Retailers - accountants today, psychologists tomorrow

According to Gartner 89% of companies expect to compete on the basis of customer experience by 2016. Let’s think about what that means by talking about what it doesn’t. Price competition. That isn’t to say prices aren’t expected to be fair--it means that price is no longer the deciding factor when we choose where to make a purchase. In fact, a survey done by American Express found that 7 in 10 Americans would spend more with companies who they believed provided an excellent customer service.

When the spirit of retail isn’t a race to the bottom interesting phenomena can occur. For one, customers expect better treatment and reject companies that treat them poorly, 86% of them in fact. Unsurprisingly, they don’t want to be another faceless customer but a valued client whose business must be earned. Ecommerce is fast becoming a value-added experience as opposed to just another transaction--value is created in the totality of the buying experience as opposed to just the raw utility of the end product.

What follows are two examples of how a properly integrated data supply chain can pull together multiple sources of information for an exceptionally personalized experience.What this means for retail is a noteworthy shift in focus, internally. For an ecommerce business, finely tuned supply chains are no longer limited in scope to driving the lowest cost per unit but in delivering valuable consumer insight when and where it is needed. The purpose of which is to drive an intelligent customer experience when and where it can be of most value to each visitor.  Unfortunately, 96% of firms report having digital data integration challenges according to Forrester Research. The opportunity for differentiation is huge when retailers better understand the customer journey and are positioned to improve the overall customer experience.

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In the above example an online retailer was able to generate a personalized offer for a high spending shopper that combined several disparate pieces of information.
Those being:

 

  1. Geographic location

  2. Local, real-time weather

  3. BazaarVoice ratings

  4. CRM Segment


In the example below the online retailer was able to generate the same piece of content as above, the difference being in how the price is displayed. The visitor exposed to the latter example has a history of bargain-hunting, leading the marketer deploy the sale price rather than the MSRP as presented in the first example. While both users ultimately received the discounted price their messaging was tailored to their specific tastes.

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The takeaway is that even when retailers have a wealth of visitor data they are unable link it all together and, beyond that, deploy content that leverages the information without a strategy for housing the data in an accessible and universally codified way.

Today’s retailers are skilled as Accountants as they analyze pricing models and work to find optimal price points. What they lack, and must learn, is the ability to make informed decisions that influence an experience in a positive waythe domain of the psychologist.

Interested in combining disparate customer data for an superior customer experience? See how Qubit leverages the Visitor Cloud to make this a reality.