What will your marketing strategy look like in 2020? A new report from PwC US and Kantar Retail provides a glimpse into the road ahead for analytics-savvy marketers. “Retailing 2020,” an update to the “Retailing 2015″ report published in 2007, discusses the transition to “a ‘post-modern’ consumer-centric era triggered by the speed of technological advancements, globalization and hyper-competition, both online and offline.”
The full report can be downloaded here:
Weaved throughout the report are the implications of “perpetual connectivity” of mobile, connected consumers and there are some interesting take-aways for marketers:
1. “Consumer-driven supply chains” take hold – The report looks beyond “wall-less” stores to highlight what PwC describes as an era of “increasing transparency for shoppers into all aspects of the retail supply chain.” Tech fanatics like me will enjoy reading about some of the concepts to boost convenience and personalization, like restaurants with touch screen salad-building apps and a host of other ways technology can bridge the gap between consumers and sellers. It turns out that’s just the beginning, according to the report:
“Savvy shoppers by 2020, we believe, will be equipped with ever expanding abilities to ―see into the inner workings of retailers, manufacturers and distributors across the entire supply chain.”
This presents infinite possibilities for marketers to reinvent touch points and drive more meaningful conversations with customers.
2. Analytics are evolving – The report validates some of the new analytics strategies retailers are using to understand and serve online customers and differentiate from much larger competitors. It notes:
“Key to end-to-end visibility of the value chain is understanding how consumers buy, what they buy, and when and where they buy―and adjusting retail strategies accordingly.”
The latest issue of NRF’s STORES Magazine highlights a real-world example at Freshpair (www.freshpair.com), an intimate apparel etailer that is going beyond conventional transaction-based customer segmentation by taking brand affinity and lifestyle into account. Sandy Smith’s article describes how Freshpair is creating a boutique-level experience using advanced customer analytics (from PivotLink), leveraging the insights to enhance marketing campaign effectiveness (via Responsys) and delivering relevant product recommendations while customers shop.
3. Less art, more science – As a marketer, the idea of enriching customer information with infinite data from the cloud is exciting. The only problem is, reading about big data can be intimidating when the discussion dives into areas like data science and architecture. Important topics, yes, but I like how this report puts the benefits of big data in simple terms:
“As retail evolves to 2020, retailers must guard against becoming overwhelmed by the transactional data available for analysis. As that potential data set spreads in a mobile world, retailers will have almost limitless potential to maximize their business by marketing to shoppers at a specific time, in a specific place…”
Marketers who react to flashing lights, however, have a lot on the line. It cautions:
“without a central proposition to anchor this wealth of data, a retailer‘s brand will end up an outcome of this aggregated transactional information, not a driver of shopper behavior as intended.”
We’ll talk more about how marketers can harness big data in upcoming posts. I also suggest checking out PivotLink’s 2012 Customer and Marketing Analytics Summit Oct. 24 – 26, where you’ll hear success tips from retail practitioners and experts from Freshpair, IDC Retail Insights, Kellogg Innovation Network, STORES Media, Retail Touchpoints, Responsys and more.
The report highlights the number one success factor distinguishing “retail winners of tomorrow,” and that is understanding behavior and making predictions. This brings us full-circle to point one:
“…retailers will have the opportunity to store and manage massive data sets derived from point of sale, supply chain, and consumer input via loyalty cards or social media interactions. The ability to provide this level of analytical insight and to use it to manage all other parts of the business, including the shopper, will, we anticipate, determine which retailers will thrive and succeed through 2020.”
Download the report for details on where things are headed. In the meantime, before you execute your next campaign based on a hunch, see if your analytics back up who you’re targeting and what you’re saying to them.
[Image: Flickr user afagen]