The digital era has disrupted almost every industry today. In the case of retail, big data is like a gold miner who can provide potential revenue and growth opportunities. Back in the day, marketers decided what they needed to sell, whereas today the customer decides what the marketer needs to sell.
Today’s customer browses online to research a product before deciding to buy the product. An Infosys survey reveals “86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Plus 78% of customers are more likely to consider buying from a retailer if they provide targeted offers”.
While business leaders are preparing for another decade of the digital revolution, check below some retail companies that have utilized data analytics to become customer-centric and analytically driven in the digital world.
As the world’s leader in furniture retail, IKEA, has always had a great footfall in both online and offline stores. Every year, IKEA prints almost 210 million catalogs in 60+ languages. IKEA’s 2013 catalog applied image recognition and augmented reality to deliver personalized content and product views for customers. They were indeed the first to use image-recognition technology to help customers “virtually” furnish their homes with IKEA’s furniture and choose products without hitting the store.
An outstanding cosmetics brand, Sephora, has adopted the fusion of digital and in-store shopping experiences since 1988. The company’s Sephora Innovation Lab focuses mainly on spotting emerging trends and building products that enable them to keep pace in the competitive market. The company has also launched an augmented reality app – “virtual beauty makeover” as an initiative to strengthen its digital future.
Data analytics has become the primary focus of the company in recent years. The company is analyzing historical data to understand its customer’s shopping preferences and buying habits extensively to offer personalized promotions and offers through their mobile app.
Launched in 2013, Target’s Cartwheel app has more than 13 million users at the moment, among which 60% of Target.com traffic was from mobile users during the holiday season. Currently, the company is sweating hard to improve and maintain its mobile app to provide seamless in-store navigation and payment integration.
One of the well-known fashion retailers in America, Nordstrom, has been experimenting with data-driven initiatives to improve promotions and customer experiences in their brick and mortar stores. Lately, they have been proactively investing in innovation and personalized customer services across their 225+ stores. More than 30% of the company’s capital budget is invested in technology. Going a step further, the company has also put in place the “Nordstrom Innovation Lab” in Seattle, to mainly concentrate on innovation and quality tests. Not to forget the company’s initiative to merge online and in-store experiences through interactive touch screens in fitting rooms which in fact was a huge hit.
Currently, the company is leveraging social media listening to comprehend and segment their customers’ behavior personas to successfully integrate online and in-store inventory to improve customer acquisition and retention while preventing churn factors.
The British retail chain has been going beyond limits to merge digitization in shopping experiences from 2010. Their brick stores contain “virtual fitting rooms” – an augmented reality space that helps customers to try on different new garments and check their appearances on huge screens.
Unlike other retailers, Costco used data analytics not only to study their customers buying behavior but also for caution purposes. Point of fact, they employed data analytics to reach out to appropriate customers during an alarming situation – when a leading fruit packing company in California warned them regarding the possibilities of listeria contamination in stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines), instead of a blanket warning, they mapped their recent customers who purchased such items and notified them of the situation personally- first over the phone and then with a letter.
A popular online retailer, Amazon has deployed data analytics to the maximum to reach great heights. Big data has truly been an enabler for Amazon to evolve and lead in the retail universe.
Amazon’s one-click ordering was a remarkable creation that allowed customers to first place the order and then enter shipping details.
The retail giant is now leveraging predictive analytics (an advancement of Data analytics) to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
SGA Digital Marketing Team