The retail landscape is changing rapidly, and for retailers to stay abreast of changing customer needs, they must harness the power of data. Analyzing all available data points to determine how best to serve customers is one of the key factors in securing future business.
“The key to being a successful marketer is truly understanding the customer and keeping them at the center of all business decisions. This means that customer insights are invaluable to the success and growth of your business. If you ignore what the customer tells you and blindly follow what you think is best, you will undoubtedly take a wrong turn. Customer opinion should be the North Star guiding your business forward,” says Hillary Cullum , founder of CSS Advisorsa retail consulting firm.
A Forrester Consulting study titled “Leveraging Powerful, Flexible, and Scalable Customer Insights to Secure the Future of Your Business” assessed the state of customer analytics and interviewed leaders from a variety of industries, including retail, media, technology, among others. Survey respondents said that more effective customer analytics programs led to improved customer trust, more agile decision-making, improved data processes and governance, better customer experience, an acceleration of digital transformation initiatives, among others.
Building trust with consumers is the first step in customer acquisition. The main goal of all content marketing is to gain trust and credibility with current and potential customers – something brands are constantly working towards. With trust comes increased sales and future customer loyalty.
“If you’re obsessed with efficiency, as most businesses are, adopting a customer-centric mindset creates customer value as well as business value. A great strategy is to infuse continuous discovery into your processes, find unique ways to connect with your customers, and conduct informational interviews. This ensures you’re able to get quick answers along the way, for rapid iteration and optimization. The most successful brands stay lean until they’ve found a suitable product market, and customer insights are a key tool to unlock better decision-making about the customer needs most important to your team. answer right now,” advises Gabrielle Thomas, founder of GT Councila consulting firm for health and wellness providers.
The Forrester Consulting study also stated that “analytics leaders are increasingly turning to AaaS (Analytics-as-a-Service) platforms. AaaS solutions help businesses by providing end-to-end functionality that quickly and accurately turns insights into action. Additionally, more than 90% of executives surveyed agreed that their overall success as a business relies on timely, accurate, complete and accessible data.
Data is obviously great information, but it needs to be analyzed and turned into action in order to effectively help build customer loyalty and increase revenue. Insights from data, coupled with a clear target market, are the recipe for success.
“You have to know and define who your customer is. Your business can’t serve everyone, so having a clear customer profile allows you to filter out general feedback and valuable feedback from your real customer. The perspective of the real customer will allow you to identify problems, identify opportunities and validate ideas. The most successful brands have a deep understanding of their primary customer and a deep relationship with that customer that allows for open communication,” Cullum adds.
The Importance of Customer Analytics
In the same study, 34% of respondents said that one of the ramifications of less effective customer analytics is the delay in digital transformation initiatives. In an era of rapidly changing technology and customer behaviors, falling behind in digital transformation can be detrimental to a business. And 32% found that less effective customer analytics can hurt customer retention, loyalty and lifetime value.
Rosie Mangiarotti, Founder and CEO of Perkiesan innovative underwear brand, summed it up this way: “Initial bottom-up research is needed to determine if a company is truly solving a customer’s problem. Ask customers to tell you what they need. from there, evolving and iterating are two things entrepreneurs need to be comfortable doing; we do this by listening to our customers. Ultimately, businesses live and die through their customers, and knowing customers is essential to the success of a business.