I can’t speak for all consumers, but in my life, for roughly every 20 or so “why the hell was that so difficult?” customer service experiences, there is approximately one frictionless, serendipitous experience that gives me hope for my blood pressure and the companies that nudge it north.
At WibiData, we are embarking on a journey of developing innovative Big Data and predictive analytic technologies that radically flip the ratio of difficulty to serendipity within every consumer brand interaction. This Sunday, WibiData will be showcasing how our software allows the world’s largest retailers to create these joyful brand interactions at NRF’s the Big Show in New York City (booth #4439).
No industry has been more engaged in our early development than retail, and we’ve spent years developing the industry’s first Big Data Application development platform, focusing on personalizing B2C customer facing marketing, sales and service experiences.
We all know the common trends in retail – proliferation of channels, decrease in consumer attention span, decreasing brand loyalty, demand for seamless omni-channel experiences, Big Data and analytics, that Amazon thing.
What we’ve also seen a great deal is the attempted emulation of successful techniques from one channel to another. Bringing a virtual shopping assistant online. Embracing mobile as an in-store research tool. Offering instant purchase gratification with expedited online shipping. Heck, even Warby Parker nodded to the importance of a brick and mortar presence with their recent pop-up shops and a flagship store. More than anything, we’ve seen traditional retailers try to emulate the techniques of established and nascent technology companies. Upon close examination, we see a common theme emerge from these industry dominators.
Why is Amazon so successful? They distill their massive product assortment into a small, personally relevant catalog that’s easy to navigate, creating a simple shopping, shipping, and return process.
Why did Fab and Gilt take off like wildfire? They know their audience, and therefore, curate trendy, highly-relevant product catalogs and invoke a sense of urgency amongst consumers to get in on a deal.
Why are startups like BirchBox and Stitch Fix doing so well? They are giving everyone access to a concierge-like, personal shopper experience and delighting them with a feeling of, “This is awesome! How did they know I’d love this?”
Why are companies like StyleSaint and Joyus gaining market share? They are entertaining individuals during the discovery and shopping process with rich media and editorial content that appeals to individual consumers’ sense of style and emotional desire.
How do all of these tech first, retail second companies do it? They listen. Not to traditional focus groups. Not to periodic survey results. Everything is an experiment. They non-intrusively discover and utilize the nuggets of information customers leave behind as they digitally surf and share their experience. Forward-leaning retail systems are learning and adapting in real time.
How is a traditional retailer transitioning to “click and mortar” to keep up, emulate and compete? Hire a bunch of engineers from Google and Facebook? Hire a bunch of data scientists, the nouveau rockstars of Silicon Valley? Build their own proprietary platform? That’s an option. An expensive and time-consuming one.
We’ve done that already and would like to offer an alternative. Store all of the digital fingerprints each of your customers leave across your channels in one place, in real time. Give marketing and merchandising that 1:1 connection they’ve always been looking for. Get your engineers out of the bowels of Hadoop and on to delivering high-value features and functions. Give your data scientists Amazon and Google class models, a fertile ground to experiment in and real-time model execution. Take a page out of the playbooks of the tech companies mentioned earlier and give shoppers personal product recommendations, mobile offers, imagery and editorial content – a frictionless, serendipitous experience they’ll want to come back for.
If you’re at NRF, come by our booth #4439 and see it in action- we’d love to chat about the art of what’s possible now.
Not able to make it to NYC? Request a private demo by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.