Thursday, October 27, 2016

Data Strategy Can Help Best Amazon With Holiday Buyers

Retailers complain that Amazon e-commerce gobbles up more holiday dollars each year. In fact, Amazon is now the primary gift destination of 42% of U.S. shoppers, per recent research by Signal, a marketing tech and data platform company. Is there any way to compete with the Amazon Goliath? Yes--if retailers know how to weaponize their customer data, argues Signal's CEO Mike Sands in a recent article for Marketing Land. Sands suggests three data-driven strategies for competing with Amazon this holiday season. Sands points out that while Signal's research shows Amazon is a primary buying source for a chunk of consumers, Amazon is NOT the primary gift destination for another big group (40%). Retailers can use customer data to successfully woo those customers, Sands argues. Compared with Amazon, retailers have access to more first-party data across channels and devices via sales, customer service, loyalty programs, marketing and promotion channels, and interactions with store associates. That extensive customer data from multiple channels can by used to deliver relevant, targeted promotions that outdo Amazon's touted recommendations, which often miss the mark due to minimal customer knowledge. Using data-driven marketing, retailers also can leverage the omnichannel strength of multiple touch points to create a seamless, personalized shopping experience. "Gone are the days when holiday shoppers had to choose between the convenience of buying online from home versus the assurance of handling the product in a store. Now they can do it all — and they leave a rich trail of data every step along the way," Sands notes. He points to statistics showing that while consumers say they browse for holiday purchases most frequently on desktops/laptops (36%), they most frequently purchase gifts in stores (33 percent). Finally, since offer relevancy remains basic to wooing customers, retailers can use data-driven marketing to gain an edge over Amazon even in the digital arena. Some 43% of consumers surveyed still say digital advertising on websites or mobile apps influences holiday gift-buying. Retailers now can use addressable media for personalized, timely digital ad targeting by seeing customers as people not just impressions, notes Sands. Bottom line, retailers who make the effort to aggregate, clean, segment, profile and personalize omnichannel customer data can still enjoy happy holiday sales in the Amazon era. For Sands' full article, go to

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