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An Influx of Shopping Data to Make Service Better

Tue, Jun 18, 2019.

Ed Kirchmier

VP Consulting, Retail and Consumer
OZ | Digital Consulting Wizards

In today’s world, many consumers know that brands use our data to create more targeted marketing. What those consumers might not know is how rapidly data collection is moving from the online world to the real world. In the not too distant future, your retail experience may look a lot like a science fiction movie.

How do you feel about:

  • Brands knowing when you’re near their store
  • Tracking your movement throughout the store
  • Capturing your facial expressions
  • Following what items you touch or try on
  • Seeing how you interact with your mobile device within the store
  • And matching all these behaviors against your social media profiles, in real-time

You better get used to it! Much of this innovation is already happening, all in the name of a more personalized shopping experience. Retailers are deploying sensors, IoT devices, AI algorithms, predictive models, cameras and robots to collect troves of data that they can then use to wow and delight the consumer. From offering discounts on your birthday, to recommending a specific color of clothing, to providing a virtual/augmented reality experience to help you better determine your size and fit, their goal is to make you−and everyone around you−feel like their VIP.

In many ways, this data collection is a reaction to consumer demand. According to a new global consumer study by Oracle Retail, 56% of consumers value personalized offers in their shopping experience. This is despite global awareness of new privacy regulations like GDPR and consumers’ desire to exercise data protection rights.

In essence, the research signals that consumers may be ok with brands collecting information, but only if it’s effectively used to deliver more meaningful brand interactions and experiences.

So what are some ways your company could effectively use consumer data:

  • Imagine if your store associates had microphone/earpieces to provide voice-enabled inventory lookups or advise on when a shipment will arrive when posed with a question – no more looking away from the customer at a computer screen.
  • Alternatively, envision store associates equipped with that same earpiece that knew who you were, your purchase history, and your loyalty level as they crossed paths with you.
  • Now imagine a series of strategically placed microphones throughout your store, continually listening for requests of a specific size or color of an item, and then communicating with robots who would then bring it to you from the storeroom.

How would these innovations enhance your ability to provide personalized customer service?
How would they impact the company’s revenues and your customer’s satisfaction?
At OZ, we help our retail and consumer goods clients envision and implement the optimal customer and employee experiences (CX and EX) of tomorrow. Through our Design Thinking process: ideation, journey mapping, rapid prototyping and strength-tested, production-ready digital solutions, OZ makes magic for retail.