The Secret To Amazing Customer Experience: Know Thy Customer

Michael Brenner

customer experienceIn an increasingly crowded and competitive retail landscape, consumers want to feel respected more than ever. Today’s fickle shopper expects you to know what they bought, what they like, and what they want next. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that consumers are more likely to take their business to businesses that know them better. Likewise, retailers not only want their customers to buy things, but to be loyal advocates of their brand. But making this significant connection with the modern consumer is a challenge – to be not only at the top of a customer’s mind, but at the tips of their fingers, too.

Precision retailing is the answer. It’s the combination of finely targeted interactions, real-time tracking and analysis, and mobile technology to create an unparalleled shopping experience – one in which customers develop a personal and meaningful connection with a retailer through technology they already use.

Like smartphones: the must-have, do-everything shopping accessory. Shoppers use them to photograph products, read reviews, compare prices, and, best of all, find deals. What’s more, consumers are increasingly accepting of geo-targeted push notifications that alert them to specialized offers. With phones in hand and in the aisles, the opportunities to integrate offline shopping with mobile interactions are nearly endless. It all comes down to timing.

Groupe Casino is a food retailer that operates in 11 countries with nearly 10,000 sales outlets in France alone. Their customers can go online to place an order, via web or mobile, and then, within two hours, pick up their groceries through an express outlet shop. In an effort to dedicate themselves to the full scope of customer needs, Groupe Casino relies on a strategy of affinity marketing to refine their direct marketing strategies – connecting with customers in a way that’s relevant, focused, useful, and timely.

Like delivering price comparisons through a mobile app, and a discount to go along with it. Or serving up product suggestions based on that individual’s past purchases and behavior. Direct marketing efforts like Groupe Casino’s can be so precise that a customer walking down an aisle can receive a special offer on a product they’re about to walk past. It’s the perfect marriage of relevancy and real time.

Groupe Casino attributes their successful execution of that strategy to SAP technology. Serving as both database and customer relationship management (CRM) platform, SAP helps them optimize the customer experience via their mobile devices and applications. An app like Groupe Casino’s can provide a place for customers to list items, locate products, compare prices, earn loyalty points, and receive offers they will actually use, all while in the store.

Of course, precision retailing is more than influencing purchases and creating opportunities for up- and cross-sell – it is just as much about providing a space to collect data. Buying habits, shopping location, time of day, and offer redemption: all this information and more can be collected and analyzed to help retailers make decisions based on real customer behavior. It provides a 360-degree profile of a customer that helps continually refine a direct marketing strategy tailored specifically to that customer.

The modern and mobile customer is more demanding, more discerning, and more tech-savvy than ever. They yearn for deeper connections with the things they buy, but rarely have the patience to wait for it. Precision retailing is an opportunity to make that connection, providing customers with what they want and need – and before they even knew they wanted or needed it.

Great experiences are the key to customer loyalty. As mobile becomes the platform of choice for shoppers, retailers can leverage these platforms and tech to set themselves apart. Learn more in this exclusive RIS trendagram.

Get involved in the conversations on the Future of Business and read, watch and learn about how the customer experience will be impacted by technology, consumer needs, and data, and continue to transform.


About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of the upcoming book The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.