Comment: The importance of retail data


Whether you look at ASOS, Uber, Amazon or any of the new wave of consumer super brands, what they all have in common is an obsessive focus on customer insight, writes Ben Chesser, CEO at Coniq.


Wherever you sit in the retail ecosystem, retail data is continuing to take centre stage due to three key factors.

Value: The role and value placed on data will dramatically shift this year. Shopper data will be regarded not just as a useful insight, but as a business asset in its own right on a company’s balance sheet. This was demonstrated in 2015, when the most valuable asset on Caesars Entertainment’s accounts was not its real estate on the Las Vegas strip, but its Total Rewards loyalty programme which held all its shopper data.

Quality: Personalisation of the retail experience will be key to driving engagement, revenue and repeat custom, and it can only be achieved with high-quality shopper data. The big winners in 2018 will be those that can identify trends in data sets and create relevant, real-time engagement and rewards for customers based on their specific behaviours.

Our recent research shows shoppers who eat at a retail destination will shop an average of 35 minutes longer, visit 25% more stores and spend an extra 12% during their visit. This insight allows shopping centres to produce relevant offers at the right moment, for a customer’s preferred brand-enhancing experience, building brand loyalty and driving tenant sales.

Compliance: The General Data Protection Regulation deadline is fast approaching and anyone dealing with customer data will need to undertake the mammoth task of ensuring compliance by May. Brexit is not a get-out clause for businesses in the UK – any organisation doing business in Europe must be compliant. On the plus side, data will become more valuable as it comprises highly-targeted, clearly consenting audiences.

2018 could be the year that retailers and shopping centres to redefine shopper data as a financial asset.