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Omnichannel Retailing eBook

5 Ways to Engage Those Slippery Shoppers

 

Delivering targeted customer experiences that are contextually relevant – it’s the key to success in omnichannel marketing. Most retailers, however, are falling woefully short as they try to reach shoppers on every channel and device.

In the omnichannel era, targeted experiences offer the biggest rewards: higher sales, more conversions, and greater customer lifetime value. Yet most retailers are finding omni marketing to be like “whack-a-mole.” Now you see your customer, now you don’t – and by the way, are you even sure it’s the same customer from in-store, mobile, tablet to laptop? If not, how can you deliver a targeted offer or contextually relevant customer experience?

The buyer’s journey is more complex.

Today’s buyer journey is baffling, with blurring lines between physical and digital channels. It’s tough to engage shoppers across touch points and even harder to identify high-value customers or look-a-likes. Shoppers use an average of two to three devices and navigate three to four channels, both online and offline, before they make a purchase. They know more about a product or brand, its availability and price than the average sale representative. And they’re more likely to switch brands or stores if they find a better deal or experience elsewhere.

According to Deloitte, customer loyalty among omnichannel shoppers is at an all-time low, averaging fifty eight percent and dropping. Other studies show that over eighty percent of shoppers research a product, brand and retailer online, peruse ratings and reviews and check social media sites. In other words, people are getting smarter about spending their hard-earned money. With consumers savvier than ever about deals, product features and customer service – free shipment, buy/fulfill and return-anywhere options – the struggle to “save the sale” is just that, a fight to the finish.

How retailers miss.

Too many retail marketers are saddled with fragmented, inaccurate and static data – on customers, leads and target audiences. Poor data is reflected at every level: lost sales, limited ability to up-sell and cross-sell, eroding customer loyalty and poor shopper experiences.

And that’s just the start!

Connecting the dots between a plethora of channels, devices, customers, potential shoppers and target audiences – plus their profiles from demographics, affinities, lifestyle choices, preferences, interests, purchasing behavior, transactional history and geolocation – has become bar none the biggest hurdle in fulfilling on the promise of omnichannel.

Add to that the daunting task of navigating across digital channels that are siloed. (And who can see in a silo anyways?) From Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest to Google, mobile apps and affiliate sites –the list keeps getting longer each year. Looking at channels in silos creates a whole new set of inefficiencies and blind spots for marketers. It leads to skewed insights and squandered marketing budgets.

Lastly, a large majority of brick-and-mortar retailers still rely on old-school personalization techniques and mass mailing to engage the omni shopper, consistently missing opportunities to deepen customer engagement or, worse, inching towards irrelevance.

MAINTAIN ACCURATE CROSS-CHANNEL AND CROSS-DEVICE IDENTITY DATA.

Omni shoppers don’t think of channels and devices when they make a purchase. To them, it’s all seamless. And engaging them requires identifying them across touch points, consistently and accurately.

Research shows that eighty-three percent of consumers expect you to know them across channels and devices. Another forty-six percent will purchase more when they receive targeted offers across touch points. Yet identifying high-value customers or potential shoppers across mobile, in-store, call-center and online can be a major blind spot.

Here’s the good news. Clearing up this blind spot doesn’t require a major overhaul. Instead, you can augment the information you already have in your CRM and POS systems with accurate and continuously verified third party data, all done in a secure and privacy-friendly way.

USE RICH INSIGHTS TO MAKE A PERSONAL CONNECTION.

Shoppers, like everyone else, pursue relationships that make sense. They respond especially well to offers targeted to their interests. However, most retailers don’t connect the relevant data they have on their customers or know where they’re at in their purchasing journey.

To fix this second blind spot, link cross-channel and cross-device identity data with insights that provide context. Remember, identity without insights is meaningless. You need context to engage those slippery omni shoppers, in particular high-value shoppers that need a personal touch. Combining identity data with deep insights enables you to customize offers and experiences.

Connect with high-value consumers.

Say you knew that Mary Smith was a high-value customer. The proof: she purchased a pair of J Brand skinny jeans at one of your stores. She also visited your website four times in one month and then bought a pair of Manolo Blahnik boots via your call center. You learn that Mary is a fashionista who loves high-end, up-and-coming American designers. Her favorite sources of inspiration are Elle magazine, shopstyle, zimbio and your competitor’s website.

She also likes to purchase pre-season and travels frequently to Beverly Hills, where your flagship store waits with open doors. Wouldn’t you like to help Mary complete her chic outfit with a targeted offer, via email, in-store, your website or call-center? Or better yet, on her smartphone the next time she enters the mall where your store is located?

IGNITE YOUR CRM DATA: TO “SAVE THE SALE.”

CRM, or first-party data, is golden for any retailer. It’s the backbone of customer acquisition, up-sell/cross-sell, retargeting, email and loyalty programs. It’s also where most retailers have a gaping blind spot. If not continuously updated and verified using authoritative sources, CRM data quickly becomes irrelevant. To correct this blind spot, you need to turn your CRM system into a source of pristine data.

Save the sale by enhancing the experience.

Let’s face it. The omni shopper is not forgiving. He/or she expects you to deliver a consistent and seamless experience anywhere, anytime. You also need to anticipate their needs and wants and deliver a shopping experience with laser precision.

Imagine as a marketer – from CRM, digital, brand and analytics to e-commerce – you could slice and dice your data to gain precise insights at a granular level. Now let’s say you could enhance and score that data based on rich attributes and authoritative data sources to identify:

  • Your high value customers
  • Those that have a propensity to become high value customers
  • Those that are likely to attrite or have abandoned their shopping carts
  • Good prospects for retargeting
  • Shoppers likely to buy in-store versus online, via mobile offers or your call center
  • Shoppers who mirror your best customers but haven’t purchased from you yet
  • Last but not least, your competitors’ customers

When you enhance your CRM data with third-party data rich in offline information, and connect it across marketing channels, you can “save the sale.” With insights from complete and accurate data, you can launch targeted campaigns. Or capitalize on “intent to purchase” by ensuring that your customers see the right message at the right time. In effect, you’ll put every dollar of your limited marketing budget to hard work, yielding higher conversions, sales and average order value.

CREATE A SINGLE VIEW: ACROSS CHANNELS.

You navigate multiple channels to plan, execute, monitor and measure your campaigns. So it only makes sense that a siloed approach to omnichannel marketing results in wasted resources. Here are just a handful of ways marketers spend inefficiently:

  • Allocating funds to channels that don’t reach the target consumer
  • Spending redundantly due to audience overlap
  • Wasting money by reaching targets beyond an appropriate level

BoozAllen estimates that marketing waste amounts to billions of dollars per year, often due to a narrow focus on single channels.

To improve ROI, first improve your vision.

To address this blind spot, you need a unified cross channel analytics platform, one that lets you slice and dice the data that matters most.

Imagine if you could see which digital channels and inventory providers were the best and worst at reaching your target audiences. And who offered higher deduplicates. You’d have the right insights to compare performance across campaigns and channels. And to monitor the impact of high-value placements or establish and track frequency caps, all in a single view.

ATTRIBUTE DIGITAL INFLUENCE TO THE RIGHT CHANNEL.

In a recent study, Deloitte notes that digital interactions influenced thirty six cents of every dollar spent in-store, with that number projected at fifty cents by year end 2014.

Yet attribution remains a huge challenge for marketers. In retail, many still rely on first and last touch models. These grossly skew results and provide little insight on the influence of digital channels or campaigns on omni sales.

Correlate online campaigns to in-store sales.

To deal with this last blind spot, marketers should switch to a multi-touch attribution (MTA) model that correlates online campaigns to online and in-store sales. For instance, Neustar’s MTA solution is time based, providing credit to all ad events in a user’s history, with more credit going to ads closest to the conversion point. You gain the ability to credit media, leads, sales and conversions to individual campaigns that your customers and targets see.

It’s essential to close the loop and accurately measure ROI. With multi-touch attribution, you can do just that.

Neustar PlatformOne, our cross-channel and cross-device unified solution, enables you to market with power and precision. Working across traditional and digital channels, PlatformOne delivers validated and up-to-date information on customers and high-value prospects. It solves your most pressing omnichannel problems with rich and flexible functionality: CRM onboarding, audience targeting, media and lead intelligence, customer interaction management, market analytics and segmentation.

At the heart of PlatformOne is our unique approach to identity. We’re your authoritative source of accurate and continuously verified consumer data with privacy-by-design at its core. Our methodology uses a combination of techniques to link verified offline data, including wireless data, to an identity foundation based on 220 million adults and 120 million households. This is further augmented and linked with more than 16,000 offline and online predictive attributes. Continuously corroborated with billions of anonymized daily transactions, our data provides the freshest audience insights to Fortune 1000 clients in retail, CPG, travel and hospitality among other industries.

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