The New Detail of Retail
July 20, 2012
by Chris Taylor – TIBCO
Retail has gone through enormous stresses in the past decade, with more to come. Just the normal ups and downs of local and global economies, supply chains and personal taste are a huge challenge. Add to that mix the increasing maturation of concepts like e-Commerce, Big Data, RFID and mobile.
Each of these would be a whopper to digest and together are changing the foundation of an ancient industry.
New ways to sell
Traditional in-store sales are combining with web, mobile and social. While the social channel may not be ‘here’, it is expected to become viable within a few years. This combination of channels can’t be managed as silos, as branding and look and feel need to be consistent for the customer (ie. mobile can’t just be dumbed-down Web) and for internal maintenance cost.
In the store or kiosk, Near Field Communication (contactless communication between devices) is the simple way to speed purchasing and is used extensively already at Starbucks in combination with their loyalty app.
How much does speed of checkout matter? Studies show it makes a huge difference. I know my wife and I choose ‘self-checkout’ even if it’s slower simply because we feel don’t like standing in a line, dependent on someone else. We only have ourselves to blame and that’s fine.
Selling needs to take place at the time, place and pace that a customer desires.
New forms of loyalty
It was always a great idea to attract a customer once and sell to them many times. Loyalty programs were a way to lower the cost of customer acquisition. Today, loyalty programs offer something even more meaningful…contextual information about the customer.
Not just what they buy, but when they shop, demographics, product preferences and more. If you think Safeway gives discounts because you’re a loyal customer, think again. There’s a transaction going on when you give information that is just as valuable for them as when you buy.
What do they do with that information? They create a context for commercial transaction that has several benefits:
- Manages customer satisfaction more closely with direct (experience surveys, requests for feedback) and indirect (purchase patterns) measurements
- Understands and confirms your loyalty patterns
- Cross-sells and up-sells other products to increase revenue per transaction. This goal depends on getting the right offer to you in the right moment and through the proper channel to make your buying easy and natural/non-clumsy.
Click here to read more.
You Might Like:
- Webinar On-Demand: Success with Mobile Loyalty
- Aberdeen Research Report: Customer Loyalty 2012: Enabling Technologies for Customer Engagement, Conversion, and Retention