Using Big Data to Engender Loyalty

In today’s digital world, marketers have access to more customer information and store more data than ever before. The recent piece, “Why Retailers Have It Easier When It Comes To Big Data” points out that retail marketers, in particular, are best equipped to handle big data because consumers willingly give personal information when making purchases. In addition, collecting data in retail is cost-effective because retailers have multiple channels in which to collect, including loyalty cards, purchase history, browsing behavior and social media. Yes, all of these channels can provide bountiful data for retailers, but at a certain point, does the quantity of data exceed the ability to effectively utilize it?

While many retailers think that more is better when it comes to big data, the savvy ones know that success lies in how each piece of information is applied. There are many strategies on segmentation, analysis and execution, but in studying the most successful retailers, it is clear that those doing it right take full advantage of their data by creating targeted omni-channel communications for each individual shopper.

To achieve this level of personalization, marketers should take note of three strategies that savvy retailers are using to boost the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

Remember the Details to Send Relevant Messages

Frequent consumers like the familiarity of a retailer that understands their style and preferences; it is personal. Retailers are using relevant consumer data to recommend the right products, not only in-stores, but also through digital communications.

Perhaps the most consistent form of communication across retailers is email because it can be individualized and hyper-personalized, with tailored content based on specific interests. By combining data with predictive models, marketers can eliminate ineffective batch-and-blast emails forever. Whether it be knowing that customers prefers neutral colors to bright palettes or understanding what price points encourage them to take action, tailoring content to an individual shopper provides a level of familiarity that deepens the connection between brand and consumer.

Follow Up to Ensure a Future Purchase

Smart retailers know that the follow up to a shopping experience is equally as important as the hook and the purchase itself. Not only does a thank you note say that you value them, it also combats the dreaded buyer’s remorse. To make this gesture possible, many stores keep track of their customers’ past purchases so they can be referenced in their personal note. This understanding of a customer’s history also comes into play during their next shopping experience. While customers are in the fitting room or browsing products online, retailers can suggest items similar to their past purchases.

Retailers also take customers’ purchasing history into account to drastically improve the reception of their communications in the future, whether email, direct mail or mobile. By suggesting similar or complementary products to those a consumer has already purchased, retailers show their true customer understanding and inspire additional purchases.

Implement a Coherent Strategy Across All Channels

As mentioned above, retailers already have several channels from which to continuously collect consumer preference data, which is incredibly valuable as consumers are engaged and sharing information around the clock.

This customer data is being applied across all channels to create the ideal omni-channel customer experience. For example, an email that a consumer clicked through last week is informing the print catalog version sent to them the following week. The items “pinned” on a tablet this morning should influence the email that customer receives later that afternoon.

Few retailers are delivering this omni-channel experience, and those that do are the ones marketers across all industries should look to as they create their own strategies. Mining the right data and combining it with predictive models has proven to increase customer engagement and allegiance. Marketers that apply personalized approaches across all their communications channels will have the power to turn one-time shoppers into brand loyalists.