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Follow The Leader

With 1.6m Instagram followers, and 17 million Facebook fans, Burberry is the leading luxury lifestyle brand. Profits are figure-flattering too, with annual sales of US $3 billion. So, what’s its secret?

Swap shop

“What’s unique about shopping today is, consumers are willing to trade a certain amount of privacy for relevance”, explains Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. “But they have no tolerance for retailers who do not curate their offers and assortments and provide irrelevant information, like marketing offers that reflect no knowledge of who they are.” One way Burberry knows who its customers are, is by asking them. Its ‘Customer 360’ programme invites shoppers to share their fashion phobias, buying history, and preferences online. By throwing consumers’ social media profiles and purchase history in the mix, Burberry has created a unified customer experience, driven by data. And there were no cloak-and-dagger tactics – they just asked.

Does my brand look big in this?

So, what do Burberry’s customers get in return? Well, a better in-store experience for one. Sales assistants, in any Burberry store, can use tablets to make on-the-spot recommendations. It’s a killer combination of buying history, Twitter posts, and data on fashion trends. Customers are greeted by name and knocked out by a product thats just for them – say, a clutch bag that’ll go with the dress they just bought on holiday. With ‘Customer 360’, Burberry’s staff have pocket Gok Wans, powered by predictive analytics. Customers can use their own devices too. Burberry attaches radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to clothes in order to trigger interactive videos. So, customers can learn how products were made, watch items being cat-walked by models, and see its must-have accessories. Speaking of its stores, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts says, “Walking through the doors is just like walking into our website.” With intelligent use of data, Burberry is delighting customers and driving in-store sales through a unified personal touch. They are no longer just brick and mortar shops, but digitally-integrated showrooms.

Take it personally
Today’s customers expect this kind of connection with brands they love, and interactions are taking place in-store, online, and across all devices. For brands to achieve this kind of intuitive customer experience, they need the clout of in-memory computing to analyse big data, quickly 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 the groundwork for a sale made by the loyalty a brand has built up. One way to create this connection is by embracing disruptive technology like mobile. As Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra says, “We live in a physical world and that world is not going anywhere, but we need to start connecting the user and the brand, between the physical and the digital”*.

Part of this bridge-building is enabled by SAP HANA. Discover how SAP is helping retailers make this connection and deliver multi-channel, personal shopping experiences. Go to

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  • Hi  Aimee McMullan,


                  This post was very nice and u simply explains how a Retail market is. You explained it with a good example and I am expecting like these good blocks more from you.

    Thank You