With the advent of e-commerce and social media, customers have even more power today. They can easily access information about products and services, compare prices and share experiences with others. Therefore, the importance of customer experience for online retail is increasing. "To remain competitive, companies should therefore focus on building close relationships with their customers. Customer engagement and service as well as brand awareness are more important than ever in today's digital landscape. One of the most effective ways to build trust and engagement with customers is to personalise and focus on customer needs," explains Jessica Bauer, Senior Consultant at retailsolutions AG.
"By tailoring their messages to the interests and preferences of each individual customer, companies can build a more meaningful one-to-one relationship with them and create a positive as well as thoughtful customer experience. This approach helps to strengthen the brand and differentiate it from the competition. The right use of technology plays a big role here. In recent years, the range of customer experience technologies on offer has increased a hundredfold. If you also consider the possibilities and current developments in the AI sector, the market will change even further," says Jessica Bauer.
However, for personalised messages, companies need to know their customers and their interests and preferences. For this, companies need data, sustainable data management and an architecture that can process large amounts of data and enable targeted and future-proof data use. In the case of customer data, it is also important that everything is done under the premise of the DSGVO. Key components such as data collection from various sources like customer interactions, social media or website analyses as well as customer identity management play an important role. Once the data has been collected and integrated, it needs to be managed and analysed with a clear data strategy. This is the only way to use insights to make informed decisions about marketing campaigns and other business initiatives.
Good data-driven marketing architectures must also support decision-making in real time. "The amount of data generated by companies is constantly increasing, which is why a solid data strategy is becoming more and more important. The difficulty is often where the data is collected, changed and ultimately where the single source of truth, i.e. data sovereignty, lies. Investments in a good data architecture can therefore be used as a basis for the entire corporate strategy and thus also for better business results," explains Bauer.
Tools and technologies such as the SAP Emarsys customer engagement platform provide support for such data management and use. "The SAP Emarsys platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse customer data. And to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This allows closer relationships to be built with customers through personalised messaging and targeted campaigns across the entire customer journey," says Bauer.
SAP Emarsys also offers other functions that can help improve customer relationships. For example, "Tactics", which suggest ready-made blueprints for automations including customer segmentations based on certain KPI developments. These are based on factors such as demographics, interests or behaviour such as purchase and click behaviour. Messages can be tailored and triggered at target group level, but also on a one-to-one basis. Customers can therefore be reached in every phase of their customer journey, even in real time. All marketing channels such as emails, social media like Facebook or Instagram, mobile push, retargeting via Google or geofencing are available. This way, brands, products or services are not only remembered longer, but also build trust in the company over time.
"In today's digital world, building strong customer relationships is more important than ever. If you want to be successful in the market, you can't avoid a good customer experience - online and offline. Online, everything must function smoothly. If customers are not to be overwhelmed by the oversupply, the right products must be displayed and orders must be processed as quickly and easily as possible. Certain services, such as advice or help, should function just as they do in the shop. This improves customer loyalty and ultimately sales. This is exactly what we focus on at retailsolutions: supporting our customers with the right data strategy and the use of suitable applications for a better customer experience," concludes Bauer.
retailsolutions AG is a retail consulting company for SAP solutions in Europe with more than 250 consultants. The portfolio includes solutions along the entire value chain. The company owes its extensive expertise not least to its close partnership with SAP, from which it emerged in 2005 through a spin-off.
Translated from e-commerce magazin, 16.05.2023
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