Data Helps Burberry Engage Customers Wherever They Are

by Lori Mitchell-Keller, Senior Vice President of Global Industry Business Unit for Retail at SAP

More than 800,000 followers and about 15 million fans make Burberry the leading luxury lifestyle brand on Instagram and Facebook. A secret to the company’s social media success, and its annual sales of $3 billion, is that it knows who its customer’s customers are.

Swap shop

One way Burberry knows who its customers are is by asking them. Its Customer 360 program (registration required) invites shoppers to share their fashion phobias, buying history and preferences online

couple shops at retail store“Consumers are willing to trade a certain amount of privacy for relevance,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, a Miami-based retail technology analysis firm. “But they have no tolerance for retailers who do not curate their offers and assortments.”

Keeping consumers’ social media profiles and purchase history in its bag has helped Burberry create a unified customer experience driven by data — data it simply asked for.

Does my brand look big in this?

Burberry’s customers get something in return: a better in-store experience. Sales assistants in any Burberry store can use tablet computers as mobile fashion consultants to help make on-the-spot recommendations, thanks to predictive analytics.

Combining  each individual’s purchase history and Twitter posts with data on fashion trends can help Burberry staff greet each customer by name — and with a personalized a product suggestion, such as a clutch bag that’ll go with the dress she just bought on holiday.

Customers can use their own devices too. Burberry attaches radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to clothes in order to trigger interactive videos. Shoppers can learn how products were made, watch items being cat-walked by models and see its must-have accessories.

“Walking through the doors is just like walking into our Web site,” Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts said.

In short, Burberry stores are no longer just brick and mortar shops. They are digitally-integrated showrooms.

Take it personally

Customers expect this kind of connection with brands they love. These interactions take place in stores, online and across all devices.

Achieving this kind of intuitive customer experience requires in-memory computing to analyze big data fast enough for sales staff to see a customer’s likes and cross-sell items faster than a re-tweet.

So the old adage of “give the right offers at the right time” still rings true. But now the checkout can be anywhere; purchases made at any time; and there is a stronger foundation for sales resulting from brand loyalty. One way to create this connection is by embracing disruptive technology, such as mobile.

“We live in a physical world, and that world is not going anywhere,” said Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar, which helps companies convert advertisements into mobile content. “But we need to start connecting the user and the brand between the physical and the digital.”

For more informatio, check out: How Fashion Retailer Burberry Keeps Customers Coming Back For More