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Oracle Retail Blog helps retailers stay current on customer successes, hot retail trends and industry best practices.

Retail Science: How Retail CMOs Can Use AI to Drive More Personal Offers and Marketing ROI

Dj O'Neil
Solutions Manager

Going into the holidays, one of the biggest challenges for retail CMO’s is overcoming the saturation of irrelevant and impersonal communications (especially via email). This coupled, with an acute concern over the handling and sharing of personal data by consumers, is something top of mind for brands world wide and accentuated by legislation like the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California's 2018 Data Privacy Act. The emergence of an “opt-out” culture is very real and it's up to retailers to hone their offers to not only standout in the mountains of noise but also land relevant and highly personal offers to drive brand engagement. 

If we take email out of the equation completely, how can customers be reached with new offers? And do retailers truly understand what led to each unsubscribe? It could be that their customer felt the email offers weren’t relevant enough for them or they stopped trusting in the brand. Or maybe they just signed up to get that onetime "opt-in offer".

In the age of over communication, retailers need a new approach. Let’s explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can help deliver personalized offers to the right customer at the right time resulting in better marketing ROI.

The Right Offers at the Right Time with AI

Advancements in AI are helping retailers gain insights into what offers may influence a customer to buy. Oracle Retail’s Offer Optimization is a powerful AI application that personalizes promotional offers with un-rivaled accuracy to drive better results. When connected to Oracle Retail Customer Engagement’s vast storehouse of customer omnichannel purchase and promotion response data, Offer Optimization is continually learning what works for who. 

It gains insight into which offers individual customers are most responsive to, and then generates truly personalized offers and posts them directly into each customer’s promotional wallet so they can take advantage of that customized and most relevant deal. One-to-one marketing just got a whole lot easier. When retailers offer up the most relevant offer to a customer that in turn improves engagement and overall customer loyalty.

By Using Offer Optimization Retailers Can: 

  • Engage customers with targeted and contextual offers that maximize redemption rates.
  • Automatically evaluate the trade-off between temporary promotions and permanent markdowns.
  • Ensure consistency between strategy and marketing execution teams, by incorporating markdown budgets, promotional campaigns, projected receipts and forecasted returns. 
  • Simplify decision-making through high-automation, exception-driven processes and on-demand scenario-based optimization. 
  • Maximize accuracy and scale using artificial intelligence, machine learning and decision sciences.

Proof is in the Research

Our global research report, The New Topography of Retail, found:

  • 52% of global consumers are aware of GDPR 
  • 86% of global consumers would exercise their right to be forgotten 
  • 75% of consumers believe there is a distinction between ‘personalized’ and ‘relevant’ offers
  • 22% of consumers state offers from retailers are always relevant, and only 21% think they are always personal

The perception that communications are not personalized means retailers need to work harder to understand consumer preferences, all potentially with less data from the consumer as they exercise their right to keep details confidential.

The opportunity here for retailers is to give consumers what they want – relevant and timely offers. In fact, if retailers can catch consumers at the right time, with the right offer, they can compel them to buy.

Other Findings: 

  • 34% of consumers are browsing online every day
  • 47% said it would be awesome to receive real-time offers based on browsing history

The more retailers take the time to understand the customer, capture a 360 degree of engagement and invest in building a personal conversation, the better off they will be at impacting marketing ROI and the bottom line.

Consumers will continue to demand convenient, personalized, and responsive shopping experiences that extends across all channels and sometimes it’s that perfect offer that wins the sale. To compete, retailers and associates need to develop a one-to-one relationship with consumers, anticipate their needs with relevant offers, and deliver a delightful experience—regardless of where shopping is taking place. Are you ready to win your customers over with a little help from AI?

Watch 2-Minute Video - Right Place, Right Now

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