Economy-wide in 2016, ecommerce is forecast to make up 5.4% of the US GDP, with over 70% of American adults shopping online. In addition, with an average annual spend more than $2,960 each in 2015, American eshoppers represent a considerable customer base that are looking for not only the best price, but also the best service and convenience in a crowded market.
Mobile retail sales are another area of considerable growth. Indeed, with nearly 200 million smartphone owners in the US alone, mobile retail sales now account for 33% of total retail ecommerce sales, reaching a predicted 43% by 2019.
That said, distribution of analytics is key to customer tracking. Indeed, the way retailers collect data and insights needs to evolve to ensure it is as rich, flexible, responsive and agile as possible to satisfy customer needs and demands. Also, data within an organization needs to be democratized, making it accessible to more than just company analysts and senior management, as well as being presented in an easy-to-understand visual manner.
By opening up access to data through a more open system, digital channel comparisons would be possible in order to ascertain wider trends and customer behaviors. Technology choice would also be important to provide deep analytics with relevant and quick business advantages and value. Of vital importance, will be the ability to map a specific customer journey, according to a set of criteria across all the channels in order to find the information required.
In addition, multichannel customers are more valuable to retailers, making it vital for retailers to leverage the right digital technology to ensure those valuable customers remain satisfied and loyal to a company’s brand.
Minimizing the total cost of ownership and protecting sensitive data are also two important storage option considerations for retailers. Such factors as data protection legislation, operational needs and customer approval concerning stored data will all contribute to the type of data stored and for how long. Storing data on a restricted server, hosted onsite by the organization that uses it, is generally considered the best security option.
Hence, one of the newest ways to make comprehensive customer tracking across all retailer digital channels possible for e-commerce companies is through recording, indexing, retrieving, replaying and analyzing every Web and mobile app session in real time.
Unparalleled insight from the customer perspective, as it relates to buying from an online retail environment, is possible by viewing every click, tap and swipe and getting to the bottom of customer struggles. In doing so, it is possible to fully understand each individual customer’s complete journey.
For example, customer support would be optimized, first call resolution would increase, and average handling time per customer would diminish. Such replayable sessions could also be shared between IT peers, increasing a timely resolution of any problems, and directly leading to improvements in other systems as well as the overall IT infrastructure.
Relying on proprietary panels, lab experiments, field studies and loyalty programs to track retail customer journeys are a thing of the past, necessitating retailers to embrace enhanced insights from digital channels in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.
In being able to deliver highly personalized customer content, based upon a customer’s digital behavior, new revenues could also be created by preventing cart abandonment.
In general, having accurate, timely and highly detailed insights regarding a company’s digital channels, as well as the full customer experience, allows a retailer to ensure delivery of exactly what customers expect and need. In addition, by being able to quickly resolve issues companies can steal a march on their competition and build a level of trust with their customers that will keep them loyal. In short, it will help maintain the business they have, as well as generate new revenue streams.
Alon Verdnikov is the General Manager Americas for Glassbox