Retailers aim to demystify data to get all staff on board

shopping_2The majority of retailers plan to boost their customer engagement strategies this year by implementing “simple” data science and business intelligence solutions that all employees can understand, having finally woken up to the fact that customer experience is key to survival.

So says a new report from Arm Treasure Data, entitled “Retail CX and Data Management Strategies in 2020”, which highlights a clear link between building a better employee experience and delivering improved, more personalised results for customers.

According to one C-suite executive from a specialist retail brand, their company’s 2020 customer engagement strategy is specifically to “focus on improving employee experiences”, adding: “Customer data is just a part of the analytical procedure. Our investments are mostly made to provide customers a more localised, personalised, and smarter shopping experience.”

Almost half of respondents (48%) intend to use geographical and location data, such as path to purchase, to engage customers more effectively. Additionally, 45% will invest in realtime customer data to inform their new initiatives.

Slightly over one-third of retail organisations will use new insights into customers to launch smarter advertising campaigns (35%). About one-third of respondents will enrich and unify their customer data using multi-party data management platforms (32%), and approximately a third will adapt their content based on new insights into their customers and customer interests (32%).

However, just over two-fifths (42%) of respondents said they were not satisfied with the quality of their customer data.

Just under half (46%) are planning to tackle this issue by implementing a customer data platform (CDP) to get a better handle on their data-driven customer strategies.

Once again, though, simplicity is the watch word with most respondents wanting their CDP to allow users to quickly and automatically add new data.

The report states: “Ultimately, a CDP solution must drive revenue by enabling organisations to deliver personalised, dynamic customer engagements in realtime at the store level. An off-the-shelf solution may be inhibited by technical difficulties, including conflicts of identity resolution, when attempting to synchronise customer data with other systems.”

However, growing consumer concerns over data transparency are falling on deaf ears in the retail sector. Less than a quarter of respondents (24%) said they would transform their customer engagement strategy by being more transparent in 2020.

Nonetheless, respondents cited transparency and ethical data stewardship as CX concerns in their qualitative responses.

One retail chief said: “The key lesson here is that customers are aware of the use of data, so using data carefully and effectively is very important.”

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