The evolution of marketing and consumer communications is happening at breakneck speed. There is a constant push for retailers to improve their targeting, messages, timing, and communications to drive consumers to purchase. We are excited about how retailers can and are leveraging Salesforce solutions to make this happen, some of the key trends and themes we see for retailers and the utilization of the Salesforce platform for 2017 are below.
A Unified Customer View Via Salesforce Commerce Cloud
The focus on increasing the return on investment (ROI) on marketing dollars makes the need for a unified picture of a customer ever more important. The recent addition of the Commerce Cloud™ product is a big piece of this movement within the Salesforce platform. This new tool provides retailers the ability to have a unified view of both eCommerce and point of sale (POS) purchases. From this data, retailers then can then drive campaigns and target consumers based on online and in-store behaviors. Combining this with the Sales Cloud and the Marketing Cloud offerings allows for the long-awaited full retailer CRM and marketing automation solution.
With the new abilities of the Salesforce platform and specifically, the Analytics Cloud product, there will be an increased focus on metrics that retailers value in 2017. No longer will single view metrics such as revenue from an individual email, open rate or conversion rate of an email be at the center of dashboards as each digital campaign becomes more personalized and targeted.
Several key metrics that will be the emerging focus for retailers heading into 2017 include:
- The average number of transactions per year (per consumer) and lift in transaction velocity.
- The rate of new customer acquisition per marketing dollar spent.
- A percentage breakdown comparing the spend on acquisition versus retention and selling to current customers.
- A metric to evaluate the amount of discounting (decreased margins) occurring.
- Segmenting who are the most valuable customers, which have the best potential for growth, and who needs to be targeted for win back and replenishment sales.
Renewed Focus On Service, Value & Retention
We are already seeing a renewed focus on service and retention of current customers in the retail and direct to consumer space as these organizations continue to evolve and grow their product offerings as well as employ strategies to drive value across brands. The recent number of acquisitions and mergers in these spaces has created an enormous opportunity for companies to target what used to be segregated customer bases and drive expansion and growth by introducing complementary products from sister brands. The key to this is the predictive intelligence and audience building capabilities of Salesforce solutions along with the omnichannel sales tools now available.
An additional focus for retail will be in protecting margins by value-based messaging. Retailers will continue will concentrate on testing the least discount needed for optimal conversions and message the value of their product to reduce the necessary discounting required. The key to this is leveraging the advanced analytics available to know which customers can be engaged and targeted without price concessions and which segments of customers have more elastic responses to change in price.
Lastly, both a retention and loyalty focus will continue to dominate retail efforts and be powered by the rich data available through the Salesforce Commerce Cloud and the ability for Salesforce Marketing Cloud offerings and the emerging artificial intelligence of the Einstein® product to take actions on this data.
Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Make Real Impacts
The use of analytics and AI will not only identify appropriate customer segments it will also recommend next actions to take, allowing data to drive marketing versus hunches. Machine learning will dictate offers, messaging and promotions based off of historical information from your business as well as outside sources. Retailers that quickly adopt and utilize this will realize substantial lifts in their profit margins. Early research points to the utilizing or AI and machine learning to drive 10x’s the revenue versus a traditional marketer intuition approach would drive.
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