Mar 31, 2022
Retailers have long been emphatic about how necessary data collection is. How that’s achieved, however, along with what data gets prioritized and how that affects the customer experience were frequently missing from public-facing presentations.
It’s safe to say that retailers are now open and able to communicate all the above and the “Building Better CX Through Data-Driven Insights” session at Shoptalk 2022 was a testament to just that.
Barkha Saxena, chief data officer at Poshmark, highlighted during the session her company’s data-driven culture where the expectation is that no decision will be made without supporting data.
Ms. Saxena oversees a long list of data-related priorities, including analytics, machine learning, data engineering and data tools. Customer, seller and industry inputs are leveraged to optimize and elevate the interactions both shoppers and sellers experience. Every shopper is served a different product discovery feed based on that combination of data so that the content is both personalized and relevant. On the seller side, data also powers the impact of the experience, by way of the “my shoppers” insights tool.
Jim Ferolo, chief information officer of Maui Jim, spoke to the business challenges the brand has overcome thanks to differentiated thinking with respect to data.
Many of Maui Jim’s recent data-driven successes were the result of prioritizing the information needed by account executives. Near real-time data accessibility has been crucial. Getting executives inventory information practically on-demand, refreshed every two hours (reduced from 12-14 hours) and providing business visibility on their phones has eliminated significant bottlenecks in their model.
Jennie Weber, SVP of experience design & insights at Best Buy, shared that the retailer’s shopper insights continue to validate the frequently asserted hypothesis that consumers often begin their path to purchase by researching online before moving to brick and mortar to trial products and buy.
Ms. Weber uniquely highlighted the importance of employing qualitative data to “provide the color context” to a conventionally quantitative space. She said that it is still challenging to “piece together from a data perspective” how shoppers are bouncing back and forth between channels. This data is equally valuable to employees at headquarters and associates in stores.
Best Buy’s strategy, much like Poshmark and Maui Jim, is founded upon the belief that socializing the right buyer data across as many teams as possible is the key to continually improving the customer experience.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are there cases in 2022 where a retailer shouldn’t have a “data-driven culture”? How important do you consider qualitative data when designing the customer experience and how is it best employed?
“Feeding key customer insights to employees on the sales floor only helps the cause if it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the interaction with the customer.”
“Saying you are a data-driven culture and actually being able to discern meaningful insight from that vast collection of customer touchpoints often falls flat.”
“I feel like this is a bit of a Joe Science Award-worthy revelation.”