Understanding shoppers:

Cultural shifts and the new rules of customer insight

Retail is one of the most dynamic, exciting and competitive sectors. Whether you’re a retailer or manufacturer, it is more important than ever for you to understand how shoppers behave. In our ‘Understanding shoppers’ series of blogs, we share our latest thinking. We tackle a variety of topics – from channels, to branding, to new approaches to insight, and beyond.

Here we look at the new ways to gather crucial insight.

‘Who is best placed to understand what makes customers tick?’

Cultural shifts and the new rules of customer insight (part 3 of 3)

Understanding shoppers is at the top of the corporate agenda. But who, in this new information age, should bear ultimate responsibility? Traditionally, market research has taken the lead, along with ‘insight’ professionals. But who is now best placed to understand what makes shoppers tick? New models are emerging as businesses try to tap into a wider talent pool. Businesses are learning that breaking down silos can lead to better business results.

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‘The organization learns from the experiences of its employees’

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Employees as a source of customer insight

Tesco is one company pioneering a new approach to gathering customer insight. All staff are encouraged to engage with customers and to learn from their experiences and opinions. In turn, the organization learns from the experiences of its employees. Tesco blends social media insights with feedback from frontline staff and other data. In this way, it can close internal and external knowledge gaps. There is, of course, the need for a curator to manage these insights effectively. This is the role of insight professionals in today’s information age.

A better knowledge system

Insights and analytics functions are fundamental to helping organizations understand consumers. But what if they give conflicting information about the success or failure of a campaign? Or worse still, create unhealthy competition within your organization? The key is to build a better knowledge system. eBay is taking steps to achieve greater synergies between insights and analytics. In doing so, the company is laying foundations for even greater success.

‘Only by focusing on the right metrics can we expect to improve outcomes for customers’

Measuring success

How, in this new economy, should we measure success? There is a clear need to re-evaluate which metrics are fit for today’s business environment. Knowing which data sources build which KPIs is essential. Only by focusing on the right metrics can we expect to improve outcomes for customers. Arguably, there is a need for every company to have a Chief Data Officer to steer the measurement agenda.

A top priority should be encouraging departments to work together, as this is how better results can be achieved. At a corporate level, we need to acknowledge and reward great examples of collaboration. Great teamwork can add up to real wins for customers and companies.

Our information age undoubtedly brings new challenges. Successful organizations will embrace new ways of working and cultural shifts. New data sources and insight capabilities offer an exciting road ahead. Your customers are ready for the journey, are you?

New cultural and working shift ways

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