Retail: Retail's Final Frontier?
One such tool relies simply on the premise that consumers actually have a vested interest in your online prowess. They want you to be more effective in marketing to them. Therefore, if you ask them in a systematic, unobtrusive way to help you understand why they do what they do on the Internet, what they like and don’t like, what they want and don’t want, they will tell you.
Few retailers have actually traveled very far down this road of attitudinal tracking and modeling, however, relying instead on basic behavioral data. But those who have are reaping the rewards. FreshDirect, an online grocer, became more intimate with customers online, adding real value to the marketing equation. With the aid of innovative online research and analytic tools, FreshDirect samples customers visiting the site and obtains real-time feedback on every aspect of their Web experiences, including:
- perceptions of the site;
- how it’s working for them;
- what’s standing in the way of additional purchases; and
- how the site experience stacks up against the competition.
One actionable insight from this research and analysis: Customers were inconsistent in what they ordered. FreshDirect now recognizes and acknowledges return customers, reviews their transaction histories and recommends on the checkout page additional items they’ve ordered frequently in the past, but not on their current order.
In the first few months of operation, this service has achieved 17 percent usage among customers and a 10 percent increase in the incremental value of an average order.
And this is just the beginning. As FreshDirect captures and understands additional customer knowledge, it anticipates further insights that’ll improve the customer experience and, not so incidentally, help allay growing consumer fear and anxiety that are such deterrents
Longing for Mr. Green Jeans
The result is a real-time, regenerative cycle of customer assessment, leading to concept and product improvement, and, ultimately, greater customer feedback.