The Future of Retail and Data
As the prominence of digital advertising continues to dominate online consumerism, the future of retail and data, as well as their critical relation together, has never been so closely tied.
The importance of data within the digital world has sent ad tech and marketing companies of all kinds into a frenzy, particularly in the conquest of ‘better data’ for consumerism and retail. As third-party cookies continue to wane in significance among the digital landscape, first-party data has quickly taken the stage as its replacement, and not without good reason. The importance of first-party data is derived from a very overlooked sentiment to its purpose – the information is already there!
First-Party Data in Retail
The death of third-party cookies has inevitably shifted the process of retrieving data, and now retailers are left to discover new ways to track what consumers want. But, unlike third-party cookies, where consumers are blind-sided by their information being given away, first-party data works in correlation with them. Data collected in such a way comes through agreements with the consumers, often entered into by engaging with the brand’s website or through various multichannel touchpoints. Simply put, first-party data is achieved through demonstrated interest in a brand or retailer’s services or products.
Surprisingly, this information provided through first-party data is often already available to a retailer, through metrics like on-site traffic, location data and loyalty programs. What many companies were hesitant to realize was the amount of information they already had at their exposure, needing now to simply find a way to utilize it. Making retained data actionable is key to harnessing the value of first-party data.
Omnichannel in Retail
The scope of how we, as consumers, go about engaging with brands and retailers has only widened in recent years, as mobile phones and computers seem a simpler way to shop than in-person. Thus, omnichannel in retail has become of utmost importance. The goal of omnichannel commerce is to provide customers with a seamless experience on all platforms, and to engage with them in ways that don’t interfere with privacy. Instead, it seeks to utilize information agreed upon between the brand and consumer in a cohesive way. As touchpoints continue to grow, so does the need for smooth integration from one platform to another. With retailers breaking down the walls between the channels of a business, consumers are becoming empowered to interact with companies that feel natural to them.
The Role of Omnichannel With First-Party Data
The move to first-party data is in no way a shortcut. Many retailers now need to play catch-up as much of the information they’ve already had has gone by the wayside. Now, it’s a matter of finding new ways to collect this data, and perhaps the use of omnichannel commerce is the answer. If the importance of first-party data is brought upon through relations between consumer and brand, then the ease of that relation is necessary to bring on positive results. Brands must now work harder to get to know their customers, which up until now has been avoidable at the expense of consumer privacy. For first-party data to work, a mutual understanding must be put in place to ensure that the information is provided in a reasonable, respectful way. Omnichannel seems to be the gateway to this connection.
Use Your Post-Purchase Marketing to Make More Data Usable
At flexEngage, we believe that customer loyalty begins the moment after purchase. Our vision is to turn purchase data into meaningful engagement, and to provide services that will multiply the number of repeat purchases and extend customer lifetime value. Our omnichannel retail strategy products are designed to expedite the retrieval of first-party data, so you can improve post-sale engagement while reducing bounce back. Through services such as digital receipts, tracking updates, printed offers, white glove, packing slips and more, we seek to ease the process of engagement, so retailers of all kinds can feel comfortable retaining customers. Want to learn more about this retail marketing strategy? Our experts are here to demo any solutions and to answer any questions you may have.