by David Levitt, Vice President, Information Technology, The Children’s Place
With ongoing technological shifts, the seemingly endless onslaught of data and the increasingly frenetic pace of change, consumers are more empowered and connected than ever before.
Today’s consumer expects to engage with companies when they want, how they want and expect to receive a consistent shopping experience across all channels-physical, digital and mobile. As a result, retailers are finding the need to become more innovative.
For the retail CIO, this presents an opportunity to pioneer innovation. According to the recent IBM 2011 Global CIO Study, retail CIOs have visionary plans that include business intelligence and analytics, mobility solutions, self-service portals, and collaboration using social networks. Keeping up with today’s consumer will require more than using social networks but understanding the power of social networks and how to integrate customer data into CRM systems.
This new breed of customer requires companies to execute a better system of doing business and establish smarter commerce. Smarter commerce turns customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help companies buy, market, sell and service their products and services. Retail CIOs will need to help re-engineer their organizations, making them faster, more flexible and better equipped to turn data into insights.
Sixty-four percent of Retail CIOs are especially focused on partnering extensively and most expect to deeply change the mix of capabilities, knowledge and assets within their organizations, states the IBM CIO Study. With powerful analytics and coordinated cross-channel marketing, personalized campaigns have become even more precise, and can be delivered through the most effective channels.
Leveraging customer data allows companies to:
• Develop close customer relationships based on a deep understanding of their behaviors and needs
• Deliver targeted advertising, promotions, and product offers that will motivate them to buy
• Charge exactly the right price that customers are willing to pay at any given moment
• Optimize marketing dollars
• Locate stores, distribution centers, and other facilities in optimal locations
• Fraud detection
Companies can also use social platforms to mine data for brand monitoring and valuable customer insights, which can spark innovations for improved services, products and customer experiences.