Same day and free delivery is an impossible feat for retailers

By : |September 9, 2015 0

Sonal Desai

That the growth of online sales is now exceeding the growth of brick-and-mortar store sales by 5 and 10 fold plus is an established fact.

Now, the e-Commerce retailers have to continue this uptick in digital, while traditional brick-and-mortar stores debut online. Plus they also need to entice the shy offline shoppers to come online.

For this, they should personalizing online advertisements. How can they do this? With insights from big data and analytics, informs Mike Iaccarino, President and CEO, Infogroup, in an email interview with CIOL.

The growth of online sales is now exceeding the growth of brick-and-mortar stores. What are retailers doing right to make the consumer delivery process more profitable and attractive?
Retailers are making major investments in e-commerce to make shopping online as convenient and efficient as possible. Consumer demand for immediacy has skyrocketed, forcing retailers to rethink their strategies or risk significant financial loss.

One strategy for making online delivery both convenient for consumers and profitable for a retailer is using store-fronts as warehouses to decrease delivery time and cost. Same-day and free delivery has become an attractive incentive for consumers, but is an impossible feat for retailers who are shipping from across the country.

Instead, retailers need to ship from local storefronts, enabling faster and less expensive delivery. An important part of the warehouse process is helping retailer’s identify where customers are located and to strategically place these store-fronts and warehouses.

Data companies can help retailers do this in order to more successfully meet and exceed consumer demand. This also enables retailers to offer perks like in-store returns, which saves consumers the cost of return shipping—another attractive offer to build customer loyalty.

Do you think that digital will completely take over the traditional IT? Where can the two complement?
Traditional IT will never become irrelevant, but more and more, digital and traditional IT will be combined to provide a deeper and more robust understanding of consumer habits and preferences.

As the shift towards data-driven marketing continues to expand, more marketers will use those tools in tandem for the most accurate consumer information across platforms.

For the established players, data as mentioned earlier plays a key role, and many large e-tailers are actively looking at big data analytics for future growth. What should e-comm CIOs consider for future growth?
The key to a successful e-commerce strategy lies in personalization and timing.

Retailers will need to break through the barrage of constant marketing messaging by understanding consumers’ wants and needs. This strengthens the relationship between the retailer and consumer, as well as maximizes opportunity for sales.

CIOs need to focus their efforts on partnerships with tech and data providers that can turn big data into actionable insights and allow for a deeper understanding of consumers and the tools to effectively engage them.

Additionally, with the influence of the smart phone CIO’s need to be strategically planning for mobile technology in the future.

But research shows that consumers are hesitant to share key information with retailers
A recent Forrester study found that only about a third of survey respondents are willing to share location and enable push notifications in retail apps, and many consumers aren’t sold on that technology’s value.

Many traditional retailers are also looking at setting up an online presence. What is your advice to them?
• Effectively utilize the data you already have. For many retailers, the practice of capturing, cleaning, processing and updating cross-channel data is impractical. It’s imperative to find a data partner that can blend multi-source customer data to target, personalize, cross-sell, and up-sell thoroughly, quickly, and effectively.

• Find a marketing partner that specializes in turning data into relevant marketing communications that not only leverages the data you already have, but can also verify and augment your dataset with missing information, such as contacts, phone, emails, address information and much more.

• Integrate social and mobile. Changing customer behaviors are increasing the need for marketers to expand the ways they engage customers. Use research and analysis to stay knowledgeable of the emerging behaviors of your target audiences to determine how social media can benefit your business.

• Use analytics. Ensure the most accurate analytics possible, so that customers are being targeted effectively and drawn to the e-commerce site for business. Focus your analytics efforts on identifying audiences, predicting behaviors and measuring outcomes.

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