About 3 months ago, one of our premium retail brand clients came to us with an interesting challenge. Thus far primarily operating out of physical stores in most parts of the world, COVID-19 and related restrictions had forced them to execute omni-channel strategies – a decision that was a long time in the making but was escalated in the face of the pandemic. They had two pressing questions on their mind – how were they going to 1) Keep up with established fashion retail brands in the e-commerce space and 2) How were they going to mirror the delightful customer experience at their store locations without the human touch in e-commerce.
These questions and this challenge is not unique to this specific retail brand. In fact, it’s a universal question for all premium retail brands who are now choosing omni-channel strategies in the face of competition not only from physical store brands but also with e-commerce. Keeping up with the convenience of e-commerce while maintaining delightful customer experience with minimal human intervention is a universal challenge for retail brands. Lifesight is working with several retail brands to strategize new data playbooks to solve for this challenge.
CRM to the rescue, but is it enough?
Consumer data comes from a variety of sources in order to keep up with the changing needs of the retail environment. But the primary source of data has remained CRM for most brands that operate in the physical, offline world. This CRM data is strongly focused on contact, demographic and purchase details. But are these insights enough to create winning customer strategies in a hyper-competitive retail world? Far from it.
Retail brands that plan to operate on CRM data alone will miss critical insights that can fine tune segmentation and targeting, predicting customer behaviours, and shaping O2O strategies critical in the O2O retail landscape. This is the backdrop against which Lifesight’s data enrichment strategies are designed. Retail brands need more data to thrive amidst this flux – and it is upon data companies such as Lifesight to fill in this gap with CRM data enrichment.
Alternative data enrichment for enhanced customer experiences
Data enrichment applies a new layer of O2O consumer insights over existing CRM data in order to enhance the retail brand’s understanding of its existing and potential customers. Consumer data enrichment opens a whole new world of insights for retail brands – who are these consumers, what their likes and dislikes are, their purchase triggers and barriers, and key moments in their customer journeys. These holistic insights make each brand touchpoint – online and offline – that much more valuable and personalized.
Alternative data enrichment directly translates to more informed decision making on the brand’s part, better customer experiences and eventually, stronger marketing and business outcomes.
What kind of insights can retail brands gauge from alternative data enrichment?
There is no end to the kind of insights retail brands can leverage when they work with a data enrichment platform like Lifesight. We power true customer intelligence with holistic behavioural data enrichment that helps retail brands connect the dots about who their customers really are – not just in their brand interactions but on the whole. A few examples of insights from alternative data enrichment include –
1. Brand affinities
O2O alternative data gives retail brands a preview into which brands consumers engage with most often, both online and offline. Affinities help retail brands shape the right set of values, marketing channels, sales and promotions in order to stay top of mind for their consumers.
O2O data also enables retail brands to understand their consumers’ lifestyles beyond plain vanilla demographic insights. Are they fitness freaks? Do they travel a lot? Do they eat out or order in every weekend? These insights help brands understand affluence levels and lifestyles and shape marketing strategies that help the brand fit into the lifestyle of the consumer.
3. Buying behaviour
This is by far one of the most critical insights for retail brands. How far would a consumer travel to make a purchase? What research goes into making the purchase? What are the sources of research? Do they compare prices online and offline before making the purchase? Are they frequent online shoppers? Which marketplaces do they frequent and what does their search history look like?
With insights like these, retail brands have a fresh opportunity to make their omni-channel strategies more human than ever before. Imagine this. Every retail brand knows which consumers spend how much with them. While that is critical information, combining insights like these with alternative data is a powerful consumer insight mechanism to understand and deliver the most delightful experiences to high value customers.
Beyond existing customers
And that’s not all. Alternative data enrichment doesn’t just enable a deeper understanding of existing customers. It helps retail brands leverage lookalike audiences to find new customers that look most like their existing high value customers and market to them. This means that not only are retail brands able to derive higher ROI from their existing customers but also from their new customer acquisition track.
For generations now, businesses have hired expensive data analysts to make sense of and truly leverage data in their business decisions. Lifesight on the other hand is designed as a ready solution to remove the complexity of using people and places insights in decision making. We foresee real world customer intelligence – powered by alternative data enrichment – to drive the new era of omni-channel retail strategies and customer experience. Brands that get in on this fast will be the ones that will survive the current flux. Making the right data decisions today is the only thing that matters.
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