The retail dating game is about more than just surface-level attraction. It’s about creating lasting relationships with the right customers: customers who want the products you have to sell; at the price you have to sell them; when they are available. An extra 50% off promotion might sound great to the customer, but how is that benefiting the retailer? A lasting relationship is not one-sided.
With so many complexities between inventory; promotions; returns; products that need to be moved; departments that are out of sync; and customers who constantly shift their media consumption and shopping expectations, how do retailers ensure they are courting customers the right way to make impressions that will last a lifetime (or at least to a positive ROI)?
Just like in dating, follow these 4 retail relationship rules, and find out how DynamicAction helps retailers live happily ever after with their customers.
1. Don’t overpromise on your assets
Many retailers miss their match because of a basic issue: advertising something they can’t deliver. While retargeting seems like a marketing win, if a customer couldn’t purchase because of limited or no stock availability, you’re taunting them with items they can’t have. Customers feel frustrated, and you’re spending unnecessary advertising dollars on items that aren’t there.
Inventory and marketing campaign data must be continuously synced across email, search, display and retargeting to ensure that products advertised are also available on the site in multiple sizes, colors and options.
→How we help: DynamicAction automatically syncs this data and alerts you to live ad campaigns that promote limited-stock merchandise. It then recommends actions you can take to generate more customer purchases from your ad, while fulfilling demand. Customers get the products they want, and retailers sell more in-stock merchandise at full price. Now that’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Apparel retailers must keep aware of their seasonal lines, sizes, or colors that are selling at a slower rate and shipment dates for the next season’s designs. When black and tan options sell out before the holidays, be prepared with creative that touts a “bold new wardrobe” for the new year to promote the remaining yellow, red and printed options still sitting in the warehouse.
2. Don’t play hard to get
Your customers simply won’t work hard to find what they want. Within the first month of utilizing DynamicAction, a paper goods customer found that when football fans searched onsite, the results displayed every sport available, rather than football products. By looking at their data cohesively, they were able to quickly adjust their site search and create better relationships with Giants fans and Cheeseheads alike.
When marketing data, site data, customer purchase insights, and inventory levels are synced up, retailers can visualize and take action on customers’ disconnected experiences. When a leading retailer began using DynamicAction, they quickly determined the cause of a steep drop in sales of men’s suits. Due to miscategorization, a search for men’s pinstriped suits landed on women’s dress shirts. By connecting their data, uncovering the issue, and quickly resolving it, they created better customer experiences and increased sales in this key category.
→How we help: DynamicAction eliminates excessive reporting and searching to uncover underlying issues impacting sales. DynamicAction quickly identifies these problems and recommends solutions so you can focus on other things.
3. Honesty is the best policy
Just like dishonest profilers are going to have a lot of awkward first encounters and few second dates, retailers who don’t present all the relevant details about a product are going to see higher than average returns and be left with dissatisfied customers. Like online dating, it all starts with a picture and description.
Through viewing marketing and conversion data together, a retailer can quickly pinpoint discrepancies between sought-after products and low conversions, or high conversions and costly returns.
A luxury retailer determined that a dress priced at more than $2,000 was wildly popular and close to selling out. Naturally, they began to order more stock. When they implemented DynamicAction and synced up their inventory, returns, and customer review data, they quickly realized that the sales spike was followed by an almost 70% return rate. The customer review data identified the problem.
The iridescent fabric appeared a silken blue in the product image. Yet, in person, it was an almost neon green color. By looking at all their data cohesively, the luxury retailer was not only able to determine that a problem existed, but was able to put a hold on additional orders; communicate with their dissatisfied customers; and reshoot the dress images to give women a more accurate view of the product they would receive.
Another high-end department store using DynamicAction quickly pinpointed a single dress that cost the retailer nearly $25,000 in returns in one week. By reviewing the product description and analyzing customer feedback, ratings and reviews, it was determined that the dress ran much longer than was portrayed. By tweaking the product details to give a very clear description of the dress length, the retailer was able to put the same apparel right back into supply and dramatically decrease their returns.
4. Hook the right one
Just as in dating, the key to a long-term retail relationship lies in understanding customer purchase patterns, likes and dislikes, and using that knowledge to inspire romance.
DynamicAction uses data to project the time by which a majority of your customers should make their next purchase, based on whether it’s their second, third, eighth or tenth+ purchase. When these repurchase points are missed, it’s a signal to the retailers that something may be wrong in their relationship or that a customer may need an attractive incentive to keep that fire alive.
Re-engaging customers is more than just showing relevant products — it’s using all available data to understand and predict the next behaviors of your most valuable customers.
Just as daters will continue to refine their profiles to search for Mr. or Ms. Right, retailers need to harness their data, hone their assets and follow these four truths to build profitable businesses. With DynamicAction, retailers can sync data sources from across the organization, see exactly what’s impacting profit, and receive lists of actions they can take to refine each area of the business, thus generating larger profits for their companies and more love all around.