The retail industry is currently in the midst of a revolution. As technology changes, so do consumers’ needs and wants. In this new era of cutting edge technological advances, it is imperative that retailers accommodate these new trends, if they aim to optimize their profit. For this reason, the “Reaching and Keeping Customers in the New Retail Era” seminar hosted by Cardlytics on Tuesday morning proved to be quite intriguing as a panel of experts offered their insights into how retailers might achieve this.
The panel included Stephanie Horbaczewski, CEO of StyleHaul, Priscilla Valls, vice president of vertical sales at Pandora, and Maureen Sarewitz, head of customer relationship management for Rover.com. Maureen also previously worked with Starbucks, where she managed personalized marketing. Dani Cushion, CMO of Cardlytics, served as the moderator for the discussion. This panel of experts provided a diverse representation of insights from very different retail industries, and so it was interesting to see where these insights differed and where they intersected.
To start, Stephanie addressed a misconception that some may have about the retail industry: while many may perceive retail as being on the decline, the industry is, in fact, on the rise. While traditional retail might be less popular, the new advances in technology and the surge of online retail have encouraged consumers to spend more often.
Maureen agreed that the industry is indeed undergoing a digital revolution. This shift has required companies to put more emphasis on efficient marketing, and they utilize data to achieve this goal.
According to Maureen, data analyzation enables marketers to identify the types of customers whom they are targeting. The shift in retail has prompted many companies to pair collected in-house data, which entails the consumer’s interactions with the respective brand, with third party data, which entails the customer’s everyday life and his or her behaviors.
Priscilla expanded on this concept by explaining how a person’s listening habits on Pandora can paint a picture of their everyday life. This enables Pandora to give insights to their partners about the customer’s habits and patterns, and it results in a comprehensive picture of that particular customer. Priscilla continued by describing how digital audio is going through a reinvention, and that it would be shrewd for marketers to start utilizing audio in their advertising strategies.
To solidify a relationship with a customer, it is crucial for a brand to understand that customer and give them what they need, explained Priscilla. Maureen emphasized the importance of customer retention, and described how identifying key inflection points can signal whether a customer will be loyal. Stephanie added that by collecting this data, entire customer lists can be constructed based upon their individual needs and habits.
This seminar taught that in this new era of retail, data is key. I learned that advertisers and retailers alike stand to benefit greatly by identifying their customers based upon the data and evaluating the best way to reach out to those customers. Once this relationship is identified and established, retailers can embrace the retail revolution and achieve maximum profit.
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