Survey: Three in four retailers plan to identify customers in-store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — Three in four (75%) retailers can or intend to identify customers when they walk in the store, including 3% who already do so and 72% who are planning to do so within five years. According to the new 2014 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey of top North American retailers from Boston Retail Partners, 95% of respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives.

The survey found that with the importance of multiple key marketing initiatives to achieve a seamless shopping experience, retailers need to examine ways to improve the unification of marketing and IT to successfully implement these projects. Many larger retailers have developed a role in the organization that helps bridge this gap, a senior-level role responsible for working with IT to develop a marketing technology strategy and evaluate and implement the technology.
Other key results include:

  • 16% of retailers currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store) and another 63% plan to implement within five years.
  • 28% of retailers currently use mobile marketing and another 62% plan to implement this within five years (56% plan to implement mobile marketing within two years).
  • 81% of retailers have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform.
  • 22% of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61% plan to implement it within two years.

“To deliver the seamless experience, retailers need to gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data in real-time,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Leveraging technology, Unified Commerce provides the platform and real-time retail is key to delivering the experience. Retailers that successfully deliver Unified Commerce will understand and adopt a ‘unified’ approach for: strategic customer initiatives, technology, business processes and execution.”


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