One of the major trends overtaking retail is multi-channel marketing, which involves the need for retailers to consolidate the customer shopping experience across all channels with seamlessness and consistency. Because of the ever-increasing ways for customers to share information with both their peers and retailers, the consumer knows what they want, when they want it and how they want to receive it. Retailers, in turn, must identify these demands and meet them in efficient, effective and innovative ways, the main way being by using retail analytics and integrating multi-channel functions.
Buying By Cross-Channel Shoppers Is Significantly More Profitable Than From Single-Channel Shoppers
Statistics in 2010 showed that 65% of retailer/respondents said buying by cross-channel shoppers was "significantly more profitable than single-channel shoppers." (In 2011 and 2012, these figures were 50% and 38%, respectively). Retail Systems Research (RSR).
The key to profit, however, is finding the answers IN your data, not in guessing the customer's behavior.
Here are 4 absolutely critical ways you (retailers) should look at your data to find the winning path to your sales and profits.
1. Don't focus on the product and how it moves in each channel. Do concentrate on the customer's demand for and interaction with a product across every sales channel.
2. Don't push merchandise on shoppers. Do pay attention to what merchandise they are pulling from you!
3. Don't fill the Sunday circular with what YOU think the customer wants and then watch what sells. Do present personal and targeted promotions to segmented populations of shoppers.
4. Don't worry about one channel in your company getting more credit than the other. Do stop worrying about who gets credit for the sale and create a corporate culture that celebrates the increased cooperative sales when an omni-channel, cooperative reality is achieved. (Speeding the journey to omnichannel. Netsuite via Retailwire).
Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line:
Today's smarter, more demanding shoppers mean retailers have to look at marketing in a NEW way. It no longer -- and maybe never -- made sense to decide what the customer wanted from empirical data. The key is to look at what the customer wants by observing, logging, projecting, and acting on what the customer indicates in the data about their behavior.
That means accessing real-time and accurate inventory data -- and fluid communication of that data between departments and channels, associates and customer service.
The answer is in your retail analytics, cross-channel visibility, communication with the customer, consolidating customer data across all channels, and using data analytics to get the right answers are the keys to getting the handle on all your future profit.
You have to know your data in order to make your plans.
You have to work forward from real information, data, and intelligence to sound, wise, informed action.
The secret, as with any intelligence solutions, is to gather, analyze, and wag the data -- don't let the data wag you!