Ongoing challenges in the European retail & CPG marketplace continue to make life exceptionally hard across the industry. The continuing effects of the pandemic, disrupted supply-chains, shrinking labour pools and unpredictable disruption at all points of the value chain conspire to make an already volatile environment even harder to navigate. Yet, at the same time none of this can be used as an excuse for poor customer experience. Especially as consumers are faced with an increasing choice of retailers, brands and channels, plus greater consideration of how, when and why to shop.
It has therefore never been more important to ensure that every single customer experience creates value. Highly accessible data flowing across your organisation to drive real-time analytics is key to delivering stand-out customer experiences, every time, through every channel. CMOs can leverage granular data in many was to improve customer experience – here are three that are especially relevant.
1. Create confidence
Ongoing uncertainty, a patchwork of COVID restrictions across Europe, and concerns for many about being in large crowds continue to depress footfall in many retail centres. Although online sales have remained buoyant, increasing concerns around the sustainability of economic recoveries between COVID waves, increasing inflation and an end to ultra-low interest rates all look likely to sap consumer confidence as we start 2022. Utilising customer insights distilled from unified data sets across the entire business, CMOs can help to rebuild confidence, and critically loyalty amongst their best customers. Tailored marketing approaches, and bespoke combinations of products, prices and promotions available through their preferred channels, will encourage customers to continue to spend. Having a deep understanding of each individuals’ behaviour will help create offers, information and communications that are relevant, and therefore trusted, in uncertain times.
2. Make it Easy
Retail and CPG CMOs should also be leveraging data to ensure that purchases are as frictionless as possible. Bringing data from each customers history, demographics, web and app-behaviours together in near real time to model and predict behaviours, will enable marketing programmes to deliver the next best offer every time. Smoothing the path to purchase in this way, while providing customers with relevant, timely information that responds to their current needs and situation, will lower the barriers to buying.
Better information and better insights can also drive better product selections, and potentially lower returns. Integrating returns data can be a key element in improving customer experience. Industry data suggests that 70% of womenswear returns are due to size and fit, and that online customers are buying multiple sizes to ensure the best fit, before returning the rest. Imagine integrating data so that you can not only spot multiple sizes of the same item in online carts, but also use previous purchase data to help recommend which size will fit best. The customer gets personalised advice that saves them the hassle of returning items, while the retailer reduces their costs and rate of returns.
3. Supercharge Interactions
As labour shortages hit retailers from the shop floor to the back office, finding ways to automate as much as possible is going to continue to be critical to outperform the market. Using machine learning and automation to take care of the routine tasks, frees up staff to focus on exceptions and delivering outstanding levels of customer service. Equipping shop floor and other customer facing roles with critical, real-time insights, helps them maximise the value of every customer contact.
Although consumers expect seamless online to offline experience, there are still opportunities to delight them with unexpected insights. For example, tailored marketing that leverages online behaviour plus mobile app and location-based services to promote instore offers that correspond to online searches. Or sales staff equipped and empowered to use previous purchase histories to make on the spot recommendations and personalise offers in store. Getting the right data into the hands of the right staff in a timely manner can dramatically improve the experience of each individual customer, whilst leveraging the skills and value-adding elements from staff members.
Invest in a Customer Insights Foundation
These are just three scenarios that illustrate the vital role that data can, and should, play in enhancing customer experience. To deliver these insights retailers and CPGs need to create a customer insights foundation that unifies diverse data from across the entire enterprise. Multiple data sets, from online search logs, to detailed customer profiles, stock availability, current promotions and store-by-store performance metrics, must be integrated to feed the analytical models. Ones that deliver value should then be preserved, catalogued and shared in a feature store for re-use and ongoing efficiency.
Teradata provides the scalability and speed, plus the compliance, governance, security, and privacy capabilities to deliver this foundation. Extending, connecting and integrating data on a single platform that unifies data in multi-cloud and/or on-prem architectures dramatically improves the utility and accessibility of data for everyone. The retailers and CPGs of the future will use these foundations to deliver millions of analytical models that work to improve every aspect of each customer interaction, ensuring a consistently superb customer experience.
To find out more about how CMOs can leverage enterprise data to improve customer experience, please email our retail sector consultants.