Internet Retailing

26 September 2016

The technology already exists to track customers both on – and offline and follow their individual customer journeys – but many retailers currently lack both the relevant technology and the necessary analytical skills. Writing for Internet Retailing, Penelope Ody asks whether it’s time for a major reassessment of IT capabilities.

ASK customers about the shopping channels they use and the chances are they may mention QVC, Ideal World or perhaps The Jewellery Channel – although they could just as easily tell you that they don’t watch any of them. Ask them where they shop and the answer could be on the phone, online or at the local high street. For most customers the concept of moving between channels or making a “customer journey” is probably quite meaningless: they shop with a particular retail brand and the methods they use to do so are immaterial.

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Online log-ins make it easy to track shoppers but even without personal log-in it is possible to follow activity via an IP address. The same applies in-store, too, as Ankush Mattu, Partner with consultants Kurt Salmon explains: “People tend to leave the wi-fi on their phones switched on and in the US we’re starting to see retailers use this to create a digital signature of the shopper. Combine that with video and they can monitor where the shopper travels to and what they look at; add the transaction data from point-of-sale when they buy and you start to get more information about the journey.”

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