Retail is one of the industries most affected by the influx of technology, changing consumer behaviors, and enhanced customer expectations. Looking toward retail’s future, we compiled some key steps to staying on top of changing trends in the industry.
We’ve all seen the clickbait headlines spouting the end of physical retail as we know it, scaremongering that future competition will come from anywhere and everywhere. And it’s true, many of the big retail brands we’ve hung our hats on for the past few decades are considered to be in a vulnerable mature growth phase. However, with the rising trends in retail, there’s an opportunity for creative marketers to redefine their approach to retention and engagement to grow their customers.
Acquiring a new member to your loyalty program is a great sign of growth; it’s a sign your member base is getting larger and therefore your revenue and margins are growing. That’s the usual perception and the reason why many marketers spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets on various forms of Above the Line (ATL) communication to attract new members. In reality and in most cases, this is the wrong approach. Yes, creating awareness of your brand and loyalty program is absolutely necessary and this is clearly required to attract new members. However, don’t think that your job is done once the new member picks up their loyalty card and walks through your door for the first time.
Since the turn of the century, the age of information has seen masses of data dumped into disconnected silos across many retail organizations. Limited access, capability, focus and free time has meant that until very recently we were only able to skim stones across the surface of this pool of potentially rich insight. However, where once IT systems creaked to breaking point whenever a non-batch data request was made, the digital transformation of customer data management is now enabling the development of inter-connected information ecosystems and finally rich customer insight. With loyalty programs in which customers self-identify, retailers can connect disparate pieces of data across multiple silos and touchpoints to build a complete picture of their customers – what we call the Golden Profile. With this Profile, retailers create relevant messaging to reach their consumers in a meaningful, impactful way.
Take a moment to think about your most fulfilling relationship. Now, think about the qualities that make that relationship successful. I’m willing to bet that one of the qualities that makes that relationship so successful is each person’s willingness to listen. In this relationship-era where brands are looking to build authentic and long-lasting connections with consumers, it is imperative that they first… listen.
People think of personalization in many ways. Some, very simplistically: a first name on an email. Others, view it as much more: providing personalized experiences based on a holistic view of the customer. As companies continue to gather more data across more touchpoints, customers’ expectations are rising. They expect relevant, real-time, right-time, individualized communications. In order to deliver on these expectations, companies must begin by thinking strategically about their organizational structure as it relates to loyalty.
When it comes right down to it, a loyalty program is an agreement between a brand and their customer. When a customer signs on for a rewards program, they know they’re giving up something invaluable – their information, habits, and behaviors – in exchange for certain treatment from that brand.
With the customer truly driving brand interactions, we as marketers need to talk to our customers individually and personably. Bringing this 1:1 communication to scale is the challenge, but it’s one in which we’re narrowing the gap each day. The following are ways in which advanced segmentation is bringing us closer to this goal.
This segment covers
- Removing data silos and using analytics to develop a holistic view of the customer
- How brands can evolve by focusing on the customer
- The 5 milestones to ideal in growing your highest value customers
- Identifying behavioral segments and evaluating customer value at each step of the customer journey
- Influencing consumer behavior through meaningful communication
Topics: SmartJourney, Telco, Financial Institutions, CPG, Travel & Hospitality, Retail, Personalization, Omni-channel | Digital, Segmentation, Customer Experience, Customer Engagement, Customer View, Loyalty Strategy, Loyalty Trends, Customer Data & Analytics