Today’s headlines are ablaze with privacy scandals and consumer demand for transparency in data collection.
From Facebook to Amazon, we aim to bring down giants for perceived intrusions on our autonomy.
These are powerful political concepts that dominate the conversation around today’s technological advancements and our desire to apply morality to the digital world.
Equally as powerful as these headlines are the paradoxical returns and conversion rates that retailers are experiencing from data driven personalized marketing content: content that is derived from data collection unique to individual shoppers, i.e. personal preferences and tastes.
Public opinion seems to contradict consumer expectation.
Get this eBook to see consumers’ perception of privacy, their expectation of personalization, and the middle ground we are all looking for.
In-store customers account for 50% of all eCommerce activity, research by Salesforce found, so closing the online-offline gap is critical for customer experience.
In response, retailers pursuing omnichannel with Retail Pro are turning their technology gains into customer-facing conveniences for unified commerce that puts shoppers first.
Here are three ways you can pass on the benefits of full data visibility in Retail Pro to your customers.
1: Show store inventory availability online
79% of shoppers research products online before buying in stores. Analysts are calling the trend ROPO – Research Online, Purchase Offline.
With so many shoppers choosing this blended approach to shopping, you can use your inventory data in Retail Pro to give customers online visibility into a product’s availability at their local store and secure the sale.
You can analyze customer history data in Retail Pro to personalize your marketing with recommendations based on items they recently or frequently purchased.
Effective recommendations are those that complement what the shopper already purchased from you, rather than simply other iterations of items the shopper has already browsed or bought.
3: Blend channels into one holistic shopping experience
For on the go consumers, the real shopping is done on your website.
They see your store as a fulfillment center where they will try on or pick up what’s needed on their way to do other things.
Integrated ecommerce and store POS can help you create a streamlined experience for these busy shoppers: shoppers can plan ahead and fill up their online shopping cart, and then access it at your store POS to complete the purchase and get the goods.
Omnichannel at Kanmo Group
Kanmo Group took this kind of holistic approach to managing data with Retail Pro Prism.
“To truly benefit from our omnichannel strategy, Kanmo Group has to look beyond simply engaging customers through offline and online means. When you look at the customer behavior in Southeast Asia, you will see that shoppers love to fill up their basket online – but they still prefer to complete the purchase in physical stores,” commented Bhavin Patel, Omnichannel Director of Kanmo Group. “We want to give our customers flexibility to collect and check out the ‘basket’ they created by communicating with a salesperson or through the real-time Retail Pro Prism POS system.”
Customers can fill up their shopping cart online. If they are in the area, they might choose to visit a nearby Justice store and complete their purchase there.
Going Omnichannel with Retail Pro Prism
Retailers pursuing omnichannel are taking on the monumental task of integrating all their data sources into a 360 degree view of their business.
With full integrability in the Retail Pro platform, omnichannel is becoming attainable reality rather than simply rhetoric.
Accurate, real-time communications in Retail Pro help you keep your inventory and customer information up to date across the entire business, so you can make better decisions from holistic, integrated business insights.
Whether you’re leveraging Retail Pro for your brand stores, ecommerce, kiosks, outlets, franchises, store-in-store, or pop-ups, Retail Pro is one solution for all your retail and helps you unify commerce in a way that puts shoppers first.
Knowing and understanding customers is key for any retailer’s success.
Successful businesses study their shoppers, learning what they like – which can be as important as figuring out what they don’t like – and using that information to help predict what they’ll buy in the future.
Studying consumer behavior helps retailers determine factors that influence their buying decisions, which allows them to offer products that satisfy their customers’ needs.
If you want to really understand your customers, consider developing buyer personas.
Who is your typical buyer?
The answer to this can be one type of person (e.g., a soccer outfitter) or a number of types (e.g., a general sporting goods store).
Using purchase data from your POS, you can discover who your end customers tend to be.
Hopefully, the results won’t be entirely shocking.
Look at Their Product Purchases
Next, look at your products and connect the dots to the buyers.
Are your customers buying for themselves or others?
Some stores may find clear evidence that they are a gift-giving destination, while others may find it’s parents rather than teenagers who are doing the buying.
Consider creating a persona not just for the shoppers buying for themselves, but also for the ones buying on behalf of someone else.
At first, you are simply defining your clientele and placing them in large categories.
Refine Your Search
The next step is refining your research:
Where do your customers live?
What are their ages?
Some of these distinguishing traits will be more important than others.
Furthermore, there may be additional questions that are particularly relevant to your business.
Ultimately, you want to take the answers and compare that to what is being purchased and draw conclusions.
That can be accomplished by gathering reams of data not only from the point of sale terminal but also (potentially) from contest submissions or newsletter subscriptions.
Don’t forget past or inactive customers.
Test Your Findings
It’s beneficial to understand why they may have stopped shopping at your business, so pick up the phone, send an email, create a survey – and find out you’re your shortcomings are; whether they are perceived or real they are valuable.
Offer an incentive, such as a coupon code and not only will they be more apt to respond, but they may also give your business a second shot.
Tie in Online Data
If you have an e-commerce site in addition to brick and mortar, use tools such as Google Analytics Audience reports to nail down the demographics of online shoppers.
Take it one step further and unite all that data – POS, ecommerce, Google Analytics, and any other retail software you use – into an analytics platform that can help you predict what your customers will do next.
Successful retailers know their customers.
They not only know what they are buying and what they want to purchase but also their likes and dislikes outside of the store environment.
They know personal details.
And they’ve analyzed all that information so they can provide a stellar customer experience, not just today but for well into the future.
They know that the day they stop knowing their customer is the day they lose that customer.
Get them into your customers’ hands faster – by integrating all your retail software for end-to-end visibility into customer information and stock performance that helps you improve speed-to-market in your production cycles.
Dedagroup Stealth Retail ERP provides luxury and fashion retailors with a modern technology platform that enables them to run an efficient, responsive and profitable omnichannel business, built on insights about their customers’ needs.
1. Create personalized marketing campaign around product usage
Consider how your products or store can help customers achieve their goals.
The data that helps you determine which products customers may be interested in will also help you figure out why they need those items.
That knowledge will help you craft an individual message to every shopper.
Sometimes a group message is appropriate, but most often, the more you treat your customer as an individual with unique needs, the better you can illustrate your brand’s respect for individual customers.
2. Use detailed customer data to meaningfully personalize teasers, promotions and discounts
Communicate through data-driven email.
Personalizing messages requires email segmentation, analyzing customer data and creating a 360-degree customer view from a centralized database.
However, although email list segmentation has proven to lead to higher sales rates, half of marketers surveyed by Tune said they are not segmenting their email lists and less than nine percent of marketers said they aggregate their data within a single system of record.
To take full advantage of email’s potential, retailers can send personalized teasers, promotions and discounts to loyal shoppers as well as prospects, in addition to those who’ve abandoned their shopping carts.
3. Engage consumers at key moments in their shopping experiences with push notifications
Text notifications can push shoppers through your door.
Research has found that 57 percent of shoppers spent more money at a retailer after receiving a notification.
An even more impressive figure is that 68 percent of consumers reported an impulse buy after receiving a notification.
Sending push notifications effectively helps boost sales by engaging consumers at key moments in their shopping experiences.
Repeat customers are a valuable commodity. It’s seven times more expensive to find a new customer than to retain one, according to Kissmetrics. In addition, the research has found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is just five to 20 percent.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, it’s the perfect time to re-introduce your brand or store with customers who may not have made a recent purchase. Marketing automation and CRM solutions can generate follow-up emails and trigger behavioral-based campaigns to keep shoppers engaged with your store. And the new holiday shoppers you attract can be made to feel like they, too, are part of a special community well after the initial purchase is made and the holidays are packed up and put away.
Marketing Automation Helps Identify Your Advocates
Returning customers buy more and are more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, but they can also become advocates for your business. They can help you identify and bring in new customers. Marketing automation helps businesses automate repetitive marketing tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. It can help identify brand advocates and nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.
Nurturing leads is an important part of marketing automation. If a particular customer has shared a few of your blog posts on social media, for example, encourage this behavior by proactively sharing relevant posts with this person.
Retail marketing isn’t just about making the sale – it’s about winning loyal customers and establishing a brand.
Never send a generic message. Always personalize content so your audience understands why specifically he or she should visit your store.
Compiling information about customer behavior in the aggregate and comparing it with data on individual customers will help discern what products a store should sell and how to market those products. A CRM solution stores every desired piece of customer data, so a business can reach and engage with every customer type. And it’ll help with up-selling, too, a critical part of customer retention.
Upselling should make customers feel as though they are winning – not as if they are simply shelling out more money. CRM marketing streamlines and organizes the process: Through analysis and data mining, businesses can determine the optimal time and method to propose an upsell. Upselling is easier than selling to a customer for the first time and can help a store’s revenue grow faster.
Grow your bottom line efficiently by reaching out to past and repeat customers. Make it clear why you deserve these customers business, and why you offer a better value proposition than competitors. Most importantly, let them know how they’ll profit too, because, after all, everyone wants to be a winner.
The retailer’s associates are equipped with tablets to provide immediate answers to customer questions on the sales floor.
The handhelds also act as cash registers, and out of stock items can be instantly ordered online for home delivery.
Many retailers have realized the devastating impact poor inventory management can have: Customers are often unwilling to go back to a store that is out of a desired product and that makes no effort to locate it.
When competing for a share of shoppers’ hearts and wallets, promotions are a good way to increase traffic and sales, which in turn can help you become more profitable. Promotions draw in new customers and infrequent shoppers, and all those socially-oblivious laggards who just don’t see the need to shop with you (until now ???? ).
To help make your customer hunt a little easier, this month’s All Things Retail webcast talks about the kinds of promotions you can create with Retail Pro enterprise retail software. Retail Pro is designed to for ultimate flexibility so you can tailor your retail management software to your business operations, and the promotions capabilities in Retail Pro are no exception.
Retail Pro promotions come with 8 types of promotions out of the box:
These promotions can be used on their own or in any combination of promotions, which means you have total control over creating and testing as many diverse and complex promotions as your marketing team can throw at you.
When you choose the type of promotion you will run, you get to set the activation rules that will trigger your promotion to be automatically applied to a customer’s transaction. You can set the start and end date and determine to which products the promotion will apply. You can also choose to activate the promotion for all or distinct subsidiaries, brands, countries, or business entities within your enterprise.
Next, you set the validation rules. These rules validate whether the customer’s purchases qualify for the promotion. The promotion can be activated by your choice of any of the following criteria:
At the sale of a particular item or combination of items
When a set threshold amount is met at the sale subtotal
If the customer uses a coupon
If the customer meets a particular qualification, i.e. if the customer is part of your loyalty program, etc.
These validation rules allow you to cast the promotion for as broad or as targeted a group as you determine is profitable for your business.
Once validation rules are set, you can then set the reward rules, which determine what reward and how much of it the customer would get for meeting the reward rules.
Retail Pro POS tracks the redemption of the reward, helping you get a better report on the promotion’s performance.
Careful planning and solid promotions tactics can play a significant part in converting a shopper from someone who’s only ever walked past your store to a repeat customer who loves the way your products fit their life and will buy from you even when you’re not having a sale.
So how do you create the kind of promotions that encourage good shopping habits?
That may be a question for business psychologists and your marketing team, and definitely will depend on your business’ unique circumstances and brand value in consumers’ eyes – but it’s evident that promotions impact retail operations in critical ways.
Historical data sets tracking sales during and after promotions show that customers resume normal purchase habits once a promotion is complete. Whatever your promotions strategy, it’s best to think long term – creating customer purchase habits rather than simply meeting this quarter’s sales goals.
JC Penney abandoned their long-lived coupon strategy in favor of everyday low prices and experienced disheartening sales and earnings. At a time when everything is accessible for less on Amazon, JC Penney’s coupons played a critical role in generating the buzz that would bring shoppers to their stores.
Once that buzz fizzled away, so did discount-trained shoppers, and everyday low prices became everyday low sales.
2. Supply chain and replenishment blunders can cripple promotion performance.
Promotions put pressure on your supply chain operations and retailers are often left with an unprofitable inventory glut or lack in the post-promotion period. Sales exceeding your forecast sounds like a positive problem to face, but stock outs leave mean lost sales both during and after the promotion. Retailers must be responsive and on top of their replenishment game.
Of course, for some retailers, stock outs are part of the strategy to create buzz. Ty in the 1990s stringently controlled the supply of Beanie Babies available to the public, even discontinuing toys rising in popularity to spur frenzied sales over scarce supply.
3. Promotions affect sales for other products, and creative inventory management
Promotions influence sales for other products, and smart inventory management can help you maximize its positive effects. When preparing for the promotions period, order more complementary, non-competing products, since basket analysis often shows a lift in sales of these items due to the halo effect. For example, a promotion on jackets can cause an increase in scarf sales in cooler months.
The same promotion can cause cannibalization of sales for items in the same category, so order less of the competing item for the period of the promotion. The pull-forward effect can also impact post-promotion sales, especially for commodities like laundry detergent, which has a long shelf life. This occurs when shoppers stock up on the sale item, causing a hiccup in their regular purchase frequency and therefore lower sales in the months following the promotion.
Promotions are important elements in the retailer-customer relationship, and how you set expectations today can impact how your business performs for decades to come. In any case, you can count on Retail Pro to give you the flexibility you need to create the promotions strategy that makes most sense for your business.
Are you marketing your business without acknowledging that a vast majority of your shoppers are mobile-equipped? That means you could be communicating with them far more than simply when they venture into your store. With roughly 80% of internet users owning smartphones, and 40% of users’ internet time being spent on mobile devices, retailers need to incorporate mobile into their marketing mix.
Researchers are predicting that smartphones will account for 60 percent of e-commerce visits by the end of 2017. Mobile is disrupting how customers engage with brands. That means retailers shying away from mobile marketing will be left behind as customers increasingly report wanting to interact with their favorite stores on mobile platforms.
Ideally, a mobile strategy connects shoppers with retailers through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile customers can ask customer service agents questions, chat with agents, and get personalized information, including recent account statements and in-stock inventory.
Retailers can build loyalty programs into mobile marketing efforts to encourage customer trial and create shopping habits.
There are several ways of integrating mobile into your strategy:
App-based: Retailers don’t have to create an app themselves; various services are available to help design mobile ads that appear within third-party mobile apps. And Facebook lets advertisers create ads that are integrated into the social network’s mobile app. Promoted Post ads integrate seamlessly with Facebook’s news feed, so users often don’t realize they’re viewing ads.
In-game: These appear within mobile games as banner pop-ups, full-page image ads or sometimes as video ads that are visible between loading screens.
Location-based marketing: Advertisements appear on mobile devices based upon a user’s location. If they are in the mall where your business is located, they’ll receive a coupon as a text message, for example. Retailers choose specific boundaries on how far these ads can travel.
Mobile ordering: Offering ordering via an app is a great differentiator for a retailer. Customers expect a seamless experience, so building a robust app is crucial. The mobile order experience should include the elements of an in-store order within the app: view full menu, customize items, make a mobile payment, and complete the order.
It’s a mobile-first world, with increasing numbers of shoppers using their devices to complete or research purchases. The time is now to start building —or improving — your mobile presence.
For retailers, much of the work that goes into making a sale is done before your customer ever sets foot in your store. Here are 3 tips for using your retail data to attract more customers.
1. Use outbound marketing as a targeted follow-up to inbound marketing.
Fresh, high-quality content is available to sales prospects 24/7. Whether it’s on the web, in stores, or via email, information is out there, waiting to be consumed by eager customers. Savvy retailers are using their content assets to attract customers, and it’s working: Interesting, relevant material attracts leads to a business’ site, social media presence and/or store. That content must position your company as a market leader. Valuable content that informs the customer is key. The more specific your content, the more focused you can be.
2. Collect data on your customer.
To really provide such highly focused, relevant content, you must understand customers’ interests and tastes, as well as their demographic information. Only then can you tailor both your content, which attracts customers, and the message, which will be used to close the sale. Outbound marketing only succeeds when it reaches the appropriate audience. Personalized campaigns can go a long way when you are courting a customer. Let the data you gather help inform the way you engage with customers.
3. Use predictive analytics.
Look back and use past performance to gauge future sales. Predictive analytics examines a variety of data and then systematically offers the makeup of the best leads. Big data crunching can help find those sweet spots invisible to the naked eye. In addition, sales teams knowledgeable in the science of data analytics can gain insight into purchasing triggers. Paying attention to small triggers can get your retail marketing campaigns out ahead of the competition’s.
Retail Pro International (RPI) is a global leader in retail management software that is recognized world-wide for rich functionality, multi-national capabilities, and unparalleled flexibility. For over 25 years, RPI has innovated retail software solutions to help retailers optimize business operations and have more time to focus on what really matters - cultivating customer engagement and capitalizing on retail's trends. Retail Pro is the chosen software platform for omni-channel strategy by retailers in 130+ countries.