What should retailers do with the holiday gift of customer data?

RetailWire recently posted a discussion of an article from rDialogue outlining how retailers can harness the customer data they received over the holidays. Below is a summary of that article to help you understand how to get the most out of your holiday shopper data.

Each January, every brand has a fresh chance to decide how to use its new gift of holiday data.

Will the new names simply be added to an e-mail list for continued mass discounting? Or will the insights fuel a long-term customer strategy to drive business more broadly?

Clearly, the best answer is to use holiday data aggressively to create a different kind of customer dialogue.

For us, the process starts with considering customers as an investment portfolio. Some have more long-term value and warrant more investment. How we act on that customer opportunity should similarly be differentiated by the customer's individual value, opportunity and needs (and not just the brand's need to sell).

Interestingly, while Amazon does a better job using data in communications than most, they miss the mark with their product-centric vs. customer-centric approach. Will 2016 be the year when Amazon considers me as a customer? Will they reduce the many follow-up e-mails for a product I happened to flag as a gift even though it doesn't fit my profile?

Consider all the conversations you can have that aren't about mass discounting, but instead help customers navigate your brand to discover what's most relevant to them:

  • Provide tips on how your customers can enjoy their holiday purchases.
  • Direct them toward brand experiences that don't require spending to keep them engaged between buying cycles.
  • Focus on gift card redemption as a way to get consumers back in your store or to your site. Use the data to guide them toward gift card use that fits their profile, making it more than a transaction.
  • Give your customers a preview of what the brand has planned for them in the upcoming year, giving them reasons to read your emails in the months to come.
  • When you do sell, make it relevant. Recognize gifts differently than purchases. Use holiday purchases (channel, product, payment type) to personalize your message. And say "Thank you."

Holiday data is a gift — a means to connect with your customers in a meaningful way beyond typical transactional initiatives. Use your data as a start to your customer dialogue 2016, well beyond the window of holiday 2015.

Read the complete article here.

JustEnough Customer Insights helps retailers to quickly identify trends, causal relationships and opportunities inside large volumes of customer data and then quickly action those insights to improve planning and localize and personalize offers. This transformation from traditional product-centric planning to truly customer-centric planning is critical for retailers hoping to compete for today’s demanding consumers. Contact us to learn more.