As Tesco bosses pore over bids for DunnHumby, the global head of personalisation at the retailer’s data unit has claimed it is the firm’s offline modelling and bricks and mortar data which they are all eager to get their mitts on.
In an interview with ComputerWorldUK, DunnHumby global product director for personalisation Matt Cresswell claims the company’s offline, historical, customer data, is its most valuable asset.
With the vast majority of online firms using around just seconds of browsing history to serve that as a recommendation on whatever website you go on to visit – even if they have already bought them, Cresswell claims DunnHumby can use a more accurate approach.
He added: “Our unique selling point is our offline modelling. A lot of our competitors will bring in clickstream or web data to try and identify what a customer’s “mission” [the goal of a shopping trip] is.
“DunnHumby is trying to to attack this from a different approach,” Cresswell said. “We model a customer’s behaviour and really understand what they are shopping for and how often they purchase these items offline. Then we showing them recommendations we know they like, but closing the loop so that when they do buy something offline they don’t get bombarded with messages that aren’t relevant anymore.”
According to a report by Bloomberg, all the bids for DunnHumby were handed in at the beginning of July, with WPP and General Atlantic’s joint bid among them. Others include Advent International, Warburg Pincus and Permira Advisers, which is understood to have teamed up up with Google. However, it has since emerged that the winning bidder will have to renegotiate the Tesco Clubcard business – the most profitable part of the operation – within five years.
When asked how the imminent sale was affecting staff motivation, Cresswell declined to comment, only saying: “On the whole, DunnHumby is always a positive company and we’re so focused in what we have to do.”
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