Back in the 90’s, I used to have one remote for my TV, one remote for my cable, one remote for my sound system, one remote for my VCR, and one remote for my DVD player. It was always maddening to do something simple like change the channel as the remotes were all about the same size, had a myriad of buttons, and were black.
The universal remote changed all that giving us one single device that connected all the moving parts.
I thought about that recently as I interviewed John Nash, CMO of RedPoint Global. He told me the problems of having your customer information in a bunch of places; it can’t be easily accessed, resulting in dusty data that you know is there, but it never sees the light of day.
He said, “With this siloed data, you never get a complete picture of your customer. And without a complete picture, you can’t really understand that customer, much less use that data to personalize their experience with your brand.”
However, when you have a complete picture, he told me, marketers can formulate the next best customer interaction and do so in real time. And clearly, personalization, true personalization is the - or should be – the holy grail.
According to Accenture, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.
Yet in my recent customer survey with Oracle NetSuite, we found the majority of consumers (81%) do not feel they are provided with a personalized shopping experience both in-store and online – including a sizeable group (38%) who never feel they are provided a personalized experience. Nearly half (44%) of retailers have not made any progress in tailoring the in-store experience to different generations. This is particularly true to older generations, who are more likely than other generational groups to feel they are never given a personalized experience, online or in-store (52%).
If you can get a complete picture with multiple data points of your customer, you are no longer flying blind and can surprise and delight them in new ways. Many customer data platforms have sprung up in the past few years because everyone understands data is crucial to personalization, to avoiding missteps, and to holding onto customers.
The problem with many of them is that the data being compiled and analyzed is delayed. Data collection is worth nothing unless it can be analyzed in real-time and deliver actionable insights that help a retailer act on those insights in seconds, not months.
RedPoint Global CEO Dale Renner has said, “The enemy of the marketer is latency. It's always been latency. If we can remove latency, then we can help marketers react very quickly to a fast-changing landscape, whether that's competitors, products, or customer needs.”
RedPoint’s solution starts with the creation of the golden record, a 360-degree customer view that includes identifying information, the touchpoints a customer uses, all prior interactions and purchases, the number of days since the last purchase, recent offers they received and how they reacted, and how the customer has transacted with the brand. With all of those integrated points, you can then come up with a clean data record, a must if you are to take action with it.
What would this allow you to do? A shopper could place an online order for a same-day, in-store pickup and immediately receive an offer for a relevant accessory.
Or it could mean developing an ever-deepening bond with a favorite brand because each interaction triggers a welcomed personal touch.
With geo-fencing capabilities, a retailer could even recognize the proximity of a recently lapsed customer that drops in the store and drive awareness with a mobile push message, encouraging a personalized in-app shopping experience based on previous purchase history. Personalized, relevant, in-app messaging has been shown to lead to higher customer satisfaction, increased referrals, and higher retention.
The problem for brands wanting to integrate customer data is a customer may only be an email address in your email provider, a credit card in your POS, or an IP address for your online store. You need one place for identity resolution, it’s not just a matter of integrating the data but also figuring out the full identity of the person behind the data.
The only way to do that is by integrating all of a retailer’s customer data feeds, including problematic point-of-sale data from individual stores. To be successful, any solution must be able to match and merge purchase records when customers visit multiple stores or order online.
John shared with me that one client, Xanterra, who has multiple properties and locations had tons of customer data, but it wasn’t connected so gaining insight from it was nearly impossible. For example, if a guest at Yellowstone National Park added a tour or bought a map, these purchases never appeared on her profile. They couldn’t even tell what her total expenditures were.
Without data integration across platforms and properties, it was hard to see the lifecycle of a customer, understand the ROI of the relationship across channels and ultimately meet that customer where and when they are. With RedPoint, Xanterra integrated over 100 data sources, eliminated inefficient communication and ultimately saw a huge revenue lift per campaign.
RedPoint’s open garden approach also ensures that when a retailer considers adding a new social channel, service provider, or third-party data source, that retailer can decide solely on business advantage, without worrying about specific data integrations.
How long does it take to eliminate data silos and get all your data integrated? Typically, about two to three months.
Speed is what counts when it comes to data. RedPoint reports one retailer was able to reduce their data collection to insight and offer cycle time by more than 99%, from an average of two weeks to only 5 minutes.
How can they do this? One way is with AI and machine learning utilized algorithms to predict what the next best action is for a particular customer. Humans simply can’t do it fast enough for that much data.
Being able to turn on a dime has never been easier or more effective in making your brand something a customer will go out of their way to experience again and again.
With a single point of control over data, decisions and interactions, marketers can deliver the next-best action that has the highest likelihood to result in a satisfied, and ultimately loyal customer.
Bob Phibbs, is the Retail Doctor; a speaker, author of 3 books and retail sales expert of choice for some of the most legendary retail brands including LEGO, Omega, and Hunter Douglas. With over 30 years’ experience beginning in the trenches of retail and extending to senior management positions, he has been a corporate officer, franchisor and entrepreneur. He and his work have appeared on Fox, MSNBC, PBS as well as in Entrepreneur, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is a Top Voice on LinkedIn and American Express Global Merchant Advisor. He is constantly listed as one of the top retail influencers in the world. Mr. Phibbs is a paid contributor to RedPoint Global.
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Are you a hungry brick-and-mortar store owner who’s ready for a fresh, people-obsessed strategy? This training is for you if you want to grow your business using a powerful customer experience formula proven to make your cash register chirp.