According to Forrester, cross-channel retail sales in the US alone will be nearly $2 trillion by 2018. While there’s no question that delivering a strong cross-channel experience is paramount for retail success, only 5% of marketers rate themselves as “very much set up” to effectively orchestrate cross-channel marketing activities, according to an Econsultancy Cross-Channel Marketing report.
While many retailers and brands choose to blame the disparity on technology, I will tell you that when clients come to us looking for cross-channel solutions, it is rarely for lack of technology—it is lack of process.
The market is flooded with marketing automation and cross-channel technology providers, but all too often marketers buy fancy new tech with no strategic implementation plan. Consumer product goods companies come to us with little defined process for how they are going to digitally store, customize and manage their promotional content to be delivered across retail partners and channels. They have limited strategy for how they are going to drive continuous data collection to fuel new levels of personalization, while at the same time ensuring customer data privacy and protection. Similarly, we see retailers struggling to fully leverage their loyalty and in-store sales data to deliver promotions personally relevant to the individual customer and their unique product, shopping location and media preferences.
It’s easy to broadcast blanketed messages across email, social and mobile, but getting all of the channels to work in synchronicity and be guided by a single customer hierarchy is far more difficult. There must be a method in place for collecting preference, interest and behavioral data from each and every digital customer journey, then streaming it into an actionable and centralized customer management database that enables you to identify the customers with the highest purchase potential. Even more critically, without the ability to derive valuable data from each individual’s digital journey, there is no way to continuously evolve and deepen engagement across touchpoints, as needed to grow lifetime customer value.
Instead of buying more platforms, retail marketers need to consider how they will integrate, manage and dissect interaction data across customer journeys, from offline to online to in-store. They need a strategic plan for how to build a single customer identity, meaning a clear view of each customer that unites their behaviors and expressed interest across all channels into a comprehensive profile.
With a strategic process in place for building and leveraging single customer view, it is then that retailers and brands can:
• Personalize interactions based on channel preferences, implied and expressed interest, and behaviors
• Reach a more precise level of targeting by using cross-channel behavioral information in real-time
• Speak to each customer with a single voice regardless of channel
• Create campaigns on a scalable, cross-channel program canvas
• Deliver a more fluid customer journey that builds from one engagement point to the next
• Link customer profiles to a content customization engine for auto-generation of personalized content
Companies with strong cross-channel customer engagement see a 9.5 percent year-over-year increase in annual revenue and are able to optimize the purchasing power of the cross channel customers who have a 30% higher lifetime value score than those who shop on only one channel.
If your company is struggling to integrate your channels under a single customer view, Cierant can help. We are specialized in building custom platforms that not only transform customer journey data into single customer views, but offer the ability to covert those views into fully personalized content optimized for cross-channel output.
To learn more about how Cierant can perfect the processes driving your cross-channel engagement strategy and help you achieve single customer view, please call 203-731-3555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.