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«50 Years of Growth, Innovation and Leadership The Retail Paradigm has Changed: Smart Retailers are Engaging in Cross-Channel Marketing A Frost & ...»

50 Years of Growth, Innovation and Leadership

The Retail Paradigm has Changed:

Smart Retailers are Engaging in Cross-Channel Marketing

A Frost & Sullivan

White Paper

Robert Worden, M.A.


Frost & Sullivan


The New Retail Paradigm

Paradigm Solved

Key Takeaways: Time to Go Cross-Channel


The Retail Paradigm has Changed: Smart Retailers are Engaging in Cross-Channel Marketing


Retailers are working hard in difficult economic times to generate incremental and repeat revenues. They know that loyalty improves long-term revenues, as loyal customers are repeat customers. And, in the world of multi-channel retail, improving loyalty means giving customers an exceptional experience regardless of which, or how many, shopping channel(s) they use.

Thus, the imperative for Smart Retailers is to unify these channels, improve revenue acquisition and provide customers the retail experience they seek.

Unifying channels starts with understanding, even anticipating, customer needs and it means adapting to the new retail paradigm and consumer. In the new retail market, the consumer is empowered and in control of the retailer-consumer relationship; they use online, mobile technologies and social media to make informed purchases across sales channels.

Forward-thinking retailers are adapting to this condition by using data-based insight from e-commerce purchases, call center interactions and in-store transactions to better understand their customers. This insight is gleaned by taking real-time snapshots of consumer behavior across retail touch points: Web store, mobile point of sale, in store, or via call center.

Equipped with insight, retailers can encourage revenue production by unifying the cross-channel commerce experience through personalization of offers and consistency of service delivery.

But retail marketers and managers must first determine their capacity and readiness to obtain and leverage cross-channel consumer insight.


To better know their customer, retailers must first acknowledge the new paradigm of modern retailing. It is not simply enough to recognize that technology has changed and retail must adapt. It is also necessary to recognize that consumerism has changed along with technology, and the retail environment is different as a result. Retailers looking to the future must not just engage a consumer, but they must be able to anticipate consumer needs and respond to them personally and consistently, online or offline. Thus, to adapt to the new retail paradigm requires that retail marketers, sales managers and call centers are informed with insightful data on the shoppers they serve.

The New Retail Paradigm Online and mobile technologies have revolutionized shopping. This technological shift has resulted in three key attributes of the new retail paradigm. First, consumers are empowered and better informed on purchase options; second, they are using Internet technologies in their purchase actions; and third, the trend to online shopping is outpacing offline activities.

Today’s consumer is empowered, “enabled by Web and mobile technologies and the influence of social media.” This consumer is technologically savvy, price sensitive, socially connected and better informed on competing products. Through their mobile and online devices, consumers have instant access to pricing and competitive offers. They are increasing their comfort level with varied e-commerce channels and they crave excellent customer service. They are

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There is, however, a solution that allows retailers not only to listen to customers, but to understand them. The first step for the retailer is to understand their own cross-channel commerce capabilities and limitations. The second step is to implement a cross-channel intelligence solution to improve marketing insight and enable better customer service.

To assist retailers in pre-qualifying their cross-channel capabilities, e-commerce business intelligence company Crossview, along with IBM, has developed a retailer assessment tool.

Cross-channel readiness is assessed based on the retailer’s response to channel-specific statements to which they can respond one of three ways: agree, disagree, or neutral. Each statement and response provides specific insight into where the retailer excels, as well as what they can do to increase revenue, provide a better customer experience, increase customer visibility across touch points and deliver the boutique experience consumers are demanding.

Retailers can take advantage of a free assessment by obtaining a complimentary access code to the tool. The iPad-ready assessment program is available at: www.ibm.com/software/ scpartner/crossview_ccc. Based on the assessment, retailers will likely want to examine the implementation of a cross-channel marketing solution. Crossview’s Cross-Channel Commerce technology is a solution worthy of examination by retail chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) looking to ramp up the performance of their frontline sales and marketing teams.

The Crossview solution is built on IBM WebSphere Commerce and IBM Digital Analytics technologies. It allows retailers to access behavioral data at every retail channel touch point as a means to improve the customer experience. Using the insight enabled by cross-channel technology, a customer service representative (CSR) will be able to see a customer’s complete and recent online browsing or purchase history and pending orders. The platform then collates the data from across channels into accessible, real-time customer views that a CSR may access, or the customer even, creating a more personalized interaction between customer and retailer.

A CSR with real-time access to customer information is a powerful sales employee. CSRs able to see pending customer orders, retail in stock, and online versus in-store pricing enables them to position new custom offers and loyalty price points. And the utility of this insight is straightforward: a better customer experience equals increased revenue streams.

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1. Frost & Sullivan, “Smarter Analytics for Retailers Delivering Insight to Enable Business Success,” May 2012.

2. comScore, “State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q3 2012,” November 2012, http://www.comscore.com/ Insights/Presentations_and_Whitepapers/2012/SORQ32012, retrieved December 2012.

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4. comScore, “State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q3 2012,” November 2012, http://www.comscore.com/ Insights/Presentations_and_Whitepapers/2012/SORQ32012, retrieved December 2012.

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Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the Global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact Us: Start the Discussion

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