Retail Data a Top Investment Priority for Retail Executives

retail data
For retailers operating a physical brick and mortar presence, competition is fierce from online channels. Ordering clothing and other goods online is faster and more convenient. Retailers have had to get creative in giving consumers a reason to visit a store in-person, which has led to a renewed focus on investment in retail data. 
 
A recent study showed that 68% of retail executives are currently making investments in data tracking, collection and management for 2020(1). Why has retail data become the top priority for retail executives? 
 
The same study showed the second highest priority investments were geared towards improving the in-store experience. Providing great customer experiences has been a sharp point of focus for retailers as it’s proven to be a valuable asset in attracting foot traffic and new revenue. Retail data has emerged as an important part of a retailer’s ability to provide great experiences. 

Customer Experience in Retail Can Drive Customer Loyalty


Online shopping has changed the nature of retail for good. It’s harder for brick and mortar stores to retain customers when e-commerce provides so many easily accessible alternatives for any given product. 
 
For example, 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, and 75% of consumers say technology has kept them more informed about product choices than ever before(2). It’s the in-store experience, something that online channels cannot provide, that drives sales and brand loyalty. 
Even online retailers are beginning to understand the value of having a physical store presence, leveraging pop up shops and events to engage with consumers in a way they can’t online. 
 
This past holiday season, Google set up a pop-up shop that allowed shoppers to get their picture taken with the new Google Pixel 2 phone. Visitors could try out the phone’s camera, which is one of its biggest selling points, as they do their holiday shopping. Afterwards, #GooglePopUp had 28.2 million impressions on social media and 95.2% of all mentions had a positive sentiment. 

Similarly, Calvin Klein teamed up with Amazon to leverage Amazon Echo devices in fitting rooms. These devices interacted with customers who had questions about the products they were trying on. Approximately 88.9% of all mentions about this pop up had a positive sentiment. 
 
There are many other examples, such as Nike’s in-store basketball games for Black Friday or Home Depot’s workshops for home improvement, but the trend is clear. Great in-store experiences lead to foot traffic and an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards the brand. 

Great Customer Experiences Are Built On A Solid Foundation Of Accurate Retail Data


When it comes to retail data, 75% of elite performers have a clear definition of roles and governance for managing consumer data, compared to just 32% of underperformers, according to a Salesforce study. 
 
This data primarily comes in the form of demographic and psychographic profiles for a deeper understanding of the areas surrounding a brick and mortar location. This type of data allows a retailer to more appropriately attract and delight customers in the area. 
 
Demographic and psychographic data are far from the only types of information that may inform a customer experience strategy, however. Data on major mall and shopping center location and revenue, consumer behavior, trade areas, retail industry trends, store openings and closings, competitor revenues and much more may inform a strategy in providing the best possible customer experience. 
75% of elite performers have a clear definition of roles and governance for managing consumer data, compared to just 32% of underperformers
As artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies enter the retail industry, having a foundation of data to inform these products will be essential for deep insights and analysis. Not only will it be important to possess a wealth of current and historical data, but the data itself must be highly accurate – otherwise the technology will be drawing false conclusions from false data. 
 
Today and increasingly so in the future, having access to accurate retail data is essential for gaining deep insights into what customers truly want. As retailers focus more and more on delivering great customer experiences, retail data will become a central part of the strategy to attract foot traffic and new revenue. 
 
Retail data from a reliable, accurate source can help uncover what it is that customers truly desire and how a retailer can deliver this to build brand loyalty. 
 
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1.      Ilyse Liffreing, Digiday, “The State of Experiential Retail in 5 Charts”