In today’s competitive retail landscape, there’s a dizzying array of actions a retailer can take to stay ahead. With the rise of the modern big data platform, new technologies can be used to increase customer loyalty and margins by leveraging personalized data. At the forefront of these technologies are real-time analytics, which can power website personalization and upsell capability, and increase customer benefits by improving customer relations. In other words, you can leverage this real-time information to meet your customers on their terms.
You can’t build your future on traditional data capture and storage systems. In order to take advantage of the latest advancements in data analytics, it’s vital that retailers implement the architecture required to drive value. Traditional data storage systems have focused on capturing point-of-sale transaction data, product data, and inventory data, but today’s data is much more diverse. To empower real-time analytics and personalization, retailers need a system that can capture social media data, clickstream data, and wireless sensor data, to name just a few of the new data sources. The future of data analytics is built on the foundation of next-generation data platforms that are capable of handling any possible data source.
Driving value with next-generation data sources can be seen in the ways a modern retailer handles customer satisfaction. Historically, a customer care center or call center may have been provided as an 800 number, but this model may no longer be applicable to a modern consumer: millennials generally do not even own a home phone. Retailers cannot afford to be stagnant with how they respond to their customers’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and often this means tracking customer feedback on social media platforms.
Customer sentiment can be mined in real time from social data sources, and can be used to provide excellent customer service through being proactive in responding on an individual level. Companies that get social media relations right receive high praise from the modern consumer. The use of a next-generation data platform can empower retailers to take advantage of social signals.
For a retailer, the application of real-time data analytics to website personalization is a perfect pairing. Real-time data analytics involves collecting, transforming, and mining data from thousands or even millions of concurrent users in milliseconds. Analyzing detailed data in real time empowers retailers to make personalized offerings while customers are engaging with the website. Imagine knowing a customer’s shoe size based on previous purchases—you could apply a filter in real time for the items they’re browsing and avoid showing them items that are out of stock or out of their size. If a customer is searching for an item you don’t carry or have in stock, you could show items that are similar to what they’ve been looking for.
Both these examples offer a personalized experience for the customer that more closely mirrors the in-store experience: you would not offer an out-of-stock product to a customer, and if you don’t have an item in stock, you would start a conversation about what you do have that is similar. Real-time data and personalization give you an opportunity to excel at customer relations with upsell and cross-sell strategies.
Taking advantage of real-time data sources—whether from social media feeds or websites—will drive the next generation of personalization in customer relations.
To learn about how one retailer has seen success with personalized data, watch this video.