Blog Post

3 ways data will lead the way for retail disruption

3 ways data will lead the way for retail disruption

No matter what the industry, data has become a crucial component in growth and progress. In the retail sector, this is particularly pronounced, as the use of data is already disrupting everything, from the way that brands market to customer, to the methods that consumers use to choose who to buy from. And it's not over yet - there are three key ways in which data is opening the door to ongoing retail disruption.

1. A more collaborative approach

As consumers have become more educated in terms of what data is being collected - and of their rights in terms of how this is being used - this is opening the door to more collaborative expectations. Transparency has become crucial for brands, from the smallest startup to the largest international retailer. It's not only essential to explain how customer data is being collected and used, but also why.

Aside from the compliance and credibility issues, being clear about data collection offers an opportunity for retail businesses to explain the benefits of this to customers. This information can make essential missing connections in the mind of the consumer - such as explaining how important data collection is to providing a personalised shopping experience.

2. Improving the customer experience

We have yet to fully explore the potential that lies in technology when it comes to creating a truly seamless experience between the physical and the digital. However, we do know that data is central to this. Innovative use of data offers an almost limitless array of options when it comes to improving customer experience with retail brands and creating something genuinely unique.

For example, data could be gathered on customer behaviours online - items placed on a wish list, for example, or which have been added to a shopping cart but not purchased. That data can be used in-store to give customers the opportunity to interact with those items next time they are shopping, using beacons and tracking technology to match up digital preferences with real world buying choices.

3. In-depth customer insights

The wealth of data available today is enabling brands to go way beyond the basic segmentation of years gone by, and to create deeper insights that can be used to deliver more value. As well as the basics, such as age, gender and income, today comprehensive customer profiles can be created that also take into account a range of other factors, such as how individuals behave online and what kind of social influence they have.

In-store, footfall monitoring and beacons can be used to gather information on customer preferences and choices to ensure stores are laid out in a way that is optimised to give customers what they want.

Given the potential that data has to disrupt and innovate in retail it's no surprise that is has been described as "more valuable than oil." However, the value that data can offer to your business depends on what you do with it and how willing you are to invest in ways to integrate it deeper into daily operations and strategy.

Of course, the future is unwritten, and opinions differ on what digital commerce will really look like, and how we as consumers will act and transact in the coming years. With a view to minimising the delta between what's hyper and what's helpful in future consumers trends, Wunderman Thompson Commerce has again spoken directly to those who will shape our retail future - consumers - examining the current commerce landscape through the lends of their shopping journeys. The resulting report, "The Future Shopper 2019" will be available shortly.

Register for the Future Shopper 2019