Since the early days of commerce, consumer brands have been asking important data questions. Initially, the big question revolved around “How do I learn more about my customers?”. That question has since been answered. Today, data lives everywhere – in retail stores or restaurant visits, through behaviors taken when visiting a brand’s website, geolocation data from mobile apps, etc. The well of customer data sources is far from dry.
But ever since this data liberation, the question of “I have all of this customer data, what can I do with it?” has emerged. Enter the Customer Data Platform. Many vendors have built top-notch software offerings to centralize customer data into one view and help marketers interpret what stories the data can tell. Web, in-store, and mobile streams have been centralized into single profiles that enable insights at many levels, driving reporting on a single customer, an audience, and in totality.
While this advancement has taken customer data capabilities to new heights, marketers are not finished asking questions. We have now reached the brink of the inquiry “I’ve learned so much about my customer base; how can I act on this data?” While there are many forms of engagement to enable this process, one of the most powerful differentiators in this space revolves around direct integration with the places where the customer becomes most valuable: the purchase channels.
Let’s take a look at how SessionM rounds out answers to each of these important questions through core features offered at the point-of-sale, kiosks, and ecommerce platforms.
How can marketers learn more about their customers through purchase channels?
The ingestion of transactional data across channels is essential, as it shows the real value of a brand’s marketing initiatives by layering in data about recency/frequency of purchases, spend habits, and products a customer has been focusing on. This data is most powerful when a customer has identified themselves (through loyalty card, phone number, receipt scan, etc.), as their single-view profile continues to grow with purchase history, with a brand’s insights into the customer’s behaviors growing in tandem. As an added value, there are also key insights behind transactions that do not have an identified customer, enabling detailed reporting around key questions like the success of a brand’s new product or the time of day when certain categories become more popular.
The key to truly unlocking the potential of this data is enabling it in real time. Through SessionM’s direct API integration (via a number of different methods), data across each commerce channel can be streamed directly into the customer’s profile at the moment the purchase is made. This type of speed brings tremendous value in that brands can understand the success of new product launches, 1-to-1 marketing campaigns, and blanket promotions as soon as they happen. Even better, the sooner marketers are aware of the behavior (and associated details), the faster they can react.
How can marketers act directly through the purchase channels?
One of the best means of driving customer behavior is through incentivization. Many Customer Data Platforms can process transactional data to help marketers better understand their next best offer or reward, but few can truly act on it. Through SessionM’s direct integration with purchase channels, customer action isn’t only interpreted, it’s driven. Marketers are able to design a variety of custom item or basket level offers, target them at a 1-to-1 customer level, and view redemptions as soon as they happen at the purchase channel of choice. Point-of-sale, kiosk, and ecommerce integration makes these offers even more powerful as SessionM processes the discount in milliseconds directly within the transaction, enabling the ability to target offers with custom restrictions, such as 10% off a specific item, or Buy X Get Y promotions that require validation at the time of redemption.
Marketers can liberate transactional data, combined with other touchpoints, to not only put discounts in the hands of customers to drive behavior, but to enable cashiers on the front lines as trusted customer advisors. When a customer is identified at checkout (through a variety of identifiers), SessionM’s robust APIs have the ability to return eligible offers directly to the point-of-sale. As a result, cashiers are able to point out targeted or earned discounts the customer may not have been aware of or forgot to use upon arrival at the register, creating a tangible sense of value by being a consumer of the brand and/or member of their loyalty program.
How can marketers do more with data acquired through purchase channels?
As the age of customer data carries on, it’s only fair to assume that marketers will continue to ask more questions in order to collect and make the best use of their data. On the point-of-sale and data teams at SessionM, we’ve aligned our product roadmap to continue to empower marketers with answers to these important questions. In the coming months, we’ll be looking to leverage product recommendations directly at each purchase channel, harnessing a brand’s customer data to lead each customer towards products they are most likely to purchase at the time when it can be most impactful. Additionally, just like our clients, we have a passion for testing and optimization to provide the ideal experience to each customer while optimizing KPIs as a result, which we aim to weave directly into our closed-loop offers across all channels.
While customer data collection, interpretation, and action continue to play a large part in global commerce, ensure that your brand’s strategy includes full support directly across each purchase channel, adding value to your customers’ highest value behaviors as a result.