The Retail Dating Game
We've all been there. We've all sat at home on our couches on Feb. 14, a pathetic expression on our faces, laptop open, desperately crying out, "Why can't I find these shoes in stock?!" It's not quite the woe-is-me sob story we're used to reading around Valentine's Day, but it's a sad ending indeed when consumers can't find their retail love match. Even worse, it's an epidemic that strikes all year long.
As always in tales of love and redemption, however, there's hope! Retailers that gather their rosebuds now to capture the affection of their customers will float to the forefront of the upper echelon of extraordinary shopping experiences. There are ways retailers can do this, and just like dating in real life, it takes time, effort and attention to win the hearts of those you pursue.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Disconnects in data across an enterprise can cause serious problems between retailers and their beloved customers. Therefore, analytics are key to keeping lines of communication open and honest on products and SKUs for merchandising and inventory purposes. For example, let's say a major retailer had $400,000 worth of returned products due to a sizing issue discovered in customer reviews. Connected web analytics, merchandising, operations and customer data would be needed to understand where the lack of product information may be impacting returns.
Retailers need to head these issues off at the pass, and ensure product descriptions and cataloging are done properly from the start.
Know How Many Days to Wait Before Calling Again
Don't be that annoying retailer. If you've realized that 2,000 of your best customers haven't made a purchase in the last four weeks, it's normal to wonder, "What happened? Did I do something wrong? Why did they stop buying from me? I should call them, and maybe send them an email or two."
We've all had these questions race through our heads if a seemingly solid circle of loyal patrons begins to crumble. Retailers need to understand the science behind how and when customers shop by using customer and order data across all channels to anticipate fluctuations in purchasing activity, and set proactive and reactive efforts into motion.