While it’s convenient to think that the end of traditional retail is upon us, the truth is, there is hope for retailers who are willing to adapt to the evolved consumers’ shopping experience. The data and technology involved in e-commerce are actually what’s going to be the future of retail.
Data can help retailers understand and better serve customers.
It has become imperative for traditional retailers to make use of technologies that will optimize their operations and CRM efforts in real-time. A mobile app with a dedicated analytics dashboard is one great way to go about it. With it, tracking shopper behavior based on a multitude of factors can be capitalized on to improve overall service and serve as the basis for many business decisions like price points and product development. Tracking data about geographical areas are also beneficial to determine where to set up new stores.
Similarly, retailers can also make “item suggestions” for shoppers based on their browsing and search histories next time they visit—allowing for a personalized shopping experience. Shiseido, a Japanese beauty retailer, did this when they introduced “cosmetic mirrors” in their Tokyo stores. These mirrors can be used to scan product barcodes and see a virtual image of their faces with makeup on. On top of that, the mirrors gave out beauty advice, product recommendations, as well as printouts of before-and-after photos.
Furthermore, this omnichannel approach to retail connects the efforts of multiple teams within the organization to maintain a seamless and consistent shopping experience for the customers on all touchpoints.
Data can help craft more efficient retail advertising campaigns
There’s a wealth of data available for retailers to make themselves ahead of the game. For instance, social media conversations are a great source of insights to craft promotional ideas.
Intelligent customer data also arms retailers to run advertising campaigns that are highly-targeted to their customer base based on past purchases, loyalty, location, and other relevant information. This increases the chances of reaching the correct customer base, increasing conversion rates, and ROI.
For example, retailers can send alerts regarding appointments or for every time an item on the customer’s cart goes on sale. It also eliminates the likelihood of annoyance since the promotions and notifications from the retailer are things the customers actually want to know about, which also prompts them to perform the desired action. Kroger, the third largest retailer in the world, has been heavily relying on data to determine when and how to target customers with their ads.
Data can help reach new audience.
The retail industry has always been niche-specific. But with the right data, it’s easier for retailers to expand and meet the needs of potential customers for a certain product. An example would be gathering data from live events or a brand activation into information to engage more customers. Things like social media hashtags, social media listening, QR codes, or even providing access to social media via the wifi you provide are great sources of data that can be tied up with your CRM and customer acquisition efforts, diversifying your existing products and customer base in the process.
Data provides exceptional sense-and-react capabilities