If there’s one certainty related to retail today, it’s that the shopping journey has evolved to be almost unrecognizable from just a few years ago. Shoppers have near full visibility to product and service information, peer reviews and more, all, literally, in the palms of their hands. Moreover, they have a nearly unlimited number of global alternatives in which to shop, and this connectivity follows them throughout their shopping journeys, including those with brick-and-mortar touchpoints.
The evolution of the phone as a necessary companion for most any human activity has, of course, been a major influence in how retail has evolved. Does this mean physical stores are going away? Of course not. But as we’ve written before, shoppers have put boring and uninspired retail/retailers on notice, paving the way for a new experience – one centered on the “connected journey.”
This new connected shopping journey requires retailers to be integrated every step along the way, and not on their terms, the retailers’, but rather on shoppers’ terms.
In the past, retailers have responded by learning about shoppers’ journeys within distinct channels, be it online or in-store. But, there’s been a problematic data gap between digital and physical channels, and it has become a bigger challenge as shoppers have changed the way they shop. There are increasingly fewer all-digital or all-physical shopping journeys. Rather, it’s a combination of the two, and it’s those connected journeys where retailers lacked a full understanding.
At this year’s NRF BIG Show & EXPO, RetailNext is announcing an extension of its market-leading smart store SaaS retail analytics platform to include its Connected Journey solution. The Connected Journey solution combines RetailNext’s state-of-the-art in-store shopper measurement data with the vast and disparate digital shopping journey data to provide brands the comprehensive insights necessary to design and deliver the world-class shopping experiences everyone deserves.
With consumers’ increasing demands on their shopping experience, RetailNext’s precise in-store shopper pattern data with combined with digital journey data unlocks tremendous opportunity for both retailers and shoppers, alike. However, shopper’s connected journeys require a new information architecture for retailers to understand consumers’ processes, identify and remove friction points in shopping journeys, and deliver the seamless shopping experiences customers strive for and deserve.
In the past, data sets existed in isolated single-point solutions. Now, however, RetailNext’s Connected Journey solution integrates data streams from a retailer’s entire IT infrastructure to deliver real-time analytics, calculate attribution of strategies and tactics, and empower activation for continuous improvement.
Data-Powered Insights: Analytics, Attribution and Activation
Understanding shoppers’ connected journeys requires gathering data from every touchpoint a customer engages with, over time and at scale over billions of interactions, and connecting the dots by integrating existing data streams, including:
- Location-based shopper analytics, including detailed in-store shopper behavior analytics for “ground truth”
- Online, digital shopping behaviors
- Buyer information, including CRM, loyalty programs, payments and other POS data
- Digital marketing activations and their databases, as well as their engagement
- Social media platforms and their engagement activities
RetailNext’s Connected Journey solution leverages relationships with a diverse ecosystem of partners. Importantly, and with consumer privacy front of mind, RetailNext is collaborating with LiveRamp to bring anonymized shopper data together with the rich in-store data sets delivered by RetailNext to bridge the gap between physical and digital understanding of shopper behavior.
Additionally, during a year-long collaborative initiative with Facebook announced at last year’s NRF BIG Show, many of RetailNext’s retail customers enhanced and expanded their understanding of their shoppers with Facebook’s anonymous and aggregate shopper insights. The Connected Journey solution extends that partnership to integrate this data directly into the RetailNext smart store platform.
As consumers continue to embrace new mobile-first experiences, the need to tie those experiences to what is happening in the physical world becomes even more important for retailers. These expanded capabilities of the RetailNext smart store platform now serves our customers with enhanced connected journey analytics, better insights on what marketing programs are driving traffic and conversion, and data to best connect personalized messaging to shoppers who desire it.
It brings retailers out of the dark and into the light of shoppers’ connected journeys.
Join the #retail, #SmartStore and #ConnectedJourney conversations on Twitter @RetailNext & @bridgetjohns, as well as at www.facebook.com/retailnext.