Why big data & artificial intelligence can be a game changing tool for retailers

The advent of technology and digital applications has enhanced the space to explore and maximise online avenues for online shopping - and this e-commerce space has grown by leaps and bounds.
Retail Technology

Building a brand is like rearing a child. From the time the seed of the idea is conceived to the time it is realised in physical form, a lot goes into nurturing the core foundation of this brand. Just like early childhood is the most influential phase of a child’s life, the initial stages of gathering data, fine-tuning the details, paying attention to the nitty-gritties is all very crucial to building a brand and ensuring its firm footing in the industry for the years to come.

A crucial aspect of building a brand or rather any consumer based set-up is data and customer acquisition. Gone are the days when word-of-mouth was the only way a brand could get customers to purchase their products. While putting up ads in print media i.e magazines, newspapers and distribution of catalogues is still in vogue, it’s still not enough to get the attention of the buying customer who will purchase and use your product. And presently, your next consumer is online - surfing the web, browsing through social accounts, sharing information with friends and family or just building their online profile. The advent of technology and digital applications has enhanced the space to explore and maximise online avenues for online shopping – and this e-commerce space has grown by leaps and bounds.

Prior references, fresh enquiries, information on new walk-ins, these are some of the ways in which customers are acquitted via traditional methods. Modern use of digital media such as online platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs and more are helpful in tracking real time growth and clients. Likes, shares, reviews, reposting information, using keywords, putting up pictures all of this helps a brand get constant feedback and grow more organically online. This also makes the consumer feel closer to your brand and helps you gain a clear understanding of your patrons. Online platforms also help in advertising offers, discounts, sales and other marketing material which helps brands gain profits and a steady income. Add to this mix, e-mailers, text messages – and you have higher chances of visibility and brand recall.

The company along with its CRM partner optimally engages with its loyal database in order to drive the volumes and achieve the strategic plans set by management. New additions are continuously incorporated to the database, gathered successfully via its 60 stores spread across the major towns and metropolis cities of the country. New customers walking into the stores are requested to share their basic information such as name contact details, date of birth of their child and the location of their residence. Such information form the basis of planning targeted marketing campaigns. Contact number aids in communicating and engaging with the customer base. With the help of birth date, bonus points or special offers are communicated to the customer making it a unique feel good gesture from the brand. Customer location helps the brand in understanding the catchment analysis which in turn forms the basis of future campaigns in order to tap into the new consumer base.

The company also has a dedicated backend system setup which data mines the information stored and comes up with meaningful insights and unique clusters/sects of customers. For Example- a customers who has a history of purchasing dippers is broadcasted with a sms giving him/her exciting offers and deals on paired up products. Also, the company activates campaigns on regular basis by defining various clusters based on the frequency of the customers visiting the store, their purchasing behavior, the category, they prefer, so on and so forth. such groups of defined customers are offered rewards such as bonus points on their shopping. flat discounts, free goodies etc. Such activities and campaigns maintain a healthy repeat transaction to total transaction ratio

To understand the effectiveness of the campaigns, Me n Moms maintains a dedicated backend customer care department that addresses all the queries and concerns of the customers. Besides the conventional touch points, the company has also forayed into Omni channel medium by creating touch points via mobile apps, Facebook, microsite etc.

Further, as the data gets collected, the customers can further be bifurcated on several criteria such as age, location, spending capacity, preferences. This results in a very streamlined system to understand consumer base. Additionally, every retailer has multiple branches in various cities and these help in tracking the client base even further.

All of these online methods greatly contribute to provide customers a better shopping experience and also enhance the brand products by understanding their specific needs and requirements. Advanced product features, constant attention to customers, loyalty rewards and more ensure the customer base remains strong and steady.

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is thus a very streamlined and transparent way to organically expand your customer base. This also helps you constantly be in touch and reach out to your patrons with newer shopping experiences, gain instant feedback and make headway in retail therapy.

Such 360 degree approach is reaping benefits for the company and is also adding to its base of loyal customers. The company is optimistic of adding more to its database with such initiatives in place.

Authored By: Naresh Khatar, MD and Founder, Me n Moms Pvt Ltd.

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