Data and AI are top of mind for retailers and brands looking for customer insights and ways to personalize the shopping experience, but companies sometimes struggle to recognize their own strength when it comes to data.
At NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show, “Retales From the Frontline” host Matt Rubel sat down with First Insights CEO Greg Petro, Forrester Principal Analyst Sucharita Kodali and Synchrony Financial Head of Analytics Michael Bopp to talk about how retailers and brands are using data and AI…and how they should be using them. Here are four highlights from the discussion:
- Know your “data voice.” Each company’s angle on their data is tied to how they position their brand with customers. For example, Nike uses its data to create experiential offerings that deepen customer engagement.
- Avoid chasing technology distractions. Exciting new technologies like drones and blockchain get lots of media coverage, but retailers shouldn’t chase every shiny new thing when it comes to tech. Instead, they should ensure they’re asking the right questions and observing their customers to find out how to better meet their needs.
- Take note of what consumers ask for, but stores don’t have. Retailers are swimming in data, but it’s not all equally useful. Something as simple as tracking what customers ask for that a store doesn’t carry can yield valuable insights.
- Take a walk in the customer’s shoes. Walking through the entire shopping experience in the customer’s shoes can help retailers identify shopper pain points that technology can help solve. Journey mapping can even help protect customers from fraud.
Rubel ended the discussion by asking what retailers should focus on. Petro advised getting out of your comfort zone and exploring, because you learn much more quickly when you do that. Kodali recommended not being distracted by bright shiny tech solutions and focusing on execution. Bopp suggested focusing on data aggregation and working with third parties that can help provide different views of the customer.