Being a popular brand is no longer good enough. A new survey from Criteo puts numbers to a trend we’ve seen over the last few years: outside of luxury goods (or wine and spirits), consumers are no longer attached to specific brand names. Up to 72% of consumers are willing to try a new brand of apparel, while 61% are willing to reconsider their shoes, handbags and accessories.
Amazon is not to blame. E-Commerce is generally getting more competitive with fast and free shipping, combined with (cheaper) access to more items than what’s seen in-store. As many as 66% of those surveyed ranked “best value for money” as their top reason for picking a brand, suggesting 1:1 relationships and memorable experiences are essential in gaining customer loyalty. Quality data is at the center of it all — and it can be your biggest competitive advantage.
The Right Data Drives Personalization
Screens (computer, smartphone and tablet) are the modern store windows and billboards — whether it’s a static Facebook ad, a video ad on YouTube or an email coupon. Because customers are oversaturated with brand ads, it’s critical that they find yours memorable. In fact, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember and provide relevant offers and recommendations, according to Accenture.
The quality of your customer data will determine how successful your personalization efforts will be. Data is what fuels marketing campaigns, ads, loyalty programs and more. That means it needs to be reliable.
Have you ever been mistaken for someone else in your household and received an ad for them that was totally irrelevant to you? Or sign up for a loyalty program but never receive promos to your current email address because the retailer hasn’t removed your old one from their system? After a few annoying experiences, you may lose interest or incentive to continue shopping with them. If you are a retailer and wouldn’t want that experience, your customers won’t either. Always remember the rule-of-thumb: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Ensuring the data you have about customers is accurate, complete and up-to-date will give you a reliable foundation to work with. It gives you the starting point you need for personalization — knowing who they are.
The Right Data Drives Digital Transformation
The e-Commerce site is the new flagship store. In the last decade we’ve seen more retailers shifting from investing heavily in their physical locations to investing online. Circuit City, once a brick-and-mortar giant that famously closed all of their store locations in 2009, found new life online. Apparel brands such as Wet Seal and The Limited also shuttered their doors recently and have transitioned all operations to e-Commerce. And while the shift to digital can streamline operations and introduce new opportunities, it adds new wrinkles to gaining customer loyalty. Retailers are tasked with maintaining the same level (or greater) of customer service without the option for customers to speak with you face-to-face.
Clean, accurate and connected data can be a game changer for customer support and experience. If a customer calls a retailer to check on a status of a package, they expect support to know them after sharing minimal information. CSRs need access to critical customer data — name, address, order number, order history, all notes from any ongoing complaints — so they can have a holistic view of customers and can streamline their experience. Having a base of high-quality data to guide customer service interactions can help you deliver quick answers and resolutions — and bring a potentially contentious call to a positive close.
Clear data also helps retailers optimize their physical locations and digital strategy. Having more insights into customers’ preferences through data will help you understand how customers engage with your brand, and which stores are performing better than others.
The Right Data Management Strategy Drives Better Operations
A deeper understanding of your customers is necessary if you want to form and maintain long-lasting relationships.
If you’re looking to leverage data in a personalization campaign, or you’d like to drive consistent customer experiences in-store and online, you need to make sure your data is fit for that purpose. Updating, cleaning and deduplicating your data are crucial steps in ensuring its quality. Master data management — for customer, supplier and location — can help eliminate outdated and incorrect records, and unifies data from disconnected systems (i.e., CRM, ERP) to create a trusted customer view. Giving your team deeper visibility into stronger data will help streamline operations and focus, from your frontline sales staff to your marketing and e-Commerce teams.
Gaining loyalty from today’s savvy consumers isn’t an overnight process. But with the right data management strategy, you’ll drive better interactions and build loyalty that lasts long after the logo fades.
Auria Moore joined Stibo Systems as the Director of Solution Strategy for Customer Master Data Management after working in the data space for more than 15 years in a variety of industries. Her passion for driving value-based outcomes for customers is helping companies succeed in all aspects of their data management and digital transformation strategies.