Spending a month’s salary on a truly beautiful object is a big decision that every customer wants to get right. And for the modern shopper, this initial phase of ‘window shopping’ starts with browsing websites, making searches on Google and sharing views on social media. Now, for the savvy digital marketer, this browsing process creates a cloud of clear buying signals, the customer leaves a trail that, with the right analytical skills, can be used by a retailer to glimpse intentions. This need not be based on creepy access to private data – actions can simply be anticipated based on matching one digital journey against thousands of previous customers’ behaviour.
Perhaps as much as 90% of the traffic on your website is just window-shopping, but the other 10% is gold dust - the behavioural data of people close to making a purchase. As the customer weaves a path to purchase between the physical and digital world, the customer will exchange data that we want in return for information they want. With the right mix of data activation and data science, the consumer’s touchpoints can be mined to understand the likeliest next action – be it a store visit, a phone enquiry, booking of an appointment - and the retailer can offer the image, message or offer that presents the best chance of converting to a sale.
The technical work of combining data with inspired marketing should not be underestimated and there are many martech vendors who will tell you that you can add a few tags to your site and these processes will happen automatically. This is not true, it is a complex task to create the links, permissions and insights to drive this new type of brand conversation. But the rewards for getting this right are high. Some luxury brands are showing the way and are already advanced in this process – Burberry, FarFetch and De Beers are using social media, mobile and even blockchain technology to safeguard their connections with consumers into the future.
Technology innovation is out-pacing most retailers that weren’t born in the digital era, and with a plethora of marketing tech solutions available it can feel like a daunting task knowing the right ones to use. But it’s imperative retailers go on this journey to thrive not fade away in this new world. My advice is to think of your store as only one part – albeit a very important part – of the modern shopper's journey to buy your jewellery, and to use digital tools to extend your service and shop window into the lives of your customers to make it a core part of your personal and unique service.
Richard Wheaton, MD, Fifty-five London