St. Ingbert, March 2022. The Corona pandemic did not only disrupt society, but the economy is exhibiting a similar state of flux; one which is most likely bound to be irreversible in many sectors. The effects of the lockdowns and restrictions on customer traffic are particularly noticeable in the retail sector. “Right now, it is crucial to face the new challenges and seize the positive effects of this change before our competitors”, explains Simona Kapceviciute, SAP Emarsys expert at retailsolutions UK. “Retailers must take the opportunity and finally start using cross-channel campaigns to bring together E-Commerce and traditional commerce, while extending Customer Engagement and dismantling information silos.”
Emerging stronger from the pandemic
Even before the pandemic, there was a steady trend towards the so-called ROPO – Research Online, Purchase Offline, meaning informing oneself first about products online and then buying them in store. This offers businesses the opportunity to generate numerous data which can be used to further improve the Customer Experience. It is not without reason that data has been known as ‘the new oil’ for some time. Yet many retailers do not know how to handle the data they have. Rather than partially using it, or not at all, the retail sector only needs to choose a single Omnichannel. It is a matter of acting instead of reacting. On the one hand, this gives retailers the opportunity to identify customers in-store and animate them through tailored promotions, and on the other hand retailers can direct people who primarily search for products online into stores through targeted marketing. “The line between online and offline shopping is becoming increasingly blurred, so it makes no sense to also divide customers into these categories. Now more than ever, programs must be designed to break open data silos,” says Kapceviciute. These pose a major problem and not only cause systemic but also organizational barriers that make it difficult to carry out targeted campaigns. At the same time, the success analysis at the end of a campaign suffers due to inaccurate data which ultimately also affects the optimization of follow-up campaigns. A lot of time and labour is required, in order to generate prognoses that are as accurate as possible with this data. Yet, many companies have had to make cuts due to COVID-19, particularly in these areas. However, if you personalize marketing measures, you can save costs and regain autonomy over your own data. “Customer-Engagement platforms such as Emarsys offer companies the opportunity to consolidate and process their data volume, and prepare campaigns through predefined problem blueprints,” says Kapceviciute.
Personalized Customer Engagement
By means of omnichannel strategies, new customers who were acquired online can be directed into stores and customers who were lost due to business closures can also be reactivated, for example through discount campaigns for the products relevant to the individual customer or social advertising. On-site customers can be won for brands through loyalty programs. Customer experience can be improved and high quality data can be captured by merging data gathered from E-Commerce, stores and mobile shopping in a singular engagement platform. It is important to meet the customer where they are, be it online, by email, through text messages or mobile. Programs such as Emarsys also offer suggestions for proactive interactions using AI in order to achieve the greatest possible improvement of customer engagement. Kapceviciute concludes that, “Those who know their customers can also adapt more quickly to possible challenges that we may still face in these uncertain times.”
More information at www.retailsolutions.ch
About retailsolutions AG:
retailsolutions AG is one of the leading retail consulting firms for SAP solutions in Europe. With locations in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom, more than 250 consultants serve retail companies throughout Europe. The portfolio includes solutions along the entire value chain. The company owes its extensive expertise not least to the close partnership with the software manufacturer SAP, from which it emerged as a spin-off in 2005.