The retail experience is a critical element for business success

Customers are drawn to experiences. Whether they’re shopping in-store, online, or buying online and picking up in-store (BOPIS), they want authentic, customized service that fulfills their needs. The key to providing an omnichannel experience is real-time data that provides insight into what your customers want when they are looking for it. Sophelle explains the importance of real-time data in creating a sales experience that compels customers to come back again and again.

The role of data in the retail experience

One of the bedrocks of any marketing strategy is identifying your target market. You must identify those customers who are likely to be interested in your product, whether you sell apparel or home goods. Two stores that sell apparel may have completely different target markets. For instance, Old Navy has a vastly different target market than Ann Taylor.

Advertisers and marketing experts use data to determine a target market and analyze buying patterns that suggest a particular customer might be interested in a certain product.

What is real-time data?

Until recently, data only allowed marketers and retailers to make an educated guess about who might be interested in a particular product or service. Real-time data is changing the game.

Real-time data tracks actual behavior, including online searches and recent purchases, whether the customer bought jeans or diapers, or they were researching new cars. This data can even track behavior related to physical retail locations.

Geofencing technology can track recent visits to brick and mortar stores via Wi-Fi and cellular use, GPS information, and radiofrequency identifiers (RFID). In-store POS systems can show which items customers have purchased recently.

How real-time data enhances the retail experience

Real-time data can be applied in several different ways to create authentic, customized retail experiences. You can use the data to target potential customers with online, email, and social media campaigns at the exact moment they are searching for a product that you sell. You can also use it to create more engaging in-store experiences.

The major brands have hopped on board the real-time data express, with amazing results. For instance, Office Depot increased its revenue by $6.9 million in just four months by personalizing the content on its product detail pages.

You don’t have to be a major national brand to use real-time data, either. Local retail establishments and even mom-and-pop stores can implement this type of data in their marketing strategies.

Innovation and real-time data can create compelling retail experiences

Retailers must be willing to adapt and adopt technology as a way to compete in this market. Brick and mortar stores can survive if they can use innovations like real-time data to create a new kind of customer experience. This data can be mined for your omnichannel marketing efforts in order to drive customer loyalty and ensure those customers return again and again.