By Ratnakar Lavu
Kohl’s has put its stake in the ground with a new goal to be the most engaging retailer in America. Technology and analytics are a major part of reaching this goal.
Since the first Kohl’s store opened in 1962, so much has changed in the retail industry. Digital and mobile technologies are transforming the business landscape in key ways – blurring the line between physical and digital space and changing the way people and businesses interact.
Companies need to constantly redefine and innovate their strategy to keep up with the pace of change and this is especially true for retailers. At Kohl’s, we are constantly listening to our customers for insights into how we can best serve them.
So how do retailers make sure that their digital and mobile strategies are working with this new customer constituent?
Kohl’s needs to ensure that we are creating an exceptional omni-channel experience for our customers. Mobile is changing traditional retail especially when it comes to creating an omni-channel experience. As mobile devices increasingly become an extension of people’s lives – a Morgan Stanley study reported that 91 percent of adults have their mobile devices within arms’ reach 24/7 – it is reshaping the shopping experience.
According to a recent study, 45 percent of shoppers reported using their mobile device for mobile coupons – and this is just one example of how consumers are using mobile while they are shopping.
As we look at the great impact mobile has had on consumers and businesses, we’re focusing on evolving with mobile technology to personalize and enhance the in-store experience for our shoppers.
One way we’re doing this is through in-store beacon messaging that provides shoppers with promotions as they browse through the store. Additionally, IBM helps us drive engagement through personalization and loyalty by:
- Using analytics to segment and better understand motivations of our customers;
- Personalizing offers throughout the customer buying journey; and
- Employing loyalty programs, many through social media, to engage with our most valued customers on a more personal level.
At Kohl’s, a true omni-channel shopping experience is the way to provide excellent customer service by creating a seamless and satisfying experience for support across all channels while also leveraging customer feedback to improve content, ensure trust, and gain loyalty.
Ratnakar Lavu, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovation, at Kohl’s. He is responsible for leading digital technology strategy and execution. Specifically, he is responsible for creating and managing agile technology teams across all digital properties and identifying technology trends and evolving social behavior that will support the growth and success of the business. He has been with Kohl’s for three years, including nine months in his current position. Lavu most recently spearheaded the launch of the ATG replatform to enable future growth in the omni-channel space.