At one point during the 1940s, retailers tried to collect consumer insights by conducting in-depth sessions with customers. Based on Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories with customers, this process was known as “motivational research”!

These days, retailers wouldn’t dare interact with customers without knowing precisely what they want. In this experiential economy, every interaction should be driven by the brand’s understanding of not only what customers want – but why they want it too. It helps retailers proactively drive conversations with them rather than play a more reactive role.

Consumer insights comprise descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics that are strung together to build a multi-dimensional user persona.

 Types of consumer insights

  • Demographic characteristics
  • Personal interests and lifestyle preferences
  • Primary and secondary purchasing motivation
  • Channel, device, and browser-specific behaviour
  • Content and media preferences
  • Perception of the brand/competition

 Fueling the five steps customer journey with insights

With actionable consumer insights, it becomes faster, more convenient, and simpler to manage the five quintessential steps of the customer journey.

  • Awareness: Understand online customer preferences to create targeted messaging across the website, social media channels, and digital ads.
  • Consideration: Getting personal with customers by predicting their next best action – be personal, not persistent
  • Purchase: Offering last-mile discounts based on purchasing history or personal event to close the sale
  • Retention: Using predictive metrics to estimate customer churn while retaining focus on high-value customers
  • Advocacy: Solving real problems for customers and organically turning them into brand advocates
We need to talk about AI’s role in consumer insights

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played a significant role in marrying customer data to front-end experiences. It has become a powerful ally for market researchers looking to create more data-rich customer experiences. Conducting surveys and polls are becoming passe, given how unpredictable and unreliable they can be.

Customers are pickier about how they spend their time online, while brands are more cautious about approaching them to ask for feedback.

 Enter AI-powered customer research

Using AI tools, retailers get the advantage of accuracy, speed, and broader coverage while extracting relevant external customer data like user-generated content. AI also improves social listening to better understand customer sentiments. It monitors social media activities – from assessing comments to detecting brand mentions – and creates a repository of rich yet raw information. This data is later classified as “positive,” “neutral,” or “negative” to paint a clearer picture of the customer’s state of mind.

 Keeping clean data at the core

While the explosion of social media may seem like it is nearly impossible to keep track of customers, AI can certainly help retailers by increasing their data quality. It can be of paramount importance since insufficient data equals unsatisfactory experiences. Only with clean data at the core can retailers trigger contextual interactions that lead to meaningful customer experiences.

With AI algorithms, it becomes easy to clean all the data that has been extracted from multiple touchpoints before they move into the analytical phase. Once again, AI proves to be invaluable by analyzing tons of data – without getting bogged down by manual errors.

Oracle Retail Consumer Insights – Make every interaction count

At its very core – Oracle Retail Consumer Insights, powered by the Oracle Data Cloud, offers the modern retailer a better way to do business. You can also effortlessly integrate this platform with Oracle Retail Merchandising System or other source systems.

By unearthing accurate and granular data about customers, Oracle Retail Consumer Insights strengthens your front-line acquisition strategy – no matter how they reach out to your brand. More importantly, you can grasp why customers prefer what they do so that you are better equipped next time to increase the level of personalization.

With Oracle Retail Consumer Insights, you can extract rich data by analyzing segments, demographics, product affinity, and promotional impact. It empowers you to quickly convert your customer data into actionable insights that may make all the difference between closing a sale and shooing a prospect away.

 Key benefits of Oracle Retail Consumer Insights

  1. Assess the competition by paying attention to what customers say about other products and services in your industry
  2. Personalize sales and marketing campaigns to address individual pain-points – thereby powering customer engagement
  3. Improve the chance of conversation by taking pricing decisions based on micro and macro events
  4. Quickly resolve support issues and increase the customer lifetime value
  5. Acquire new customers by combining external and internal data sources to get market insights
  6. Integrate customer data with retail performance data to drive operational efficiency and workforce optimization
  7. Take a huge step towards establishing unified commerce by presenting a 360-degree view of the customer

The retail world has shifted from merely knowing customers to fully understanding them. Building individual profiles, though, is not the be-all and end-all of delivering memorably-personalized customer experiences. The key is to create an ecosystem of consumer insights – drawn from data collected from multiple retail touchpoints and third-party sources. That way, retailers can better manage the inventory, influence customers’ purchasing decisions, and promote brand advocacy to stay ahead of competitors.

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