Traditionally a sale was viewed as one single transaction, beginning and ending at the point of sale.
Increasingly, however, companies strive to analyse their sales as a culmination of a number of interactions between the customer and themselves, thereby incorporating both online and offline data with the aim of building a three-dimensional view of their customer.
The single customer view challenge
This single customer view can be extremely valuable in helping businesses understand who is purchasing their product or service and will help to build high quality, long-term customer relationships.
Customers interact with companies through a variety of channels: face-to-face, via call centres, company websites and a multitude of social media channels.
While this opens up new platforms for marketing and sales, traditional company structures may not have aligned accordingly and a company may come across difficulties in achieving this single customer view; i.e. customers can appear on a number of different company databases that do not interact.
This lack of alignment between different departments can lead to varying responses to customers to the detriment of the company attempting to achieve consistent interactions that meet all company and customer expectations.
The single customer view triad
Now that a huge number of people are walking around with location sensors such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, retailers can easily identify where individuals and varying behaviour patterns are more likely to be.
Secondly, companies can also tell who is a potential customer by analysing online behaviour and visitor demographics. If digital marketing analytics is tied in with lead generation strategies companies can even create unique customer ids.
The third element that completes the single customer view triad is the customer buying behaviour. Fortunately, retailers are able to track this in the online and offline environment through various methods (loyalty cards, account activity etc.)
If businesses will bring these three elements together, they will manage to have a very clear perspective on their customer’s online and offline footprint. Moreover, this will create a Big Brother effect which is strengthened by one of the most important feature of data – location. Retailers will know where their current and potential customers live, where they shop, what they buy, if they prefer online or offline experiences, how they interact with the brand’s social image etc.
This is especially helpful because a well-located pitch at the right time can be key to initiating a sale.
Being able to achieve a single customer view will be the ultimate retail tool that will probably bring silence in this much cluttered retail communication space. It will increase the relevancy of retail offers and advertising and instead of shouting promotional benefits, retailers will be able to whisper at handpicked customers or prospects.
To finish off, location analytics can greatly enhance this process and even get close to its capabilities by offering new customer and location insight and by synchronising owned and third party data.