Capitalizing on the Customer Journey
VP Retail Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder
The use of AI and automation in retail can be a win-win for both retailers and customers. AI gives businesses valuable insights into buying behaviors, product trends and, in some places, extending further to fully automate operational tasks. Use AI to understand where your products should be placed across your network taking into account seasonality and market trends. Perhaps products sold at urban stores are different than suburban stores or certain regions buy more or less of certain products. Leverage AI to give your customers relevant product recommendations. Customers want those Amazon-type recommendations.
Wayne Snyder, VP Retail Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder
Co-Founder & CEO, Similarweb
I often meet online retailers that still rely only on their first-party data to understand consumer behavior and preferences, even with restrictive data collection regulations like GDPR. While understanding first party data has undoubtable value, retailers can’t understand where they stand in a fast-moving ecommerce landscape and struggle to reach new customers and monetize them efficiently. Since growth starts outside of one’s own database, ecommerce players that rely only on existing data without knowing the preferences and behaviors of a competitor's customers, lose valuable time when trying to expand its customer base. This becomes even more imperative amid the cost of living crisis as consumers change their shopping behaviors.
Or Offer, Co-Founder & CEO, Similarweb
Retailers need to know they aren’t alone in their efforts to create meaningful multichannel customer journeys. The transition between online and offline should be seamless to form a cohesive story so the customer feels understood and respected based on their preferences, behaviors, and purchase history. To do this effectively, retailers need to embrace the wealth of tools at their disposal to truly understand their customers beyond what is in their systems, recognize them across channels, and reconnect with them with updated information. By capitalizing on the new capabilities to enhance first-party data, retailers can live up to customer expectations to not only drive revenue today but maintain customers for increased lifetime value.
Tom Burke, CEO, AtData
True personalization transcends technology — it's about crafting an experience that prioritizes shopper needs, making shopping more convenient and cost-effective. Neglecting these key needs can render technology investments fruitless. It's incumbent upon us, as leaders, to concentrate on creating a shopper-centric personalization experience. This involves the strategic amalgamation of data management, data science, delivery technology, and content. When these four pillars are seamlessly integrated with a focus on shopper needs, organizations can distinguish themselves from those merely investing in personalization, and instead, deliver genuine value.
Spencer Baird, CEO, Inmar Intelligence
Retailers who can adapt to modern technology are best able to capitalize on the many new ways to track customer behavior and understand what they respond to. For instance, using a tool like Heatmaps can provide you with visual representations of what your customers are coming to your site for, what design elements appeal to them, and what you can do to maintain their interest. Designing sites optimized for mobile use is also critical, as many shoppers are browsing on their phones. Monitoring ads on social media is also a great way to determine which posts attract the most attention. Some retailers may be more interested in sticking to traditional forms of marketing that expect customers to come to the site and find what they want. However, in today's world, retailers need to increasingly take steps to meet consumers where they live in the digital landscape.
Craig Kahl, President & CEO, Adventure Web Interactive
Growth-minded retailers are finding new and innovative ways to capitalize on complex customer journeys that span digital and in-store touchpoints. Building a complete customer profile is often challenging for retailers because they collect multiple datasets that don’t talk to each other. The ones that truly capitalize on these opportunities are building in-house solutions used to connect, segment, and activate their first-party data sets across digital marketing platforms. Retailers that want to stay ahead of their competition will need to embrace the power of data to maximize their growth potential.
Scott Conine, CEO, TrueData
As marketers, there is always more we can be doing to better serve consumers and tailor the customer experience. Margins are thinner and every dollar counts. We’ve started to see retailers focus more closely on optimizing their digital properties to improve conversions and return on ad spend. To supercharge their optimization efforts and have a competitive advantage, retailers will need to incorporate AI into their marketing strategies, particularly tools focused on personalization. Through AI, retailers can not only better understand buyer behaviors and shopping patterns but also apply those insights to build a personalized, high-converting funnel.
Guy Yalif, CEO, Intellimize
The biggest transformation for retail in digital marketing and e-commerce has been the explosion of the creator economy. Influencers have gone from experimental partners to strategic drivers of awareness, engagement, and, most importantly, sales for brands that use it effectively. We’ve seen early adopters in the beauty industry like Sephora and Ulta who leverage relationships with influencers and with the brands they sell to not only drive e-commerce sales but also increase in-store foot traffic for product launches and new collaborations. Retailers like Walmart and Abercrombie & Fitch highlight TikTok-favorite products, leaning into the viral #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend and demonstrating influencers’ sway on the customer journey today.
Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and co-founder, Traackr
Founder & CEO, Kard
Digital marketing is evolving constantly, and the recent decline in the effectiveness of traditional cookies means that retailers are looking elsewhere for ways to target and reach customers. We see a lot of success with partners who are pivoting towards transaction-based tracking systems utilizing first-party data, which detail individual purchases, complete with time and date information. These systems, not reliant on cookies, provide excellent insight into where consumers are actually shopping, as well as their purchase size and frequency. As such, they’re helping retailers provide real value to their customers.
Ben Mackinnon, Founder & CEO, Kard
Founder & CEO, Kard
Today’s customer has become used to immediate fulfillment. Gone are the days where a customer will visit a store, wait to be served, stand in line, and leave and later return when their preferred agent or desired item is available. Every retailer requires the ability for a customer to book a virtual or in-store appointment online 24 hours a day. Every location requires virtual and in person queue management, and the ability to match interested customers with the correct human agent and/or to match customers to a location with inventory available.
Philip Meer, CEO, JRNI
Some retailers are leveraging digital marketing and e-commerce effectively. They are using customer data to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchase patterns. Through analytics and data-driven approaches, they can personalize marketing messages, recommend relevant products, and provide targeted offers, enhancing the overall customer experience. These retailers are also investing in technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and optimize their marketing efforts, enabling them to reach customers more effectively.
However not all retailers have been successful in capitalizing on these opportunities. Some may face challenges in adapting to the rapidly changing digital landscape, lacking the necessary expertise, resources, or infrastructure to fully leverage digital marketing and e-commerce. They may struggle to effectively collect and analyze customer data, create personalized experiences, or integrate online and offline channels seamlessly. Continuous innovation and investment in digital capabilities are crucial for retailers to stay competitive in today's digital landscape.
Brian Handly, CEO, Reveal Mobile
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Capitalizing on the Customer Journey