There has been much discussion recently about Tesco’s Clubcard. Chris Barraclough, recently blogged in Marketing, “The strength of Clubcard is the data it delivers and the ability to target promotions effectively.”
News & Events Getting closer to the customer
Indeed, customers today both intentionally and as a by-product of online shopping provide infinite details about themselves.
Loyalty card schemes
Like Tesco’s Clubcard, loyalty card schemes have come a long way in the last twenty years. Application forms demand details beyond basic personal information. Anything from dietary preferences, to total household mileage to when (if) the next baby is due will be asked. On top of this consumers, by swiping their loyalty card with each purchase, tell us what they bought, when they bought it and from which store.
Once a customer has ‘logged in’ they tell us what promotions catch their attention, what items they are interested in via browsing data, their preferred payment method and preferred delivery method.
Mobile users enrich this with location based data to tell us where they have been and when.
Via social media consumers provide us with information on their social graph- who are their family and friends and what similar interests they share. They also tell us their opinions on products via reviews and ratings.
Implication: The ability to understand the customer at the individual level represents a tremendous opportunity - however it is very difficult to execute in practice. This shift in customer behaviour has created a new skills requirement for retailers and brand owners- data analysis.
In the old world of stores, decisions are made on a store-by-store basis- open a new store, close a store, retrofit a store.
We are now entering a brave new world, where the unit of action is no longer the store, but is the customer. Almost everything is tracked and monitored so that it is possible to know each customer intimately. However, in a world of a million customers one needs to be a data expert in order to turn big data into useful and actionable information that affects profit and growth.
For an in depth discussion of the retail revolution and catalysts for change, download the first article in our 3 part series exploring the revolution 'Catalysts for change.'