When majority of customers are moving towards digital platforms much more frequently than ever before, the retailers, to keep that pace, struggle with finding groundbreaking alternatives to new technologies to cut the gap between in-store and online shopping to create for their customers an omni-channel experience and make them truly loyal to their brand. The best way out to achieve this combination is to integrate a CRM. Most of us agree that CRM in retail is much more effective when you know the right features1:
1) The potential to capture customer trends and needs – filtering that data and analyzing it accurately gives you a clear detailed view of who is exactly your customer.That means that you can predict in advance your customers’ desires and make for themthose offers, which they exactly want – for example, beauty brand Sephora doesn’t justsell make up, this brand has also an online forum (once you finish creating your profile), where you can discuss beauty products and share advice.2
2) Customer capture – which can be possible by gathering information from existing customer profiles. Retailers will be capable of accessing a comprehensive real-time customer profile, regarding interactions with their brand, from contact information to order history and past purchases. Therefore, brand can use this information to differentiate their clients and create much more personalized offer for them.
3) Data-driven dashboards – this feature can reassess product and sales performance, connected to the product, and to make a plan of action to adjust to consumer trends.
For instance, this feature of customer capture and being aware of sales helps a data- driven supply-chain system of a well-known fast-fashion brand, called Zara, which first orders only small amount of orders for merchandise and only then, after gathering salesdata and analyzing performance each of SKU’s sales, it starts to proceed with further orders to meet customers’ demand.3
4) Loyalty rewards programs – today “omni-channel” experience makes even morecrucial to capture all the information and engage customers in the way to make a lifetime value of customers as long as possible. CRM can keep track of customers to indicate those, who bring the highest value and trigger true loyalty, by sustaining it and engage customers in the best possible way. More than that, this feature again represents another form of personalization and allows to have insights of purchasing behavior of loyalty card holders.
For example, Sephora has a three level loyalty program, which empowers a brand to provide personalized gifts, based on this information. Creating a lot of buzz anexclusivity around the highest level, called “Rouge”, they make customers much more excited to retain them via loyalty program.
- Ipsos Retail Perfomance. The importance of CRM (customer relationship management) in retail. 2018. https://www.ipsos-retailperformance.com/resources/blog/importance-customer-relationship-management-retail/
- SendinBlue. 3 CRM Examples to Inspire Your CRM Strategy. 2019. https://blog.sendinblue.com/crm-examples- to-inspire-crm-strategy/
- Data Initiative. Zara Leverages Data Analytics to Understand Consumer Tastes. 2015. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-digit/submission/zara-leverages-data-analytics-to-understand-consumer-tastes/