16 April 2020

Enabling the brand experience with Big Data

With Big Data comes big possibilities for the retail industry. It provides retailers with greater insight into customer shopping habits, wants and needs, and helps inform the supply chain of market demands. It also enables retailers to provide the levels of personalisation that today’s shoppers expect.

Steve Sneath

Research from Accenture1 shows 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognises them by name, recommends options based on past purchases or knows their purchase history.

What’s more, in the rapidly growing world of online where the last-mile delivery stage can often fail a brand, Big Data is giving retailers more control of this final hurdle.

Tailoring the buying journey

Gathering, collating and utilising Big Data from various touch points, enables retailers to personalise the buying journey. Previous purchases, items viewed on the retailer’s site, shopper location, as well as their preferred shopping channel, all help form a picture of customer preferences and enable retailers to respond to them.

increased click-through statistic

 

Serving shoppers the right information, at the right stage of the buying journey, doesn’t just make them feel good but it also boosts conversion rates. Research shows personalised product recommendations online can increase click-throughs by more than 100%2 compared to generic product offers.

personalised email statistic

 

And the buying journey doesn’t just stop at the checkout. Delivery communications provide an opportunity to further engage with shoppers. 70-80%3 of personalised post-purchase messages are opened, compared to just 13% of all other email marketing communications. This presents a huge opportunity to further bolster sales.

Intersoft’s email notification service can help provide a consistent on brand messages to your customers as the goods progress through the delivery cycle regardless of which carrier handles them.

Providing smart logistics

Once the shopper has made their purchase decision, Big Data is key to ensuring the most efficient delivery process. Harvesting purchasing data allows retailers to assess which products are most popular in which location. This information can then be used to ensure the right products are located at the right warehouses for efficient and cost-effective packing and delivering.

Delivery management solutions that plug into retailer websites act as silent partners, searching multiple carriers to offer shoppers the best delivery options and prices for their needs.

Taking back control of last-mile delivery

In the world of online retail, last-mile delivery can often be the point that the customer experience faces a roadblock. Once the product has left the retailer’s warehouse and is in the hands of the carrier, the brand experience is no longer in their full control. If utilised properly, Big Data in combination with the right technology, can be crucial in handing back the reigns to the brand.

With each carrier providing its own set of tracking information and key milestones, unifying this data to ensure consistent customer delivery communications can be tricky. Particularly for retailers partnered with multiple carries. Delivery manage solutions that hook into the retailer’s website, can help extract and categorise this information, transferring it into a unified format. Retailers are then able to provide consistent, branded communications at each stage of the delivery journey, and the personalisation that shoppers love.

Ensuring transparency

Shoppers are still suspicious of retailers gathering their data, so transparency over how this information is used is key to gaining trust. A Label Insight survey found 56%4 of customers would be loyal to a company that provided complete transparency, meaning honesty through every step of the supply chain.

brand transparency statistic

 

Delivery management software can help provide transparency both for the shopper and retailer, helping to head off any possible stumbling blocks before they become an issue, and gaining customer trust.  For example, it can enable automation of customer service communications as soon as a carrier flags a delivery issue. A communication to the customer ahead of time with a goodwill gesture, goes a long way to helping keep them on side.

This transparency should flow right through to the returns process. Solutions such as Intersoft’s Returns Portal and Delivery Dashboard provide two solutions. Firstly, the portal allows the customer to conveniently select the items they wish to return from their customer account, print a label and then receive regular updates throughout the returns process. All without having to visit a third-party site and keeping the experience within the brand.

Secondly, the dashboard provides retailers and warehouses with a clear overview of what items are coming back into stock. This allows retailers to accurately forecast ahead of time and logistics teams to ensure resource levels are right for the number of parcels being handled.

The future of Big Data and retail delivery

As the variety of data grows, so will the possibilities to further extend the brand into retail delivery. Using this data to ensure transparency and provide the best possible customer experience will be a key differentiator in this increasingly competitive market.

And, as algorithms develop and the amount of data we harvest grows, so does our responsibility to the ethical and legal management of this data and the people behind it. We are all consumers and we are all private individuals and, whilst we may want that unique tailored experience, no one wants to feel like they’re being watched. The giant big brother that is big data, needs to be cautious not to overstep the mark.

 

1 https://www.accenture.com/us-en/about/interactive-index
2 https://www.freshrelevance.com/resources/case-study/herring-shoes-ltd-achieves-its-highest-sales-conversion-rates-with-fresh-relevance
3 https://www.imrg.org/blog/delivery-revealed-results-of-the-first-uk-ecommerce-shipping-survey/
4 https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/four-ways-big-data-is-set-to-change-retail