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A Retailer’s Frustration: How to Achieve a 360⁰ View of My Customers?

Marketing is undergoing a seismic shift from communicating through the lens of “transactions” to building customer intimacy from a perspective of “interactions.”  The desire for a deeper intimacy with customers (and audiences that look like your customers), coupled with the explosion of interactive devices and social media is empowering customers with context-aware and location-based services, thus unleashing unprecedented volumes of interaction-level data. 

In a recent survey by Retail Systems Research, 55% of retailers said that one of the primary challenges in providing consistent cross-channel shopping experiences is that they still don’t have a single view of the customer across all interaction points. In a related question, 30% say they have budgeted for an investment in a platform that will provide this interactive view; and another 24% say they’re in the planning stages for integration of such a platform.

Every significant retailer recognizes the advantages created with more insightful customer intelligence.  A McKinsey study released in May 2011 found that by using deeper customer intelligence fueled by the incorporation of Big Data, retailers stood to increase their operating margins up to 60%. The largest retailers have been investing heavily in the platforms and analytics to create this enhanced customer view, combining transactions with interactions.

Individually personalized marketing, operationalized through the ability to perpetuate a unique customer dialogue is proving to be a powerful loyalty tool, driving increased order size, increased shopping visits, and increased loyalty as measured through retention over time.

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