The retail shopping experience is more diversified than ever before. Customers can interact with retailers online, pick-up in store, or have a traditional brick-and-mortar experience. Retailers have to find ways to improve convenience for customers, while also having more tailored experience. This creates a big challenge, especially as the competition is always just a click away.
Customers are a retailer’s most important commodity and something they have to work diligently to protect. With an everchanging playing field, you need the most memorable, dependable, and individual experience to retain your customers. How do you do this? As a retailer, you need to get smarter about how you leverage data.
Our research shows 91 percent of retailers are striving for the best customer experience in the market. Data becomes the key element to drive customers toward brand loyalty. Why? Data that is accurate, complete, and standardized gives you the opportunity to get to know your customers on a deeper level, allowing you to gain greater consumer insights and drive personalized marketing campaigns that reach your loyal customers
Data insights are only as good as the quality of information you supply. If your data is inaccurate, that insight could frankly do more harm than good. In turn, all the money and time you spent personalizing direct mail, email campaigns, and promotions went out the window. That’s why you need to start with an assessment of your customer data.
Our research shows 69 percent of businesses believe that inaccurate data is undermining the customer experience. When you think about it, people’s lives change all the time. Has your life changed in the last year —did you move, get married, have babies, or grand-babies? Change is normal, and as a retailer, it’s important for you to stay up to date with your customer. That means your data needs to reflect those changes, especially in the digital age.
When you begin assessing the quality of your data, make sure to profile information to check its accuracy, completeness, and to see what duplicates exist in your system. That will allow you to understand where issues lie and help you prioritize where to start correcting information.With a complete and accurate set of customer information, you will be able to build that personal relationship and engage customers at unique touch points throughout their journey.
After that initial assessment, we often find that many retailers have a fair degree of inaccurate contact information in their database. As we mentioned before, customers go through many life changes, meaning their contact information is always changing. Cleaning up your database and validating your customer contact data with tools like, phone, e-mail, and address verification, go a long way to helping you stay in touch with your customers.
Think about the ways you most frequently communicate with your customers. If you communicate with email, email validation or potentially appends on your existing database could be helpful. You may also send less snail mail than you used to, but an address can be a powerful unique identifier when it comes to consolidating customer records within your database. Cleaning up any of this contact information is easy and can provide some quick wins for your organization.
When you have accurate contact data, you will feel confident your marketing powers are being consumed by your customers , your ROI will sky rocket (a.k.a. you’ll be able to invest even more in customers), and you will have the data to continue a lifetime relationship with your customers.
Armed with a deeper understanding of your database and better contact data, now you may want to gain a deeper understanding of your customers. While most retailers have a wealth of first-party information around transactions and purchase history, that can be augmented with third-party insight. This is especially true if you are dealing with multiple silos of data that are difficult to pull together, which is not uncommon in the retail industry.
Consider enriching your customer data with insight around preferred marketing channels, propensity to purchase certain products, geographic intelligence, and more. While the types of data will vary depending on the purpose, this enrichment can be valuable to helping you better interact with customers.