By Lisa Ciangiulli, Optism Team, Sep 28, 2012
In July, Oracle published a 40-page industry scorecard, answering the question, “When it comes to better data management, how are industries doing?”
Big Data is exploding, no surprise there. And businesses are not prepared to manage the data deluge in a way that is costing them real revenues.
For retailers, failure to properly process their customers’ data means that their already slim margins are even smaller. According to survey results, retailers estimate they are losing big bucks – to the tune of 10% of annual revenues – because they can’t leverage the information they collect across channels. The Oracle study found that only 17% of retailers rated themselves as having a 360-degree insight into their customers through data gathered across multiple channels.
Is this problem? We say it’s an opportunity. The Oracle report found that there is a silver lining within all the data to help retailers do a 180 degree turn to process the data and act on those insights.
How can mobile help? Here are 3 key areas which mobile can help retailers.
Mobility Element: For retailers, giving their sales teams access to mobile is key: 40% percent of retailers in the Oracle study said that providing store associates with mobile access to customer, product, inventory and other information is critical to combat “showrooming”. Mobile allows retailers to provide customized information to their customers using micro-location (in-aisle) technology. Mobile when combined with other CRM information (both offline and online) can provide the entire organization with a real-time, consistent and complete view of the customer.
Permission Element: A 360-degree solution is part technology and part human. You can have the greatest CRM system in the world and tie a mobile solution into it, but if you are missing the human element – it’s not going to work. We call this Thinking Human – which means asking the consumer what he wants and then actually listening and responding to the stated needs.
Engagement Element: For consumers, the ability to opt-in and share information with retailers allows them to share the products they like. Retailers can then target relevant offers to consumers. This concept was summed up very well over at the Mobile Demystified Blog in post entitled “How Mobile Solves The Retail Marketing Data Challenge.” Retailers, according to the author Kane, need to “look not for mobile marketing solutions, but mobile personalized engagement solutions.” A great example of personalized engagement is how Starbucks is using permission and mobile to connect all of its marketing channels.
Recently, I experienced two examples of how retailers were not using my data correctly.
- I purchased a chair from JCPenney for my daughter’s bedroom and received a thank you email– with a $10 coupon. Cool. But the next email I received (and the several hundred I’ve received since then) told me all the things on sale in the store and online. Guess what? I’m not interested in the plethora of stuff they offered, from shoes to jewelry and baby gear. But I did recently buy bedding for my daughter at the store. Wouldn’t it be so cool if they referred to THAT and maybe even offered me new accessories that might go with the chair and bedding (throws, pillows, curtains)?
- Earlier this month, I got email from my favorite restaurant wishing me “Happy Birthday”. Too bad my birthday is in August.
The Oracle study lays out the reasons why businesses and retailers should focus on using mobile to deliver “engaging and rewarding experiences to consumers”. All the elements are there for retailers to deliver a 360 degree experience; technology, mobile, permission and creativity. Retailers just need to get educated on the possibilities and really want to provide added value to their customers.