Big Data Equals Big Money: How Customer Identity Management Helps Retailers Grow Revenue

Shopping might be the world’s greatest equalizer. Let’s face it, we are all shoppers at one time or another, and now, with the dramatic digital transformation that’s taking over all of our lives, many of us are doing much of that shopping online—and increasingly via mobile.

In fact, it’s estimated that in just four short years mobile shopping will make up a whopping 45 percent of total e-commerce, or roughly $284 billion in sales. Yes, we said billion.

But what does that mean, exactly, for retailers? Can you simply sit back and watch as the cash rolls in from all those online and mobile sales? The answer, of course, is a resounding “no.” Though wouldn’t that be nice?

The Rise of the Flex-Shopper

Our omnichannel world has put the power back in the hands of the consumer. What used to involve a visit to a brick and mortar store and a chat with your helpful sales staff, is now often broken down into “shopping soundbites.”

The flex-shopper’s journey can take them across multiple areas and devices—from shopping on their desktop computer on a break from work, to surfing the web via smartphone at their children’s football practice, to doing research on a potential purchase from a tablet at the coffee shop.

Savvy digital retailers who want to increase revenue and proactively deliver highly personalized online shopping experiences need a way to be able to “get to know” their most valuable customers, determine how they got to their site (or sites), and also efficiently track their purchases.

Customer identity management can help you do just that. Here’s how.

How Customer Identity Management Helps Retailers Grow Revenue

The most important thing any online retailer can do to both help their customers (and potential customers) and grow revenue is to reduce as much friction as possible in the buying process. And one of the biggest sources of friction for consumers lies with login and account creation, especially when using a smaller screened mobile device.

We’ve written before about the negative impact this can have on your business, with nearly a third of shoppers abandoning account creation—and more than half abandoning logging in—due to password and username registration and profile management issues.

Social login functionality is one way you can help reduce that friction, and, since it’s entirely permission-based, it also allows you to gather a boatload of information about who your customer is—their likes, dislikes, shares, preferences, purchases and page views. Quoted in a recent article, Ashley Boggs, UPS retail segment marketing manager had this to say about why social login works for their successful organization, “Today’s flex shoppers are demanding alternative options, convenience and a consistent, transferable experience. That requires retailers to ‘know’ the customer regardless of the device or channel they are using. Customer identity management lets retailers turn shopping into a more personal experience, so the consumer is more likely to buy.”

And for today’s digitally savvy customer, that personal experience is what will help you stand out from your competitors.

Using Social Login Data to Drive Revenue

Once you have your log-in and/or account creation processes simplified using social login (or other frictionless set-ups such as biometrics, “light registration” or one-time mobile password, depending on the industry), and you’ve gathered, analyzed and segmented the social customer data, you can then begin seeding out highly personalized promotional strategies to not only keep those customers coming back, but keep them converting.

Referral Programs: For example, for your shopper who just happens be a marathon runner, implement a gift-based referral program for each running shoe purchase. A free pair of high quality sports socks for a social media shout out helps you reach your purchaser’s entire community—including all of his or her fellow running friends!

Loyalty Programs: Do your customers prefer freebies or discounts? Having those answers can help you craft loyalty programs that reach the right person. Using the data you have gathered, you can create a specialized points-based loyalty rewards program that will speak personally to each individual buyer.

Targeted Email Marketing: Email marketing strategies also become more fine tuned and less “spammy” when you intimately know your customer. Are they highly conservative or more liberal and open-minded? Do they enjoy jokes and memes or prefer communication to be straight-laced and simple? Tailoring emails to individuals will increase open rates and drive lead generation.

There are other ways to focus your marketing to the mobile-driven shopper of today, but it all boils down to big data. Having a frictionless customer identity management system in place will help you gather, segment, and implement that data into your overall digital marketing strategies, and also help keep your business compliant with regional data protection regulations and social network terms of service. Then, you too can begin to snag some of the billions of eCommerce dollars up for grabs.

By Jason Rose