Today’s shoppers are incredibly demanding. They’re used to getting what they want when they want it, and they expect a streamlined shopping experience that’s tailored to their needs. How are today’s leading retailers delivering these experiences? By capturing customer data and using to deliver personalized, omni-channel shopping experiences.
The Power of e-Commerce
By now you should now the power of online shopping. If not, here’s a staggering number for you: This past season’s Cyber Monday saw a whopping $7.9 billion spent online. That’s almost a 20% increase over the prior year and made Cyber Monday 2018 the highest online selling day in U.S. history.
The shoppers are there, and they’re ready to spend; it’s up to retailers to provide them with the types of experiences that will entice shoppers to open their wallets. With all of the tools at their disposal, from buy management to marketing automation to CRM, retailers can capture more customer data than ever.
Building a Great Customer Profile
Customer profiling starts with your website and online shopping platform. Every visitor’s IP address can be tagged and their location determined; this, in turn, means that you can serve up content in their local language, prices in their local currency, and shipping estimates based on location. Any pages visited and any items placed in a cart are captured by cookies and that information stored for their return visits.
Once a customer has purchased from you and their email address is captured, you can really start to learn about them — their purchase history, how much they spend and when their style and fit preferences. Connecting a user’s profile to their social media accounts gives you the opportunity to learn even more about them.
Testing New Customer Experiences
With all of this great information at hand, you can leverage your automation and shopping platforms to deliver truly personalized experiences to your customers. If they buy long-sleeves dress shirts every fall, or sundresses every spring, you can target them with timely offers and promotions and bring them back to you at the right time. You can get even more specific and feature popular fashions and styles that other shoppers in the same demographics are currently buying, as a “curated just for you” promotion. These offers can be delivered via email or targeted display ads on social media; direct mail and in-store promotions such as “preferred customer events” can also be used to make customers feel valued and unique.
Ultimately your goal is to leverage everything you know about your customers to provide memorable shopping experiences that continually surprise and delight them. These experiences will bring them back to you time and again and turn them into valuable brand advocates.
Using Profile Data to Maximize your Inventory
The benefits of profiling to your customers is clear. But where you really start to drive value from customer profiling is in your inventory management processes.
All of the data you learn about individual customers over time can be collated by your buy management system to create personas — profiles of groups of similar customers based on demographic data and purchase history. This data, in turn, helps you understand what your customers are buying or spending on a larger scale, allowing you to more accurately plan your buys and your inventory management, tailoring your spend and assortments to each individual store, tier of stores, and/or channel.
Let’s use your typical online store as an example. Generally speaking, a retailer can expect an effective online store to do 20 times the business of their best physical store. Traditionally retailers would then order 20x the inventory to ensure available stock for their online store.
But your online shoppers and the way your customers shop online is different from what they buy in-store. Simply stocking 20x the same product will likely mean you’re sitting on unsold inventory while quickly running low on other items.
Using actual shopping data from your customers you can ensure you’re buying the right items, in the right amounts, for the right channel. You’ll also learn what your customers are willing to spend, on what, and when.
All of this information empowers your buyers to make better, smarter decisions, improving your margins and reducing your markdowns.
Leverage Personalization to Make a Meaningful Difference
Customer profiling leads to both great personalized shopping experiences for your customers and smarter decisions for your buyers and planners that help you improve efficiency and your bottom line. Taking advantage of it only makes sense.
The great news is, capturing this information is easy using the tools you already have: your website, your online shopping platform, your automation platform and your CRM.
To really take advantage of customer profiling, you’ll want to invest in a buy management system.
daVinci’s Buy Management System helps you leverage this data to maximum effect, segmenting it into personas and clusters that allow you to make smarter, faster decisions. Its real-time, connected database keeps buyers and planners on the same page and reduces extraneous data entry, and its extensive API ecosystem ensures connectivity to all of your existing systems.
To learn more about how a Buy Management System can help you take advantage of your customer data, speak to an expert today!