7
November
2016

Connected Data – Elevating the overall Customer Experience

Retailers have already shifted to a customer-centric approach of marketing. The product-centric approach is no more viable. This is because of the rising expectations of the consumers of their retailers. Consumers want retailers to anticipate what they want and would like them to communicate the offering in the most pertinent way possible. In this case, keeping a track of customer data becomes exceedingly important for retailers. The advent of IoT has ensured a massive rise in the number of connected devices across the Globe.

 

Connected Devices & Data

 

iot-connected-devices


The number of connected devices is estimated to increase from 8.7 billion in 2012 to 50.1 billion in 2020. This will provide retailers the opportunity to track customer data from these devices. Tracking Big Data has been a popular trend among retailers for quite some time now. Retailers are using big data in numerous ways like recommending products based on past purchase history, market basket analysis, price optimization, inventory optimization, social listening, fraud detection, etc. The idea is to make use of the connected data in order to better attend to the customer's needs and enhance the customer experience. Now one might ask, why is it important to improve customer experience?

The following illustration answers it all

imporve customer experience

Connected data helps retailers in converting the bulk of information about customers into actionable insights. Consistent customer engagement along with increased customer personalization is the key to enhance the overall customer shopping experience and generate customer loyalty. Data should be used to fulfill customer expectations across a multitude of channels owing to the need for an omnichannel presence.

 

Let's see how brands and retailers are making use of connected data to enhance customer experience as well as drive their own business.

 

Proximity Marketing

 

Proximity Marketing can be defined as the localized and specifically targeted distribution of promotional & advertising content, information, etc to the customer's mobile device with regards to a particular place. Deploying sensors within the store can help retailers provide increased personalization to each of their customers. The sensors generate important location tracking data which help retailers understand how customers move around in the store so that the store's layout can be altered accordingly. The location information generated from the beacon sensors also provides an insight on the customer's online shopping habits.

 

  • French Multinational retailer Carrefour, has deployed these sensors in all of their 28 hypermarkets. It enables them to study their in-store consumer behavior so that the consumers can be kept informed about the various products and offers. The information is sent in the form of notifications to the company app. As a result, Carrefour scored an astounding application engagement rate of 400%.

Wearables

 

People are adopting wearable devices across the Globe at a rapid rate. According to Statista.com, the number of connected wearable devices will rise from 97 million in 2015 to 601 million by 2020.
 

wearable-devices


The customer experience can be enhanced by the data that can be acquired out of these devices. Based on the data, personalzed messages and advertising can be sent keeping in mind the customer needs. Customers can be notified of relevant offers and promotions on their wearable devices whenever they are near or within the store. Retailers are also showing keen interest in adopting various technologies that will help them get data from the customer's profile and purchase history by synchronizing with the wearable gadgets. Overall, data accumulated from these devices will help in providing high degree of customer personalization and enhance the customer experience by enabling the scope of real time marketing.

 

Social Listening

 

Social Media is now a world within the world. We all know about the total strength of the people that feature on it globally. Let's consider a few telling statistics.

 

  • A study by PWC (2016) reveals that 67% of customers feel that their shopping behavior is influenced by social media reviews.

     

  • 93% of buying decisions of shoppers are influenced by social media. 90% trust recommendations made by peers. 14% trust advertisements. (Socialnomics-2014)

The proper monitoring of public interactions across various social media forums (facebook, twiiter, instagram, etc) to understand the latest customer trends & demands, preferences and customer perceptions, etc is known as social listening. As a result of the insight accumulated, companies can adopt an informed strategy for their business to better attend to customer needs. This will also drive the customer engagement levels. Moreover, it helps retailers identify the influencers who ultimately are somewhat instrumental in making the product or service popular. Once retailers understand what the customers are thinking and expecting, it becomes easier to provide for them. Thus, data generated with the help of social listening is worth its' weight in Gold.

 

  • Renowned American Fashion Retailer Nordstrom, tracks down Pinterest pins for the identification of products that are trending. This data is then used to promote the popular products in the Brick-and-Mortar stores so that shoppers end up purchasing them. This is a simple, yet great example of customer personalization.

Mobile Apps

 

We are quite familiar with the fact that mobile apps score over mobile web in terms of speed and convenience. Retailers can easily resort to personalized marketing by tracking the in-app activities of the customers and by relating to the past purchase history. Pesrsonalized messages can be sent to the customers within the app in the form of push notifications. Customer Loyalty Programs can also be easily communicated as customers are always on the lookout for rewards and offers. Apart from personalized marketing enhancing the customer experience, it also provides a lot of convenience to the customers by allowing them to track inventory to understand whether a particular item is available in the store or not.

About Shakuntala Sarkar

Shakuntala is a marketer with 15 years of experience in Marketing Strategies & Operations, Brand Communications, Customer Relationship Management and Corporate Communications. An economics graduate from St Xavier’s college, Kolkata and a IIMC she, has worked across different industries like IT & Retail, with consumer marketing in both B2B and B2C segments. Before joining Tickto, she was the Head of Customer Relationship Management at Spencer’s Retail. Prior to that, she has been a part of the Global Marketing & Communications team of Satyam Computer Services.

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