What Retail Marketers Need to Know about Data

Data has become one of the most valuable resources for retailers. The retail landscape remains a dynamically evolving domain as consumers continue to drive changes based on how they search for, compare and buy products. The most innovative retailers leverage data to drive advantages for their business, especially information that helps them deliver more unique and personalized digital shopping experiences. According to Accenture, there’s $2.95 trillion of potential profit at stake through 2025 for retailers that want to personalize customers’ experiences.

Retailers today, with what seems like access to an unlimited amount of data, struggle to recognize how to mine it, how to sort through it, and how to glean actionable insights from it. In fact, many retailers are just sitting on a treasure-trove of data―or even worse, throwing it out―when this information can be strategically used to create significant value in multiple areas.

Retail marketers, in particular, require accurate, reliable and hyper-granular data to ensure that they’re meaningfully engaging digital audiences with relevant content, messages and promotions―that are delivered at the right places and the right times. The Digital Data Exhaust Survey, commissioned through a partnership between Digital Element and the Location Based Marketing Association, examined how digital marketers could amplify business data by discovering whether or not their companies were throwing away valuable information that could, ultimately, help them generate additional revenue streams, build brand loyalty and increase profits.

The term “data exhaust” has been bandied about for several years now and is used to describe data that companies toss out because they feel it provides little or no value to their core business. However, data has become increasingly more important in today’s retail world, and marketers have become very aware of the value it presents for their brands. Having quality location data with wide coverage is one example of an opportunity to enhance insights into a user base for targeted advertising, analytics, attribution and personalization. In particular, outside research has shown that 44 percent of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a more personalized shopping experience with a retail brand.

Results from the Digital Element study indicate that digital retail marketers are concerned with data exhaust, and that they recognize the revenue-generating opportunities that useable, non-invasive, quality data can bring to their organizations.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Not Much Awareness of Actual Data Waste: While data exhaust was a recognized issue for digital retail marketers in the survey, almost 30 percent of them did not know the percentage of data their companies were actually throwing away.
  • Recognition of Increased Revenue Potential Data Can Bring. Digital retail marketing professionals certainly acknowledged the revenue potential related to the data their companies were potentially throwing away. When asked how it would impact revenue if they used just an extra 25 percent of the data currently being tossed, 60 percent said it would result in a moderate or significant revenue boost.
  • IP Data Still Presents Value. While the majority of respondents (67 percent) said they were already using some type of data associated with an IP address in their marketing efforts, retailers were most interested in leveraging IP data to further enhance analytics and build stronger brand loyalty.
  • Leveraging Location Will Continue. When questioned about the value of location data—the most common type of IP data used—to their organizations’ marketing efforts, 71 percent of respondents found it very important. Responses showed that the value of location data is only getting stronger, and there are opportunities for retail marketers to take advantage of this data and use it in ways that allow them to contextually interface with consumers in a non-invasive, socially responsible and respectful way.
  • Keen Interest in Mobile Carrier Data. When asked what type of IP data they would like to add in the next 12 to 18 months, retailers cited mobile carrier data as tops on their wish lists, where 67 percent were looking to use it.
  • Accurate IP Data Is a Must-Have. Despite the positive take on using more IP data to help their brands, many retailers were most concerned with finding accurate and reliable datasets.

From now until well into the future, data will play an increasingly important role in any retailer’s marketing strategy. Recognizing what your brand may (or may not) doing with all the data that comes into your organization is a start as you look to build and maintain a competitive edge in today’s ultra-competitive retail marketplace.

Could your retail company be wasting good data?

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