How Can You Turn Online Engagement and Data into Offline Sales?

Consumer attachment to their mobile devices gives retailers more opportunities than ever before to engage with their customers in a more personalised way.

GroundTruth’s UK Retailer VIP Lunch included top brands such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&Co,  Hobbs, The Co-operative Group & John Lewis.

The retail industry’s most progressive, inspiring and innovative 2 day conference has just wrapped up, and it was an unmissable 48 hours! We had the chance to host our own retailer VIP lunch during day 1 at Retail Week Live, where we discussed the huge opportunity that retailers have regarding the increase in consumer attachment to their mobile device. But how many retailers actually leverage this opportunity? The data is available for retailers to get to know their customers intimately, and connect with them when they are in the right place at the right time. Deciding how and when to engage with those customers, and turning online engagement into offline sales can be a challenge. Our retail lunch discussion centred around how retailers can better understand and merge online and offline customer journeys to effectively measure store traffic and ultimately increase sales.

Key discussion themes included:

How to Harness Customer Data

Retailers have always had access to some degree of customer data. As technology develops and the data access increases, with that comes an increased importance on insight personalisation and keeping up with the fast-paced evolving data development. Retailers are still learning how to best use data, and as the data grows so does the need to act quickly. To achieve this, it’s essential for retailers to attract and retain the necessary digital skills to truly harness their customer data insights and ultimately increase offline sales.

Improving Personalisation & Added Value

With the development of data accessibility comes the importance of improving personalisation. A key discussion from our retail lunch surrounded the notion that as we move from big data to big insight, personalisation is becoming more important. There are a number of methods to increase personalisation, largely surrounding using available data more effectively and better leveraging the access retailers already have to these data sets, including new sources such as location data. If retailers are going to exploit new data sources than there needs to be additional value to the consumer, not just the retailer. This added value will ultimately provide incentives to the customer and a more positive retail experience.

Targeting Customers at the Right Time and the Right Place

In order to accurately personalise messaging, it is essential to reach customers at the right time and place. To target customers at the appropriate time, retailers can leverage location data as a customers location is the greatest indicator of their intent and a powerful way of creating interest and behavioural based segments. Having access to customer location data enables retailers to leverage audiences and target their messaging to where their customers actually are in real-time. In order to reach a customer where and when they will be most responsive, the idea of connecting disperate data sets was raised in our discussion. Digital marketing is often sitting in a silo, increasing the importance of retailers to better attract and retain the necessary digital talent, which is achievable through better utilising location data and acknowledging its relevance, resulting in reaching customers in the right time and place.

Understanding Customer Behaviour

In order to predict retail patterns it is important to understand customer behaviour. Through gaining location data, audience profiles can be developed which enable retailers to reach their intended audiences. With this, it is important to undertand customer behavioural patterns. Understanding customer online behaviour is achievable through the use of cookies and the ability to effectively measure online behavioural trends, but how do we measure this in the offline world? The exploitation of relevant data sources such as that of location will enable retailers to develop an understanding of customer behavioural patterns, using location as the real-world cookie.

In order for retailers to leverage the increased attachment consumers have with their mobile devices, it is essential for them to use the evolving data insights to improve their messaging and ensure its relevance to their key audiences. It is a huge task that retailers have to turn online engagement into offline sales, however it is extremely achievable through leveraging data insights and a better understing of consumer behaviours.