Strategic Development & Customer Engagement Manager Lee Stevenson shares his thoughts
As a result of increased competition in the retail sector and changing demographics, it is now becoming ever more difficult for businesses to meet the demands of their customers and deliver the right experience across the wide range of channels that are now available. Evolving customer demand, coupled with the need for fast delivery of products and services, means that choosing your supplier has never been more important.
Providing a good experience for your customer will soon be equally as important as the price of your product, and the messaging and channels that businesses in the retail sector use to communicate with their customers can help to ensure they keep coming back.
Data holds the key to increasing the lifetime value of each customer; it maximises your company’s return on the investment made in communicating to them. Doing this effectively through the appropriate channels lets you accurately track results, avoid compliance issues and, most importantly, ensures you are reaching the right people with the right message. Working with a single supplier for all your marketing activity can help to join up campaigns, providing you with a bigger and more accurate picture of how they are performing.
Data also enables you to inject personalisation into your physical and digital campaigns using specific dates, customer profiles and precise preferences. How customers respond to a digital campaign can be measured and used to inform subsequent print communications, increasing a company’s return on investment by helping them to reach customers with messaging that will resonate.
Maximising your data also allows for highly targeted or trigger-based communications that drive customers to make purchases or sign up for deals at their local store. Email or SMS campaigns place sales messages highlighting a local sale or new product into the palm of a customer’s hand within seconds, and their purchasing behaviour can be tracked right up to the Point of Sale. Whenever a customer makes a purchase you can collect high value data. Names, addresses, phone numbers, a customer’s order history and their email address are all useful data points that can be used to drive better communications in the future.
From this, you can construct clear profiles on your customers for use in a range of campaign activity. You can use customer email addresses in email marketing campaigns, offer highly personalised product recommendations via direct mail based on previous purchases, and create promotions based on collective shopping behaviours.
Ultimately, the more data a retail company holds, the better their campaigns are targeted and executed. This all adds up to a serious impact on their return on investment.
-Lee Stevenson, Strategic Development & Customer Engagement Manager | Paragon Customer Communications