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For years retail marketing executives have relied on traditional sampling methods to monitor and measure consumer behavior, often from external agencies. But times are changing. We now live in an increasingly digital world, where shoppers flit from channel to channel on impulse and expect a personalized experience wherever they go.

In this environment sampling that only delivers a broad picture of consumer behavior and preferences doesn’t go far enough. A much more detailed awareness of shopper behavior is needed, which requires a number of new capabilities.

The first is the ability to collect data from every stage of each customer’s shopping journey and every interaction across all the channels they use to build a complete picture of individual shopping behavior and preferences.

The second is the ability to analyze that data in real time in order to proactively deliver offers and experiences that will entice shoppers to move further on their buying adventure.

The third is the ability to use external sources, such as social media and data from mobile operators, to track both individual customer sentiment and identify key trends and opportunities.

The fourth is ability to predict ahead of time what will motivate and engage shoppers. This type of analysis need not be restricted to existing customers, it can also be applied to a wider group of consumers that a retailer wants to attract.

Finally, the 5th step, retailers need the ability to use the knowledge gained from these activities to rapidly plan and adapt assortments, prices, and promotions.

Being able to collect, consolidate and analyze data in this way is the first of our six strategies to simplify retail marketing. Discover the others here.


Joerg Koesters is a Technology Marketing Executive with passion for Retail and Consumer industries, and a retail ambassador for SAP. You can also follow him @joergkoesters on Twitter. This blog also appeared on Digitalist Magazine by SAP.

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