OK, I have roughly an hour to get to the hotel, check in and make it to my breakout session. I should have time to get a coffee and some breakfast. I’m so tired. At least I’m near the exit door of the plane. *Ding* – Seat belt light off, door open and I’m off! Sprinting down the corridor of the terminal, I round the corner. I feel something pull my arm. I hear a tear. I immediately know what’s happened. I just tore the only suit jacket I brought.
I continue sprinting down the concourse. Panic sets in. I no longer have time for breakfast…I need to make my breakout session. I need a new suit coat no matter what the cost. I’m presenting the session, after all.
This is painful.
I’m a consumer who gets euphoric over a good sale. I now have to do something that pains me as a lover of suits: I have to settle for the first thing I find and even more painful, I more than likely have to pay full retail price…at the Las Vegas airport!
I continue sprinting through the airport looking for any signs of men’s apparel. A calm washes over me when I stumble upon a Brooks Brothers store which happens to be a preferred retailer of mine as they offer high quality apparel in timeless designs. I stumble in, sweaty, disheveled and out of breath and am greeted by a friendly saleswoman. “How can I help you?”, she asks. “Thirty-eight regular!” I hastily blurt out.
I’m then informed by the saleswoman of their end of summer sale on linen sports coats to the tune of 70% off. Jackpot! ….and wouldn’t you know it, being the tall and lanky 38″ regular man that I am, there is an abundance of options afforded to me (sometimes being lanky has its perks).
I find the perfect jacket calling for me at a fraction of the price than I would have been willing to pay, considering the situation. With a total transaction time under five minutes, I’m out the door, I make it to the hotel, check in and arrive to my breakout session with enough time to grab a coffee sans bacon, egg and cheese.
So, what does all this mean, aside from being an amusing anecdote?
Being in Vegas makes this story rather ironic because in retail, much like in poker, there are winners and losers. My initially unpleasant experience ended up being a pleasant one, making me the unlikely winner as I had fully committed to the concept of paying four times what I ended up paying, if not more, due to the cards that I was dealt.
Had the retailer had insight into my personal situation, they would have profited a lot more and I still would have left happy…possibly even more so. Many retailers continue to take a traditional approach to their promotional strategies by treating all customers the same way; however a new and more cost-effective customer engagement strategy, one that provides a highly personalized and relevant experience, is paving the way for the future of customer engagement and loyalty. Technology has raised the bar on what retailers can deliver to provide shoppers with the tailored experience they desire, while optimizing their promotional spend.
What does this mean for the retailer?
Retailers may be unwittingly wasting precious marketing dollars by continuing to take a traditional approach to their promotional strategies to engage customers. A true one-to-one personalized approach, delivered in real-time, based on real-time customer interaction data is the new driver of customer lifetime value and profitability. Whether you know your customer or not, a new innovative approach, which uses machine learning analytics, can determine the likelihood of whether a customer will perform a behavior (or not), and incent the customer individually to perform an incremental profitable behavior, like adding an item to their online cart. This individualized approach avoids the ‘one size fits all’ approach to promotions (i.e. 70% off). Basically, imagine if the store associate had greater insight into my experience with Brooks Brothers and could offer me an individualized offer on a jacket that better met my style and needs…and it did not have to be as heavily promoted as 70% off! Greater customer relevancy, individualized offer to delight, happening in real time…that’s a winning hand!
Knowing your customer is no longer just about knowing name, contact details and buying history. It’s now being able to read their cards as they unfold. It can be the difference between a pair of fives or pocket aces.
James Straggas is the Director of Sales at Exchange Solutions. Exchange Solutions provides clients access to a market-proven advanced loyalty and customer engagement platform and a team of experts focused on driving customer lifetime value. For a free demo and a business assessment for integrating a one to one advanced loyalty solution, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-693-0326.