The future of retail is closely intertwined with an evolving customer journey that is being largely transformed by technology. Today’s consumers are more connected and empowered than ever before, ergo they demand retail experiences that are relevant, real-time, and seamless from screen to store. To be successful amidst such changing retail scenarios, retail companies must have an in-depth and unified understanding of their customers at a personal level. This is where the role of customer intelligence comes into play.
What is customer intelligence?
Customer Intelligence refers to the information derived from customer data that is collected through both internal (generated through interactions with the customer) and external sources (demographic data like age, income, and occupation). The key purpose of customer intelligence is to better understand customers by analyzing their buying patterns and their key motivators of purchase to drive future growth of the business.
Customer intelligence in the future of retail
We have reached a point where the future of retail will largely revolve around customer experiences. Customer intelligence solutions play a vital role in helping retailers identify what their customers want and the best strategies to cater to customer needs. Retail industry experts at Infiniti believe that customer intelligence will be vital for the future of retail due to the following reasons:
Growing rate of informed customers
Modern customers have unlimited access to information. They also have adequate knowledge about a brand, their products or services, and also about the competitor brands. Study shows that a fair majority of today’s customers are more likely to shift brands within a week of experiencing a bad customer service. The future of retail will largely be dominated by demanding customers, and businesses that choose to ignore them will be risking a PR disaster. Customer intelligence is the best chance available for retailers to understand its customers and ensure better customer service.
Personalized rewards and discounts
Customer intelligence is a great tool for retailers who want to reward their loyal customers with personalized rewards and discounts. IoT will play a significant role in the future of retail to help retailers achieve this. Loyal customers can be sent personalized discounts using sensors located in the store. These sensors can detect when customers are near certain products and then alert customers of a special discount via their smartphones. Such strategies of understanding customers and giving them discounts on the products that they regularly shop will result in customer delight and such techniques will eventually go mainstream in the future of retail.
Better supply chain management
Retail customers are increasingly demanding faster delivery of high-quality products. Customer intelligence solutions can help optimize speed and accuracy through the supply chain. With the help of customer intelligence retailers can predict what products will be in demand during a particular time period. Every component of the supply chain, starting from planning to production to the return can be optimized for efficiency in advance.
Visualize real-time market changes
Understanding the market and customer needs is one of the key challenges faced by retailers. In a crowded industry like retail, it means that even a tiny break in monitoring the market can cause a huge setback in terms of acquiring new customers, revenues, and ensuring overall customer satisfaction. Customer intelligence solutions provide retailers with actionable insights from a stream of steady data. The customer data lets brands comprehend broader market trends and integrate predictive analytics and best practices into their business.