When the explosion in on-line shopping reached its zenith, it was all too easy to overlook the humble shop. Indeed many did, evidenced by the swathe of deserted high streets that had once been buoyant.
As more and more shoppers were lured by the ease and speed of online transactions, the physical retail space suddenly had an image problem—increasingly pitted against its online counterpart as an antiquated and regressive poor relation.
Yet thanks, in part, to the new breed of analytics, this “either-or” schism is largely being addressed. Software that is able to integrate the online and physical retail space more seamlessly than ever before is leading to a more joined-up approach that informs and complements the quality of the customer experience. Crucially, the store is back at the heart of the customer journey.
It’s a move that the savviest operators recognise as being more fruitful in the ongoing battle to optimise the overall customer service experience and secure brand loyalty—the ultimate Holy Grail of the retail world. Data analysis is unearthing a wealth of insight and intelligence, and in real time, which translates into a far more personalised in-store experience and compelling proposition.
While optimising data insight may be not be radical in itself, it’s the variety and accessibility of channels used to process it which are changing the game by reaching customers directly in-store. TIBCO’s event-driven IT infrastructure enables disparate applications to share and analyze information in real time, combining loyalty management, social collaboration, behavioural engines and in-interaction optimizers into one single platform.
Based on existing customer intelligence on previous purchasing habits, mobile-aware technologies send relevant alerts and targeted promotional offers straight to the customers’ phones as they enter the store. The approach is further enhanced by facial recognition technologies that identify customers on arrival and cross-reference them with existing information stored on a CRM system.
The result is a greater fluidity of information sharing that is better aligned to customers’ expectations, and able to inform and influence their shopping journey and purchasing decisions. Furthermore, through this proactive stance, the retailer is better equipped to capitalize and exploit revenue opportunities as they arise, as opposed to when key data is left languishing in a database.
And it’s not just the customer directly being targeted; the latest innovations are able to reach sales staff to assess the quality of customer service, for example, by monitoring how long it takes a sales associate to acknowledge a customer in-store.
A further benefit is how traditional customer loyalty and reward initiatives are given a new lease on life thanks to a far deeper and strategic insight, and a transparency evidenced by the experience at high-street retail outdoor clothing brand, The North Face.
As the developer behind the TIBCO Reward SaaS platform providing a 360-degree view of the customer journey, TIBCO has helped transform the company’s usual reward and loyalty process into a far more integrated solution that permeates the entire brand offering.
By embracing multiple platforms and channels, the tool empowers the customer to drive their own reward offerings and preferences, while establishing far more tailored and personalized customer interactions through dialogue and content tailored to enthusiasts of a particular sport or past time.
A customer’s journey has never been more connected and with deeper insight, shared faster than ever before, the service experience is set to become more personal, all the more remarkable in an increasingly digital world.
This article first appeared on MyCustomer.com on July 7.