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Salesforce Previews CDP Release, Outlines Top 3 Holiday Trends Featured

  • Written by  Glenn Taylor
Salesforce Previews CDP Release, Outlines Top 3 Holiday Trends

Pictured above: Dana Chery, Sr. Director, Service Cloud Product Marketing at Salesforce, Customer 360 implementation at discusses e.l.f. Cosmetics.

Today’s businesses still struggle to gain a single, 360-degree view of the shopper despite an overabundance of data: 78% of consumers expect consistent interactions with a business regardless of which department they’re dealing with, yet only 50% of companies tailor their engagement based on past interactions, according to the 2019 Salesforce Connected Consumer report. At Salesforce Connections, the CRM giant indicated that its latest technology reveal could help many businesses close this gap.

Salesforce revealed that it will release a customer data platform (CDP) to help brands unify their marketing data and personalize every engagement. The release will be available for pilot customers in fall 2019 and will be part of Salesforce Customer 360, a platform designed to enable companies to connect Salesforce apps and create a unified “customer ID.”

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With enterprises maintaining an average of 39 disparate front-end systems to manage customer engagement, the 360 platform could give them a better opportunity to streamline customer data and have a better understanding of individual consumers and their shopping habits throughout the customer journey.

The platform also features Advanced Audience Segmentation capabilities, designed so companies can identify specific groups of people to engage with in real time based on demographics, engagement history and all other customer data available. For example, a retailer can build an audience of female shoppers interested in running shoes, based on information gathered from a combination of web browsing activities across several sites, marketing email interactions and previous purchases.

 

As part of the opening keynote, Dana Chery, Sr. Director, Service Cloud Product Marketing at Salesforce highlighted e.l.f. Cosmetics as a retailer that has benefited from the Customer 360 platform, primarily due to its need to personalize to a growing customer base “across multiple channels, whether it’s text or social or email,” said Chery. “They can deliver those more personalized experiences and service their every single touch point, ensuring that their customers, the beauty enthusiast, is getting the support that they need at the point when they need. In order to get rich information about your customers, you have to give them more opportunity to engage with your brand and connect with your brand.”

Salesforce Exec Shares Top Three 2019 Holiday Season Trends

Beyond the Customer 360 platform developments, Salesforce Connections offered plenty of insight on the 2019 holiday season. Although the peak season is still five months away, with Prime Day less than a month away and back-to-school season starting ever-earlier, retailers should already be preparing (or prepared) for the event.

Rob Garf, VP of Industry Strategy and Insights at Salesforce, chatted with Retail TouchPoints about three major predictions he has for the 2019 holiday season and the trends retailers must acknowledge to succeed.

1. Mobile Experience Matters For Consumers ‘Shopping At The Edge’

As many as 84% of retail customers say they value experience as much as a product or service, according to recent research surveying 6,000 consumers from Salesforce. And with 64% of those shoppers using multiple devices as part of a single transaction, retailers should be catering to those who are “shopping at the edge,” according to Garf.

“Shopping at the edge” defines the new reality where retailers shouldn’t seek to bring the consumer to their property, but rather must push their brand to where their consumers are, with mobile playing a major role.

“Engagement is the important metric, which is the mobile device being the entry point into the consumer profile and loyalty program,” Garf told Retail TouchPoints. “If I’m going to look at how many points I have or what I have bought in the past or I’m going to see which promotions are available to me, then long gone are the days of the five-foot long receipts that run up at the POS.”

2. Consumers Will Go Back To The Stores, But They Better Provide All Fulfillment Options

More than 12,000 stores could close in 2019, according to Coresight Research, but shoppers still come back to stores in droves every holiday. Expect the winners of this holiday season to leverage more stores as fulfillment centers and open up more product returns capabilities.

“Online, there’s a cutoff date that most, if not every, brand lives by because they don’t want to disappoint the 10-year-old kid if they’re not getting their Xbox,” Garf said. “You’re just not going to take an order and guarantee that it takes that amount of time. But if you have a store, using the local store option as a default fulfillment method to try to drive consumers into the store, [retailers can] utilize all of that inventory sitting in the store and drive people for incremental purchases once they enter the store.”

Additionally, Garf suggested that retailers educate their in-store associates in ways that enable them to assist shoppers at the time of entry, not the time of checkout: “It’s moved from checkout to check-in.”

3. Break Through The ‘Discount Clutter’ With Authenticity

Consumers, particularly Millennial and Gen Z’ers, prefer authentic brands that stand for a purpose. In fact, 80% of customers are willing to be more loyal to a brand if they have high ethical makeup in their culture. That means retailers now must prioritize a new level of differentiation: connecting on an emotional level.

Traditionally, retailers competed on convenience, price, product and quality, but retailers also have a major opportunity to gain favor among shoppers via strategies such as REI’s #OptOutside social media campaign, or philanthropic and sustainability-driven endeavors.

“Recently, when I stayed at a Hilton, there was a post-it in my room saying ‘If you don’t want to have your sheets and towels cleaned for your stay, we’ll put 500 points on your Hilton Diamond Card,’” said Garf. “That’s part of a loyalty program. Hotel residents aren’t always going to need their towels washed every day, so if you want to give me 500 extra points, awesome. It’s finding what’s authentic to your brand.”

As part of the opening keynote, Dana Chery, Sr. Director, Service Cloud Product Marketing at Salesforce highlighted e.l.f. Cosmetics as a retailer that has benefited from the Customer 360 platform, primarily due to its need to personalize to a growing customer base “across multiple channels, whether it’s text or social or email,” said Chery. “They can deliver those more personalized experiences and service their every single touch point, ensuring that their customers, the beauty enthusiast, is getting the support that they need at the point when they need. In order to get rich information about your customers, you have to give them more opportunity to engage with your brand and connect with your brand.”

 

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