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Carly Wickham, Head of Marketing

Retail Data & Analytics: Part 1

Data-driven marketing & Customer Experience

A recent Econsultancy and Adobe report (looking at marketing as a whole, not just retail marketing), uncovered results worthy of further investigation. When asked ‘What is the most exciting opportunity for marketing, 2016 vs. ‘five years’ time’ the below statistics were generated.

Most exciting marketing developments 2016

It would be fascinating to discuss the absence of media or channel innovation in this list, but then predicting the future is a business doomed to failure. That aside, what is interesting from the perspective of our recent review of customer experience (see part one of our previous blogs here), and this, the first in a set of three blogs on Data and Retail Analytics, is that both these themes rank as the top two identified opportunities for the discipline.

In many ways an interconnection between these two facets should be expected, as the report deftly deduces:

‘The drumbeat of customer experience continues to sound though it is ever more accompanied by an emphasis on data. Increasingly, a goal of the former sets the priority of the latter.’ (Econsultancy and Adobe, 2016)

In essence, data-driven marketing has to be a priority because of the drive for better customer experience.

It’s not just about Big data

‘Big data’ is a term so often used it can induce narcolepsy, but please try and keep your eyes open to the insights that retail analytics can deliver. Let’s contextualise the need for this data. Set against the data deluge constantly spewed by e-tailing, if data-driven marketing is the opportunity, retail stores had better be ready to deliver more accurate and complete data streams. When a Board of Directors looks at the numbers and can see numerical evidence of ROI in e-tail and an absence of such information from bricks and mortar, anyone can understand that it’s easier to make the next investment where the results are proven.

We’ve shown the executive-level benefits of data, but good data analytics can also serve every level of the business, all the way through to the consumer. Steven Skinner (Senior Vice-President of Retail and Consumer Goods Consulting at Cognizant) in a recent Retail Bulletin report entitled ‘Brand experience takes centre stage over price’ recently commented:

“Just as technology has given shoppers more information, it is helping retailers too. Digital technologies allow retailers to track and understand customer behaviour in unprecedented detail. This customer knowledge can help retailers identify and invest in the tools and technologies their customers’ value. This will help retailers improve customer loyalty and increase sales.”

The evidence is clearly laid out, data is king. Yes, we can see you wincing, at the thought of further problems. Fear not, in our upcoming blogs, we will be looking into:

Our Digital Director recently published a blog entitled ‘3 ways to smooth digital integration at retail’, check out his thinking on this subject.