Today’s customers value personalisation. Many are happy with the concept of a brand knowing more about them in order to provide a retail experience that has value, relevance and interest. But for retailers, there are two challenges.
The first is building a comprehensive view of customers by leveraging data from various touchpoints in a shopper’s journey. The second is how to put this joined up view of the customer to meaningful business use.
Is a 360° view on your radar?
The CDP Institute has researched the value to businesses of a 360° customer view, and found that 90% of marketers think a unified multi-channel customer view is important, yet only 20% of them have such a view. Reinforcing this point is a 2017 Gartner study, which found that only 10% of brands are confident that they have a 360° customer view. What’s more, Garner finds that only about 5% are able to use this view to systemically grow their businesses.
Retailers that have achieved the holy grail of the 360° customer view are those that have invested in unified commerce technology as the central enabler, and enlisted expert help to gather, integrate and align the necessary data sets to allow visibility, and put that visibility to use.
These companies are then able to market closely tailored deals to customer segments. They can recognise loyal customers in store via smart phone apps or on associate devices or loyalty card terminals, and provide a unified and relevant service across all channels.
As many brands are learning, those that digitise their stores and equip their sales associates with innovative, digital and mobile tools, are better positioned to offer full omnichannel services, and make sales-driving use of this single customer view.
The 360° view comes alive in store
A 360° view of your customers’ shopping journey means you’re able to understand the customer’s behaviour offline, online and on social.
In store, with the right clienteling devices supplied to well-trained store associates, it’s possible to tap into a loyal customers’ purchase history or loyalty scheme details — so that associates can assist with product information, and potentially upsell and build further interest in the brand. These tools, and the visibility of customer information they enable, turn sales associates into expert advisors and brand ambassadors, while giving that customer an enhanced shopping experience.
So what are the benefits of having an accurate 360-degree view of the customer?
Here are just five:
- A single source of the truth – Access to a reliable, single-view platform which all departments can utilise.
- The ability to personalise - Segmented or tailored campaigns developed using customer behavioral attributes collected in real-time, ensure marketing is relevant and efficiently executed.
- Data-driven influencers - With data-driven triggered events, retailers can automatically interact with customers in real-time and influence their buying decisions.
- Engagement across all channels – Harmonising multi-channel campaigns across multiple systems yields consistent and relevant engagement and brand messaging.
- More data security and compliance – With a single source of truth, regulations and practices around personally identifiable information and the protection of customer data through directives like GDPR, becomes far easier to manage.
Clearly there are big wins if you get this right. A single customer view benefits retailers because it allows them to minimise costs and streamline business processes. They can also delight customers by taking friction, drag and potential disappointment out of the brand experience. No wonder more and more retailers are switching to a unified commerce model with a 360° customer view, to gain vital competitive edge.
It’s a tough market out there. Knowing your customers - and meeting their needs at every possible touchpoint - is a sure-fire way to take the lead.
About Samir Belkhayat
Business Development Director at Cegid