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How In-Store Data Drives Digital Marketing Success

How much do you really know about your customers who shop with you in-store? Are you ringing through purchases and letting them walk out the door without knowing their names, which products they’ve bought before, and their shopping preferences?

If you have a loyalty program as part of your store experience, you’ll at least be able to get an overview of what they’ve bought before and when through your point of sale (POS). But what are you doing with that vital information? Chances are, all you’re doing is printing out coupons every time they swipe their card with offers on products they’ve bought before. While that’s useful for increasing customer engagement and loyalty, there’s so much more you could be doing with your in-store data throughout the customer journey.

If you’re a traditional retail brand looking to get more data savvy, this can be a huge challenge. Or if you’re one of the many digital native brands following Amazon’s example and moving in-store, you’re used to collecting all kinds of ecommerce data and using this to power your marketing efforts. But you might be at a loss as to how to do this with a brick-and-mortar location.

That’s why you need to integrate the in-store data you’re collecting with customer data from other channels and make a consistent and personalized customer experience.

What is in-store data?

Every time customers interact with you during store visits, you have the opportunity for data collection through your POS system. When a customer makes a purchase at one of your physical stores, you can collect a lot of useful information such as name, address, phone number, location, and even email address (if your store associate asks, for example, to email a copy of the receipt instead of printing it). This is an expected part of the shopping experience today, so you don’t have to worry about upsetting your buyers when you ask.

If you have a loyalty or reward scheme, you can collect even more information, including demographic data and order history –– which products they bought, when, and how often they bought them.

How can you integrate in-store data?

Instead of only using the data you collect with your POS for your in-store loyalty program (for example, printing out reams of paper coupons at checkouts), you should use an analytics solution or platform like a B2C CRM to integrate it with the data you have on customers across the rest of your channels and marketing platforms. This will then enable you to implement a true omnichannel marketing strategy.

To do this, you need to bring together all the data you collect into a central location to get a single view of all customers interactions with your brand. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can use a technique known as user resolution, which allows you to track your buyers across different channels, devices, and platforms, and unify this under one customer ID.

How can in-store data help improve customer loyalty?

The more you know about your customers, the better you can personalize and customize your marketing message. Your in-store data –– combined data across other channels –– can help you implement a number of strategies to drive customer loyalty.

Cross-sell and up-sell

By using data analytics to unify your customer data, you can spot trends that can help you make smart product recommendations, as well as cross-sell and up-sell products. For example, if you notice that every January a customer buys sunscreen, you could either proactively give them coupons (to use in-store or online) to up-sell them a different brand, or cross-sell other products such as sunglasses. You can also use this data to send out replenishment emails to remind customers to stock up on a product they previously bought from you at the right point in the customer journey.

In the email below, pet supply company Chewy combines a replenishment campaign based on products the customer has previously bought –– which could include items purchase both in-store and online –- with an opportunity to upsell on other products that are on offer. This helps boost Chewy’s repeat purchase rate, and remind the customer why they should shop with them, while also being helpful.

Using these strategies will help you increase metrics such as average order value and customer lifetime value, but also drive customer loyalty, as you are sending them relevant coupons that are useful and helpful.

Personalized communications

Personalizing your marketing message also helps drive customer loyalty. Unifying your ecommerce and in-store data can help you deliver more personalized communications, so you can stop guessing what your customers want. Don’t be afraid to go deeper with personalization, and move beyond using name, age, gender, or location, to make customers feel like they matter to you (and avoid personalization failures!) If customers don’t volunteer their information directly, you can also ask them for it.

When you have this information in a single place, you know how best to grow a loyal customer base. For example, instead of always giving your customers paper coupons at the point of sale, you can email them a discount code, or push a promotion through Instagram, depending on which channel they have typically bought from in the past. Or try sending out emails with personalized dynamic content based on in-store interactions, as well as ads they’ve clicked on, website browsing behavior, products added to cart, and products they’ve purchased (through any channel).

Canopy, a company which curates products on Amazon, does just that. The recommendations below are based on the customer’s website browsing behavior, as well as information the customer has provided.

Dynamic segmentation

By unifying your in-store and online data, you can also dynamically segment customers using real-time data. As your buyers make a new purchase, you can move them into a new segment based on the product they bought, the retail store location, and customer lifecycle stage. All the marketing communications you send will then be super relevant and timely, as you are always working from the latest data and you don’t have to manually create new segments as customer behavior changes.

Dynamics segmentation also enables you to send out triggered marketing campaigns and more effectively re-target your ads. This will help drive the effectiveness of your campaigns and increase their ROI.

When you integrate your in-store promotions with the rest of your marketing data, you can take away the guesswork from your campaigns and switch to a truly data-focused approach. The insight you get from this in-store data will enable you to run more effective campaigns that drive loyalty and generate a better ROI, across all channels for a true omnichannel marketing strategy.

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