Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
While many retailers today use technology to give their customers more control of their shopping experience, such as creating online storefronts, the majority have underutilized advanced technologies to capitalize on the moment of truth in the buying process: the point of decision.
Now, however, an innovative combination of digital channels and data analytics means that retailers can interact seamlessly and directly with their customers as they shop in-store, online, or via mobile device, gaining one complete view of the customer across all channels. They can then monetize this increased level of customer insight by extending it to suppliers, potentially creating an exciting new and ongoing revenue stream.
Accenture Technology Labs has been working on the cross-channel promotion platform, a new automated technology that enables suppliers to offer real-time promotions to customers at the point of decision, while measuring the effectiveness of such promotions and providing aggregate data and analytics. It also provides a more personalized shopping experience to customers and an additional revenue stream for retailers.
Watch our video demo of our concept.
The majority of data-analytics solutions for the retail industry have focused on enhancing what retailers can offer customers—such as customer segmentation, personalized recommendations, and recipes—or how retailers can improve internal processes, such as smarter inventory or supply-chain management.
To date, retailers have largely underutilized the more advanced digital-channel and data-analytics technologies to dynamically influence customers’ purchasing decisions, especially at the critical moment of truth when a customer is deciding between two competing products.
Nor has much attention been paid to the link between retailers and their suppliers in terms of leveraging new technologies to fortify business relationships and enhance profitability.
The shift to digital channels opens up new possibilities for retailers. Whether the customer is standing in front of an actual shelf with a mobile device, or making shopping choices while looking at a Web page, the retailer can use the cross-channel promotion platform to market a product at the shelf or page.
For example, a grocery store could tell a supplier representing a specific brand of pasta that a shopper who typically buys a competing brand is in the aisle. Moreover, using frequent-shopper card data, the store could also tell the supplier about this shopper’s buying habits, convey that he is about to make a choice and give the supplier a chance to do something about it. All of this would happen in real time, using predetermined promotional campaigns set by the supplier, as well as present rules and automatic-decision protocols to target specific channels, customer segments and outcomes.
Aside from generating a new revenue stream for retailers, and monetizing their foot traffic, the platform alleviates some of the problems faced when using traditional marketing mechanisms, such as the abuse and overuse of promotions by certain segments of customers that are not necessarily targeted by those promotions. The platform addresses this issue by offering time-sensitive individualized deals to customers in the target group for a given promotion campaign.
Moreover, by collecting data at the checkout, the platform provides suppliers with real-time analytics and insight on the performance of their promotion campaigns and the return on investment (ROI). It can tell suppliers if their promotion was viewed by the target customers, and what percentage of the promotions viewed resulted in a purchase. Better still, it can go a step further and let suppliers know what percentage of their specific promotion campaigns resulted in a change of brand loyalty.
Using the cross-channel promotion platform, retailers can monetize their customers’ attention, and their in-store foot traffic (or their online traffic and Web pages), much the same way as Google monetizes its search engine online traffic. And since retailers have access to customers’ full shopping journey, the platform can even measure what percentage of the promotions shown to customers results in purchase, both in the long term and in short term, and thus charge the suppliers accordingly, per promotions resulting in purchase or in loyalty conversion.
Suppliers stand to benefit as well. In addition to interacting with customers in real time, they can increase their marketing and advertising ROI, due to a number of factors, including:
The platform provides them with aggregate anonymous data so they can accurately measure the effectiveness of different promotional campaigns. The retailer, meanwhile, provides a better experience for both customers and suppliers, and can monetize customers’ attention and in-store foot traffic.
Accenture Technology Labs recommends that high-performance retailers give serious consideration to the potential of the cross-channel promotion platform, which would empower them by enabling them to use the vast amounts of data available to them, from multiple channels, about their customers, products and suppliers.
The new platform offers a virtual layer on top of the physical shelf space, facilitating new interaction opportunities and a more personalized engagement between retailers, suppliers and customers. It also enables retailers and their suppliers to measure ROI accurately, and adjust their operations accordingly.
Most importantly, it gives retailers an unmatched opportunity to make customers digitally visible and accessible at a pivotal point in the buying process—and capture an entirely new revenue stream on their journey to high performance.
September 25, 2013
Skip Footer Links