reflect their personal preferences and interests

It is vital for retailers to continuously adapt how they understand and connect with their customers across all channels in order to provide real added value at the point-of-sale via existing and new distribution channels, e.g. via mobile devices such as smartphones, relying on data-driven insights.

The new challenge is to really focus on the customers and to understand their needs and wishes – by knowing their preferred time for shopping, their brand preferences and favorite payment methods. This is where Smart Data comes into play.

Thus, the next step after measuring all of this relevant data is to cluster the data sets along the customer journey. Whether the dealer succeeded in his job becomes evident when his customers re-purchase the product or the service, because it convinced them in the respective situation. It’s as simple as that: The offer matched the demand.

 Afterwards, retailers have to take the chance to analyze customer segments or IDs and select relevant characteristics, teventually offering customers their targeted promotional measures in terms of product availability, pricing strategy and dedicated loyalty and couponing programs, based on the data already collected before.

When choosing a retailer, top priorities for customers are product availability and pricing strategy

Recent figures of a study by Statista underpin this approach:
74% of shoppers are more influenced by convenience, ease, and availability of options to shop how and where they want.
The feeling of being well understood is also crucial for shoppers: 53% are willing to spend more time with a retailer who understands them.

As a consequence, customer centricity means identifying the decision-relevant attributes and offering suitable solutions.

So retailers, it is time to pick up the pace again!

In order to successfully compete against online retail in the long run and to ensure a seamless, consistently pleasant shopping experience across all channels, retailers should make use of the full potential of Smart Data and profit from the favorable conditions: The good news is that in general, there is a broad willingness among customers to share information in exchange for a better shopping experience.

Information about personal preferences, preferred product categories and products they already own are not an issue. But, on the other hand, customers are not willing to release information about marital status, family size or address data.

Retailers are doing well by offering different kinds of awards for purchases (79%) and by offering personalized discounts (77%) and recommendations (62%) to their customers. The seamless shopping experience across all channels is completed by an easy-to-handle mobile payment system in the eyes of customers.

Data, data, data – as shown above it’s all about Smart Data!

But do all these findings benefit business?

From our practical experience we can say: yes, a great deal! To name but a few advantages: 69% of churning customers can be identified correctly, which allows dealers to take specific measures to regain them. And suggesting customers personalized, adequate next best offers increased sales in online shops by 12%.

This is why Smart Data opens up whole new perspectives for retail!

 

tl;dr? Here is the core message in a nutshell:

The challenge for retailers is to analyze all of the customer data over time and across all channels to be able to compete with the online retail sector – and here Smart Data opens up completely new possibilities!

The biggest Smart Data goal for retailers: Customer centricity combined with data-driven promotional activities

 

Would you like to get the whole picture?

Click here for the whole infographic about how to effectively use Big Data streams from customer touchpoints.