E-merchants: tear down data silos to improve user experience!

E-merchants: tear down data silos to improve user experience!

In the last few months, user experience has entered a new complexity. According to Carolyn Whelan, editor of a new report dedicated to trends in mobile shopping and services commissioned by SAP, “As retailers shift or expand their mobile service offerings, a cohesive strategy considering consumer capabilities and needs across multiple touch points from the physical store to desktops and smartphones, is paramount.” Indeed, we’ve reached a point where experiences didn’t compete anymore against one another.

“Internet of things” technologies such as smart sensors could change in-store experiences by providing real-time analytics to people involved in the purchasing process.

When technological revolution changes our perception of customers

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Thanks to more sophisticated analytics tools, the line between in-store experiences and on-line ones is likely to disappear. A deep process is challenging the way marketers design their perception on users’ experience.

There is no longer a question of providing outstanding services to customers or putting the user first. It’s all about building a new business model around each need, action or preference of individual customers. Several studies prove the powerful impact of customer centricity to companies. In a report released by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, companies, who are the most thoughtful to their best customers, have the potential to increase sales by 17%.

Many companies collect a huge amount of fragmented, customer data stored in application-specific silos. By combining and merging these insights, companies will be bound to deliver personalised services to customers.

Make real-time analytics a priority to better understand the customer journey

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Internet of Things technologies enable a better understanding of each customer by collecting and storing product preferences and purchase behaviors, and delivering value to customers at the right moment.

Gaining benefits requires companies to be interested in advanced analytics. According to Alexander Linden, research director at Gartner, “[…] predictive analytics predicts future outcomes and behavior, such as a customer’s shopping behavior or a machine’s failure. Prescriptive analytics goes further, suggesting actions to take based on the predictions”.

By promoting better predictions of customers’ actions, some key emerging technologies enable people involved in stores to access to data such as in-store smart LED lighting or smart-sensor and real-time analytics platform.

Merging customer data is within reach. Among a vast literature dealing with Big Data’s issues, few experts highlight the key role of a decision support tool to make customer data comprehensible to marketers. This is the best way to develop a renewed customer relation and move forward with a customer-centricity approach.

Authored by: Colette Alcaraz