Introduction: Delivering Customer Centricity through Real-Time Insights and Seamless Integration across Channels
Every retailer maintains that they cater to their customer's expectations by providing personalized services. In reality, however, only a few forward-looking companies clearly 'get' the message and deliver a seamless experience based on data-driven insights. This requires an effective omni-channel strategy that engages customers with relevant and timely information, providing the right offer at the right place and at the right time. Lately, the 'right time' has become synonymous with services offered in real time. Retailers are recognizing the need to respond to the dynamic shifts in customer preferences or behavior through omni-channel marketing. This would not only enable greater customer centricity—by allowing consumers to interact with brands on their own terms and make the best decision possible—but also drive higher customer retention.
One of the major challenges in delivering an omni-channel value proposition is creating a unified view of customers that allows retailers to develop unique, engaging and highly personalized brand experiences. A 'single version of the truth' that analyzes customer trends immediately, across online, in-store and other retailing channels, remains elusive to many o successful brands. In the absence of this information, retailers cannot build a 360 view of each customer which requires incorporating multiple dimensions of each buyer. Data gathered across channels is not aggregated; integration issues constantly constrain retailers; and organizational silos still impact coordination.
Eliminating the barriers to data integration and developing predictive and prescriptive insights from analytics lets retailers identify, track and understand their customers at a deeper, more personal level. Retailers can use insights from analytics to drive engaging customer experiences, while directing traffic to lower cost channels. The key is to increase relevance which in turn will increase engagement while simultaneously raising revenues at lower costs. Greater insights enabled by smart data integration can differentiate current 'me too' loyalty programs, take social customer relationships to the next level, and create a first mover advantage in the emerging area of location-based marketing.
This paper explores the current retail environment and underscores the need for data and insight-driven customer centricity as the new mandate. It also builds the case for digital transformation, highlights examples of successful initiatives, and offers a roadmap with suggestions for how to start the journey.