The power of insight: Delivering on brand promise at the point of interaction

WW Customer-centric Analytics Solutions Marketing Manager, Distribution Sector, IBM Analytics

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In the last few years, we have been hearing many consumer behavior centric trends such as “webrooming” and “show rooming” that have retailers vexed. The webrooming may be a welcome trend for retailers, as it could bring many consumers into the stores, but the larger problem is whether retailers are doing enough to understand consumers better and personalize their in-store experiences.

In the online world, consumer experience is as important as product and price. You can have great products and discounted pricing, but if a customer can’t find what they are looking for quickly, or they don’t get that personalized shopping experience, they will switch over to your competing brand immediately. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study shows 81 percent of consumers expect same brand experience across channels and 54 percent of consumers would end their relationship with a retailer if not given personalized content.

Drastically changing consumer behavior fueled by disruptive technology, media fragmentation and increased availability of quality substitutes is disrupting the state of brands. In one of the newest studies on shifting consumer-brand relationship, IBM found that brand loyalty is no longer a relevant measure. The study explains that consumer brand loyalty is fickle and no longer associated with repeat purchasing. In today’s world, consumers are loyal to newness. Expectations are high, while switching costs are low.

Core challenges for retailers today

Retailers today have access to all forms of data, and insight from these data sources can help retailers enhance brand loyalty and deliver personalized consumer experience at the point of interactions: store, mobile, eCommerce, call center and so on. The core challenge is having a true 360 degree, omni-channel view of the individual consumers’ behaviors and preferences (including web browsing, sales transactions, in-store tracking solutions, social data, data at rest and data in motion), and then using the insight to deliver relevant, personalized and contextual marketing to the consumer’s preferred channel of communication.  

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Another key challenge is using the consumer insight for real-time merchandise decisions. Will it help you to understand what product is selling in what channel, in which store? What products do consumers buy together?

In such a competitive marketplace, consumer insight can be your biggest differentiator. Retailers (both brick and mortar and eRetailers) who take a closer look at their consumer and merchandise data to understand what they love, why and how they buy and what earns their loyalty can best deliver on that insight through relevant and contextual offers at the point of interactions; this is crucial for success and long term profitability.

Retailers delivering real-time brand experience to drive sales

  • DLF Promenade, a fashion-themed shopping mall in India, uses intelligent, location-based technology, device-resident mobile data and cloud-based near real-time analytics to gain valuable insights about onsite and in-store consumer behavior, enabling them to offer contextual promotions to drive sales.
  • Redcats, large fashion lifestyle products retailer, used consumer analytics to deliver greater responsiveness in decision-making and more precise, better targeted marketing campaigns.
  • A large food & beverage retailer improved customer loyalty and created the opportunity for millions of dollars of additional revenue by maximizing insight into customer purchasing behavior by applying big data and analytics. The solution provided insight to understand which customers were buying which products and when, helping them design new products, offers and loyalty rewards.

Retail Made With IBM at NRF 2015

Join IBM at NRF 2015 to see how IBM’s Solutions, Research, Analytics, Watson and Partners are transforming the retail industry. Visit us at Booth #1920 during NRF’s Annual Convention & EXPO at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City between January 11 and 14, 2015. To stay in touch, follow @IBMRetail on Twitter and pair our official hashtag #SmarterRetail with #nrf15 to join the conversation.