The Retail Rapids – How effective data utilisation can help retail through turbulent waters

Anyone who works in retail will tell that that the industry has undergone a huge change in a relatively short space of time. As a result, the once seemingly unassailable dominance of the high street store or retail park appears not only to be facing the threat of other retailers but also an ever increasing danger from on-line sales. Add to this the challenging environment, the threat of low-cost imports, changing buying patterns; such as the decline of the cash sale and the rise of the loyalty scheme, and the retail world seems to be one of a constant war of attrition. It’s enough to make you want to pull down the shutters and go and for a nice lie down somewhere.

How then, in the midst of this turmoil, is the high street retailer to ply their trade? Well of course firstly I am exaggerating for effect. It’s not all gloom and doom because there is one thing that will seemingly never change, and that is the desire to shop with our eyes and hands. Shopping online is not in any way the same experience as a day at the shops. So accepting that the shopper will still potentially come through the door raises two very obvious questions

  • How do I ensure the shoppers walk through my door?
  • How do I maintain them as customers afterwards?

The answer is clearly one of combining effective marketing with a solid data collection and utilisation policy. You need to attract, monitor, and stay in contact. The next question then is how?

Firstly, do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Printed media has served as support for retail for many years and will continue to do so if combined with electronic partners. Our mapp solutions can bridge the gap between the retail footfall and further purchasing by creating combined, data-driven, personalised offers and promotions. The use of powerful analytics effectively creates a mobile segue between the print and digital worlds.

It is essential that retailers take a cross-media approach to their marketing, and this again should be data driven. Your POS information and other data gathering practice should be coupled with existing market information to produce, not just an approach to attracting and keeping a customer, but a wide-ranging, cross-media, message. With the correct cross-media approach, you will be able to see a clear analysis of the response to a campaign, and place that in the context of retail results.

The ultimate refinement of the marketing message comes during the actual shopping experience. Use of tools such as iBeacons to alert the customer to instant offers within the store and, more importantly, personalise the offers to the individual shopper, enhances the purchase experience for the user.

There is not really enough time in this one article to discuss the intricacies of how these processes can work, but to condense them into context, they seek to provide the perfect environment for the shopper.

In the end, the purpose of the shopping trip, regardless of any additional motivation such as socialising or being driven by sudden necessity, is to find appropriate products or services. Use of a clear strategy such as the one above means you can tailor the process of shopping to the individual, and that leads to a pleasurable experience and the desire for repetition.

That said, personalisation is also part a part of the process for the retailer, so please do call us to discuss your individual needs and we will be happy to help. Tel 01908 560049 or email us at