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Becoming more customer-centric Part 4: Leverage Big Data

As the consumers of today are embrace the digital era, what does this mean for a retail business? Well, there is evidently a need to adapt as pointed out in previous posts, but there is also an opportunity for a retailer to gain more insight about its customers. Knowing how to leverage big data is key to this. Many retail businesses have analytical tools, like Google Analytics, in place to capture website visits. These tools can tell you where users came from, how long their stayed, what they looked at and so on. . However, there are many more streams of data that can be analysed, created by the digital breadcrumbs a user generates across different touch-points.

Leverage big data...

These streams of data aren't automatically connected to each other. In fact, most of the data will sit in different locations. So all this data needs to be brought together, and then mined for customer insights using analytical algorithms that can sift through the reams of data. This process often generates even more data as a result. When this big data is analysed correctly, customer insights can be generated, many of which a business would have been unaware of otherwise. Such insights enable retailers to evolve past the normal segmentation strategy, and develop more robust predictive analytics that will help deliver relevant experiences.

Predictive analytics comes to the fore when it combines behavioural and contextual data about customers. For example knowing the geographical location of a customer, the device they're using, their purchase profile and history can all be combined to deliver a rich customer experience. Big data can also assist in supplying consumers with a more structured level of customer service. This means that queries or complaints can be dealt with in a more streamlined manner, rather than customers being redirected to different departments and having to repeat themselves. Having access to such data allows a business to structure a more contextual marketing strategy, that results in calls-to-action and responses, which resonate more with individual customers.

Moving forward, knowing how to leverage big data will allow your business to not only improve its sales turnover, but also become more customer-centric. As a first step it can be useful to map out the customer touch-points at which you think a better experience could be delivered. Prioritise the most important touch-points in their ability to: generate increased revenue and drive advocacy and 'word-of-mouth impact'. Create a vision for the experience at that touchpoint. This will drive what data you'll need to enable that experience to take place. Then determine how to get that data at the point at which the experience occurs. Easier said than done, but not impossible!


Read our other posts in this series, starting with Part 1: Transforming the Customer Experience