Social CRM: 4 Commandments to Close the Engagement Loop

Social CRM: 4 Commandments to Close the Engagement Loop

In the omnichannel loop, social media forms an extremely critical part. Why? Because that is where your customers are spending most of their time. Research shows that the number of users is set to hit 2.77Bn in 2019. Thanks to smart phones and easily affordable data plans, you can be sure that your customer is lingering around on either Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or any other social networking sites, ready to engage and be mesmerised.

If you do not have a full blown strategy to make most of this opportunity, you are losing out big time.

A Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a Youtube channel alone doesn’t mean you are exercising Social CRM. Social CRM is more than just using social media to update your customers and fans on promotions, new arrivals, sales etc. and creating conversations on your social pages. It also means using data collected on the various social media pages to power your engagement online and offline, and vice-versa.

So I present to you 4 commandments that you should follow to get your Social CRM and in effect, Omnichannel CRM right.

1) Thou shall maintain a single database

To get your social CRM rolling, you need to understand your customers. A 360° view of your consumers across channels would ensure a seamless cross-channel engagement with each of them. This also means having your backend systems seamlessly connected so that data for each customers across channels is not duplicated and flows smoothly to get stored under a single customer ID. Apart from storing data, this will also feed data to all the channels from a single source.

What this means for Social CRM: No more shuffling of data to engage with your customers. Run your campaigns right from your campaign manager platform by simply filtering out the customers you want to target. Post execution, all customer responses will also be fed back into the same data, ready for further action to be taken at any channel.

2) Thou shall maintain a single campaign platform

In continuation to my previous point about centralised systems, executing a continuing customer journey from separate platforms – one for SMS, one for email and a third for social media – is bound to leave gaps through which your loyal customers and memorable customer journeys will slip out. Brands need to set up a single campaign manager platform that will can be used to design, set up, execute and monitor campaigns consistently and efficiently.

What this means for Social CRM: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Push Notifications, Email, SMS – Execute and Manage all of them using a single tool. No more delays, working with multiple vendors and teams to get your campaigns up and running. Make use of the power of technology to propel memorable customer experiences online.

3) Thou shall enable a single, seamless customer journey

It all boils down to this- building automated customer journeys across channels in response to individual actions and preferences. There are many campaign platforms that allow easy, simple ways to build an entire, end-to-end customer course with a mix of channels, messaging, and offers.

What this means for Social CRM: Personalised rewards can be given at any channel and used at any channel. For example, your top spending, high value customers who get personalised coupons for a positive action on social media, will have this reward tagged to their account no matter which channel they chose to interact with you next. The lesser actions the customers need to take to get rewarded, the higher brownie points you are getting.

4) Thou shall maintain a single source of reporting

And it all boils down to this – what are your returns. A single source of reporting is required to map your customer’s journey from the channel where he/she first saw the promotional message to where the purchase was made. While executing an omnichannel campaign, having an omnichannel reporting tool becomes key for mapping KPIs and successes.

What this means for Social CRM: Map how many customer who saw the offer on your social media behaved once the message is out. Did they click on it, did they share it, where did they use it (offline store or ecommerce store), and how much returns did you get from all the promotions and from which channel. Knowing exactly how customers are responding to your social media campaigns will not only help improve the performance of these in future, but also help understand your customer behavior better.

And don’t just take this form me. Bata, the leaders in the footwear industry, wanted to find a way to reach their customers across all channels, they faced challenges with channel management, data shuffling and closed-loop reporting. By following the 4 commandments of closing the engagement loop, they overcame these challenges and ended up getting 34% higher hit rates from their campaigns, at half the cost!

In a nutshell, build a process that will unite all your existing channels and systems so that you can truly design, manage and monitor your customer’s engagement with your brand. This way, all loop holes can be identified and rectified in advance, and you can make all your social campaigns, a winning campaign!

Tools such as Capillary Campaign Manager can help you do just that. Watch below video to see how


CRM Success is not Linked to Technology Adoption? Think Again!

CRM Success is not Linked to Technology Adoption? Think Again!

In the previous post of our Think Again Series we covered the importance of having a well thought out customer engagement strategy. In our final installment of the series, we’ll be covering what technological factors can determine CRM program success.

Having a huge team doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the best results. More so with your CRM. With your customers demanding a more personalized interaction than ever before, it is impossible to deliver seamless, consistent experience with siloed teams and platforms.

And that is why the last part of our Think Again Series talks about, what areas of CRM determines its success, deals with technological integration in your organization.

To skip the fancy introductions and get on with it, here are three attributes that give you a clear picture on how integrated your platforms are and if they are giving you the expected results.

Data Capture

It’ll be too silly of me to think you still capture your data manually across all channels (please don’t tell me otherwise!). So skipping this, let’s talk about the different systems you have created to capture the data form your all your stores – online and offline. Do these systems talk to each other at some point? Does your team work on connecting data and customers across channels after the initial data capture?

If your answer is yes to any of these, then your CRM technology maturity is nowhere close to where it should be.

In today’s omnichannel world, your data capture and storage should also be omnicahnnel. This means having completely integrated systems across channels that recognizes a single customer across these channels, and stores data in a single repository. The more nodes you create for capture and storage of data, the worse your customer experience is going to be. So revisit your data capture systems and processes, and become omnichannel in the true sense.

Campaign Execution

Gone are the days when your campaign execution required additional steps of downloading the data and then uploading them into the campaign software.

In today’s realtime world, you cannot depend on separate platforms if you want to recognize trends and act on it immediately. Campaign platforms should sit on a single data warehouse where your data capture systems are constantly feeding it data and your campaign tool is interacting with the customers on the basis of new data points, dynamically.

Omnichannel CRM

It all boils down to this – if you need to deliver an omnichannel CRM externally, then all your platforms, and processes should also be omnichannel internally.

Standalone, non-connected systems and technological platform will leave gaps in your entire CRM strategy that will prove to be too expensive in more than one ways for your CRM journey. Concentrate on pulling all your systems together and tightening the loop holes. If this needs additional investments, I would say it’ll be worth every penny you spend! Remember, a completely integrated CRM suite reduces duplication across platforms and increases efficiency.

With that we conclude our Think Again Series on how to get your CRM program to deliver results you never thought possible. Do share your thoughts on what criteria you think decides the success or failure of a CRM program. We are all ears!!

Have an A-level Engagement Model? Think Again.

Have an A-level Engagement Model? Think Again.

In the previous post of our Think Again Series we covered the importance of data and analytics maturity. Here we’ll be talking about how well your consumer engagement strategy should be designed.

As I mentioned in one of our previous blogs, engaging with your customers at real time is more than just sending them a thank you message after shopping. Today with the proliferation of channels, and maturity in technology, brands like yours need to go a notch higher with their engagement plans.

This means, redefining the word “personalization” to be more than just using first names. It means re-looking at your channel mix to use multiple channels together, instead of just one that you believe your customers prefer. And most importantly, it means re-examining your communication strategy to ensure it gives maximum returns from each message you send out.

And here’s how you can do that. In the spirit of us explaining what standards you should be aiming for when it comes to different aspects of your CRM program, here are 3 areas to check for when it comes it achieving nirvana in real-time customer engagement.

Channels of Engagement

No it isn’t enough that you can successfully send out SMSs and email to customers depending on their affinity to the channel. Studies show that more than 70% customers use 3 or more channels before they make a purchase. That means interacting with them simultaneously in at least 3 channels that you know they use, with the same message.

In order to have a successful CRM program in place, your brand should be where the customer is. Having a centralized campaign manager tool that allows to plan, design, execute, and track communication across all channels is the perfect solution for today’s digital age.

If you haven’t gotten one yet, invest in one – PRONTO!

Offer Effectiveness

If you are still stuck with the age old practice of sending offers and promos to all females for all female products, and all males for all male products, then you need to come out of Stone Age and embrace the 21st century – big time!

Offers need to targeted and personalized at various levels. Demographics is just one of them. Looking at the customer’s past purchase behavior tells you a lot about the kind of products they prefer. And many a times the user is not the buyer. Hence your generic offer to all males, may just be a big waste of campaign spend.

With competition graver than ever before, you need to get creative with your offers. Time them in such a way that you can reward the customers for every positive action they take, like purchase a slow moving product, referring customers, buying above your normal basket value, and so on. Get platforms in place that gives you the flexibility to reward your customers the way you want, and when you want. Anything below that, will lead your CRM strategy to reek of stale offers.

Personalized Communication

Yes, it all boils down to this. If you are able to send each customer a personalized offer, on the channels he/she actively uses with a message that is relevant to previous interactions the customer has made with your brand, then bravo – you have arrived at CRM paradise. Take a drink and chill!

If not, then you need to step on the gear and get some processes in place. With the advent of AI, you can now easily set up platforms that can predict the customers’ preferences in advance and tell you who should be targeted in what way (what messages, offers, channels etc). Up until now, this was usually done on a group level. But with AI, you can dive deeper and personalize your engagement in the true sense – at an individual level.

With these three checks in your engagement strategy, you can be sure that you are on the track to provide the best experience to your customers, thus garnering more loyalty.

While you’re at it, do read the last part of the Think Again Series, “CRM Success is not Linked to Technology Adoption? Think Again!” and let us know how you have been doing things differently to Ace your CRM Strategy.

Have a best in class Analytics platform? Think Again.

Have a best in class Analytics platform? Think Again.

In the previous post of our Think Again Series we covered the importance of really knowing your customer. Here we’ll be talking about how strong your analytics platform can be.

Data is everywhere. We may have said this over and over again in different ways, in many of our blogs. But it still is overwhelming – it’s just everywhere.

As a part of our offering, we do help set up platforms and help businesses dig deep and generate insights from this data. And when we do this, we have seen that brands often tend to get myopic when it comes to making use of their data. For example, when they are gathering transaction data from the stores, they tend to be fixated in looking at sales numbers as just numbers. % increases and ROI figures are not just numbers. They tell a story about your brand, your customers, and your industry. If you are not seeing this, then you are missing out, big time.

As a part of our 5-part series on demystifying the 5 dimensions that decide the success of your CRM program, we will focus this one on the 3 attributes that spell the success or failure of your analytics platform.

Insight Generation

It all starts here. Once you have successfully captured the data from all possible channels, the next step is to read them and find out trends that help predict your business direction. Unfortunately, even today, many brands depend on manual scouring of data to identify these trends. If you are still doing this, then you are going to be left behind, way behind!

With the power of AI comes the power of precise prediction. Analytics tools that are based on machine learning tell you in advance what is going to happen to your business and what you should be doing next. You want to be here!

Insight Democratization

If the right people are not seeing the right insights at the right time, then your analytics effort – AI or otherwise – is of no use.

All the stakeholders should have access to the data they should be seeing – not more, and certainly not less – at any time of the day. Depending on platforms that require the person to be on premise to analyze and gather insights is like having a mobile phone that can only be used at home – pointless and a complete waste of investment.

Ramp up your platforms, make it cloud based. And don’t worry about security. Many leading analytics platform providers have international security audits and standards that they maintain. So you can be sure that your data is safe, while you make it easily accessible.

Insight Based Action

Coming back to the topic of silos – separating your insights from your actions (like promos, campaigns etc) will undoubtedly lead to your CRM efforts failing and not bringing any returns.

Your insights generation and campaign planning need to go hand in hand to ensure you are dynamically responding to the customers based on their changing preferences, tastes and behaviors. Separating these two, or even a delay in using the latest insights to tweak your campaigns may mean you’re deliberately losing out on delighting your customers, garnering loyalty, and, ultimately, money.

Break the walls between the different sub functions of CRM and let the platforms communicate with each other. Use the power of technology to automate the customer communication so that your CRM is dynamic, relevant and ringing your cash registers like never before.

So there you are – three attributes to judge how strong your analytics platform really is. Find out how you fare in this and the four other dimensions of CRM. We will be happy to assist you through this and help understand how you can make things better.

Also, check out the part 4 of our Think Again Series – “Have an A-level Engagement Model? Think Again.

Think you know your customers up close and personally? Think Again.

Think you know your customers up close and personally? Think Again.

In the previous post of our Think Again Series we covered the importance of organizational alignment in CRM strategy. Here we’ll be covering why it’s important to really know your customer.

As a business leader, you know the value of your customer. They form the main building block on which the success of your entire business is based. Over the past few decades, getting more information from these customers has become easy. You have multiple channels where your customers leave behind all kinds of data. But are you viewing this data in a consolidated fashion? Can you identify if the customer clicking on your Facebook Ad is the same or different from the customer who purchased from you yesterday?

This kind of understanding and clarity is what can set your brand sky rocketing, and we have identified 3 key attributes to assess how well you know your customers’ behaviors.

Identifying Customer Base

Like I mentioned, you have a hoard of data flowing in from every channel. But how efficiently can you identify who these data points belong to?

Many brands only limit themselves to capturing customer data from the store or the ecommerce site, and keeping them separate. Few brands actually have a mechanism to understand which customer visited me in-store and also came to me online – a cross channel customer tagging. And you want to be among those brand who do that.

Having a unique identifier for your customers, like mobile number or email address, across channels will help you make better sense of how your customer is interacting with you. This is extremely crucial in today’s omnichannel world where easily more than half of your customers would be interacting with your brand at more than one channel.

Single View of Customer

Customer data at businesses like yours do not and should not stop at just transaction data. This second attribute talks about how you need to ensure you are pooling in all kinds of data that help you build the personality of your customer. You should be able to answer questions like:

  • When does my customer visit me?
  • Has she responded to the SMS/Email promo I sent her the last time?
  • Which channel does she prefer to be contacted on?

And other such queries that really digs deep into explaining to you who your customer is.

A compete 360°, comprehensive view of your customer is what every brand needs to have. Achieving this will take you miles ahead of your competition.

Enriching Customer Data

Capturing your customer’s data is just step one. Following this, you need to ensure you are constantly enriching your understanding of the customer. You need to ensure you are growing with your customers in terms of their needs, their preference etc.

Incentivizing your customer to update their profile is a good start. However, today your customer is constantly interacting with your data on social media among other channel. Are you capturing this behavior as well? Are you able to tell how responsive your customer has become to Facebook ads today as opposed to SMSs a few months back?

Achieving this level of customer data enrichment will ensure your understanding of your base is up to date. This in turn will ensure every penny spent on your Customer Analytics program is giving you the right returns.

So that’s a snippet on getting up close and personal with your customers derived from Capillary’s 5D Framework. Hop on to the next post in our Think Again Series, “Have the best in class Analytics platform? Think Again”, to map where you stand on the analytics meter.

Running a CRM Driven Organization? Think Again.

Running a CRM Driven Organization? Think Again.

In our previous post we covered what it takes to track your CRM performance and chart the journey you want your program to take.

To get deeper into each of the dimensions we mentioned, we are kicking off this 5 part series which I’d like to call the “Think Again Series”. And in the first part, we will discuss the first key dimension of a successful a CRM program, Aligning your Organization.

Did you know, 50% of the CRM implementations fail to garner the results they are meant to? While this maybe due to a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones could be misaligned organizational objectives.

What I mean by misaligned organizational objectives is when your CRM exists and functions as a “nice to have” process in the organization. In the ideal CRM world, from top to bottom, the priority and resource allocation given to your CRM program should be at par with other major functions like marketing. But more often than not, we don’t see this happening.

In our extensive experience with countless brands around the globe, we have identified three dimensions of organizational alignment that you need to get right if you wish to see the success you meant to achieve with your CRM program. These are:

Functional Alignment

First things first. Does your organization realize the profit your CRM program can bring to the business? Does everyone – from the CX level teams to store associates – realize the gravity and importance of designing and implementing a truly customer centric program? Do you have centralized team that solely concentrates on all things CRM?

If your answer is a no to any of these, then your organization is not functionally aligned to support a world class CRM program.

Loosely put, CRM program is a process of creating lasting relationship with customers. But it actually includes other elements too – staff management at the stores, packaging products, campaign planning etc- all these will be effected from the insights you get out of your CRM program. Hence if you are not giving this function the love and attention it deserves, then you’re losing out on more than just relationships with customers.

Strategic Alignment

In many of the brands we deal with, we see that CRM behaves as a standalone team. Even though it has been given resources and budgets of its own, it does not bring the right kind of returns because it does not communicate internally with other teams.

Aligning your CRM objectives and plans with those of other departments like marketing is crucial to ensure your brand speaks to your customers in a single, consistent and streamlined fashion. Bombarding your customers 10 times in a month, for example, – 5 times for a marketing promo and 5 times for CRM related promos – will lead to customer fatigue and have the opposite effect to what you intended – your customers pushing themselves away from you.

So get your CRM teams in a room with the other related teams, and form a single, perfectly aligned strategy for your brand to help everyone hits their numbers and achieves their targets.

Vendor Alignment

As an organization, you will have multiple vendors who will be working towards meeting the objective you have set for them. But are they aware of the bigger picture? For example, does your creative agency know what goal you are trying to achieve with that video ad? Does your campaign management team know what this email campaign is meant to achieve? If your answer is anywhere between “sort of” to “no” – then you’re in trouble.

Making your vendors understand the bigger picture helps them perform much, much better. You will be surprised by the ideas and recommendations they come up with to help you get higher returns on every buck you spend.

So after your marketing and CRM team huddle, get your vendors together and share your mission with them. You will see how every team comes together to get you that sweet success of customer relationship management.

If you get these three attributes of your organizational readiness in a straight line, then we are confident you will be on track for a CRM program that is all set to see great results, for a long time to come.

Don’t forget to check out the next edition our Think Again Series – “Think you know your customers up close and personally? Think Again.

The Inside Story: Acing Your CRM Strategy

The Inside Story: Acing Your CRM Strategy

Congratulations! If you’re reading our Think Again Series, you either already have a CRM strategy in place or are serious about getting one. Which shows you really understand the value of establishing and nourishing the relationship with your customers.

Having been in the CRM business for over 10 years now and having a team of excellent CRM Scientists (as I like to call them) with tons of experience in the field, we have seen a very common pattern in brands.  At the start of any CRM program we see a spike in everything – efforts, budgets, resources, responses and RoI. But often, overtime, the program reaches a plateau. A lot of brands forget about the promise of CRM as time goes by, and most of times these are due to small misses that can be fixed, if identified early.

At Capillary, we have devised a framework to identify just this. Our CRM Scientists have identified five areas that are critical to analyze the health of your CRM strategy. Here they are:

1.      Organization Readiness

You already know this, but I can’t stress on it enough. A successful, stellar CRM strategy is not something that only your team needs to be working towards. It needs to be an overall organizational objective. Many a times, the CRM program does not meet its objectives or bring the results it actually has the potential of, simply due to lack of budget allocation, resources and lack of seriousness from the top.

We have highlighted how you can get your organization CRM ready and ensure the objectives set by all departments are aligned to achieve the CRM objectives. Yes, your CRM program needs to be the center of the universe at your organization and our framework is going to show you how.

2.      Know Your Consumer

Know Your CustomerOne of the most important aspect of any CRM program, is knowing who your consumers are. And a crucial part of this, is to know which pieces of information you absolutely need to have on your consumer.

And that’s what our CRM framework highlights for you. We’ve broken this down into 3 sub sets that will help you analyze your data collection and collation techniques much more closely. You will then be able to analyze whether or not your database caters to your business’s immediate goals or long term objectives.

3.      Analytics Maturity

Analytics MaturityAnalytics is hard. You need to have the right resources, the right tools and the eye to know what the behavior of your customers is now, and what they are most likely to do in the future. This entails having certain checks in your analytics and data mining strategies.

Through our CRM framework, you can discover these areas and with sophisticated scoring mechanism, you can tell precisely how to fine tune your analytics strategies to understand your customers much more closely and put lasting predictive models in place that constantly feed you with the right insights and suggest the right course of action.

4.      Real-time Customer Engagement

Real-time engagementSending customers a communication immediately when they register or make a purchase does cover the “real-time” aspect, but that does not mean “customer engagement” in the true sense.  Customer engagement means reaching out to them with a communication that is relevant to them, at a time that is apt for them and through a channel that they prefer. Are you doing this effectively?

The CRM assessment model tells you the various areas you need to be looking at to ensure you are on the right track when it comes to real-time customer engagement. Marketer Jennifer Burnham says that “while a CRM system may not elicit as much enthusiasm these days as social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter, any CRM system is similarly built around people and relationships.” Is yours?

5.      Integrated Technology

Omnichannel CRM platform doesn’t simply mean having connected channels in the front end to interact with the customer. It also means having connected systems in the backend to ensure the data is flowing smoothly across all channels and functions. For example, how do you collect your data? Do you have to move your data from one tool to another for campaign executions? What is the lag time in the transfer of data?

Having a regular check on all these factors ensures you know for sure where your brand stands today in terms having integrated systems and where you should be getting at. Clear targets with clear measuring techniques can go a long way.

Our Think Again Series does a deep dive into each of these five dimensions to clearly spell out to you, how you need to measure each of them and how you can use the results to plan better and ahead. Read part 1 to learn how to run a CRM driven organisation.

If you want to get your assessment done now, reach out to us by clicking on the banner below and we will get in touch with the CRM 5D Framework tool kit and lots of insights!

Selling More with Less – The Age of Smart Retailing is here

Selling More with Less – The Age of Smart Retailing is here

Over the last decade or so ecommerce has boomed like never before. Technological developments on the ecommerce business’ side and internet penetration on the customer’s side has enabled this industry to grow fast – real fast. Moreover, the industry has been evolving constantly, losing no time in adopting the latest technology – be it on the customer experience front, pricing algorithms to offer the best rates, or determine cost effective promotional methods etc.

On the other hand, such transformation has been extremely low on the Brick and Mortar side, even though retail technology has provided ground breaking ways to transform traditional offline selling. For example, brands like Nordstorm used mobile POS systems and Tesco had a touchscreen kiosks for stock checking and ordering in store – and all this back in 2012.

It’s 2018 now, and we still are talking about the offline world competing poorly with the online world and how it can be more digitized. Sigh!

Well listen up retailers, the age of smart retailing is here! You have a plethora of ways to up your offline stores’ performance. And no, you do not have to do or invest much. I am going to give you 5 ways you can get so much more sales from your stores, without having to do so much as add one additional item to your shelf space.

Here’s how.

Go Mobile – Like for real

The world is full of it. Mobile devices I mean. Tablets, ‘phablets’, iPads, kiosks, touchscreen monitors, and the whole lot. Why not actually use them to enhance your in-store experience. A very good example of this is the Apple iStore. They have truly revolutionized the way billing and on floor customer support is done. By providing your store staff with a simple mobile device to help customers do simple things like check out and pay faster without queuing, you are bringing the in-store experience at par with the online one.

Open Up Your Inventory

Another very important use of these devices is to open up virtual shelf space. Given the limited space in offline stores, retailers have always struggled while choosing which products make the cut of actually staying on the shelf and for how long. With digital technology at your fingertips, you can now extend your inventory by enabling the store staff to browse through additional varieties of the products on a simple tablet. This way, they get to not only give the customers exactly what they came for, but also offer any additional products that may not be present in the store at the time, but is there in your warehouse.

Thrive in the Easyverse™

The world may change completely, the sun may rise from the west and Trump may actually learn the word “sorry”, but even then, your customer will still be the king! We at Capillary believe that we are living in an “Easyverse™ today, where customers expect everything to be easy, connected and personalized. Therefore, providing them choices at every stage like whether they want their products to be delivered at their homes or be available for pick up at another store is a no brainer these days. Simple and easy way to delight, right?

Logistics is a breeze

Yea, my last point may have raised the obvious logistics questions. But technology has also made moving of products between warehouses, stores and customers’ homes a breeze. With just an app, you can now easily arrange for the chosen products to be picked up at a fixed time and dropped at a specified location – be it a store or home. Algorithms available today also help in mapping the closest point from where pickup can be done, reducing your cost and the time of delivery. Didn’t I say smart retailing is here?

Empowering Your Store Staff

The best way to make most of your stores, is to ensure your lifeline, your store staff have all the information they need to convert that sale. Having to go back to the POS and coming back to the customer for every single thing like checking member details, item price, stock availability etc. is not a good experience – not for your staff, nor for the customer. Having mobile devices that enable them to attend the customer with all the information required present in the device will truly enhance the customer’s delight and also motivate the store staff to perform better. Another worthwhile investment would be a people counter that can provide you with accurate insights around store traffic and visitor trends.

Remember, you don’t have to go all in or do expensive gestures to show your customers you care. You can flourish in the Easyverse™ by making small tweaks to your current store and taking a customer centric approach to retailing.

Share how you have been transforming your stores and learn how we can help you do it better. Reach out to an expert today.

Measuring Customer Engagement in Real-time with AI

Measuring Customer Engagement in Real-time with AI

Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 12.12 sales, and what not! This is hands down the busiest time of the year for any retailer. Managing end of year sales and giveaways to customers high on festive mood is no child’s play.

The best time for retailers is when the streamers and the confetti settle down. The smell of sweet ROI and increased YoY sales is better than any pumpkin spiced lattes or roasted turkey, but here’s a secret, measuring your customer engagement and campaign performance at the end of the holiday period is so last season! With the power of AI and advanced reporting technology at your disposal, you can track, tweak and improve your campaigns in real-time, on the go to maximise your growth on every channel.

This holiday season, we thought of bringing your stores to the limelight. It is presumed that out of all the channels, this is the hardest one to measure and collate real time data for, however, with the right resources at hand, this can be a piece of cake. So here are the four top metrics that you definitely should be tracking if you want to be flying high at the end of it all.

1. Foot Traffic

This is the most crucial factor that can make or break the fate of your holiday campaigns.

What does it mean to me – Higher foot traffic translates to higher chances of sales. You need to track it on a real-time basis to know the right number of staff you need for each week of the month, day of the week, and hour of the day. Not just that, you can also correlate fluctuations in footfall traffic data with your marketing campaigns to find out if your campaigns are bringing consumers into stores. By tracking this in real-time you can optimize the campaigns effectively and maximize sales.

How do I track this – Most of the footfall counters out there are based on Infrared, Bluetooth beacons, thermal cameras and other camera based technologies that may or may not give you accurate results. AI and machine learning has made it possible to have advanced human detection algorithms that are very accurate. Products like Capillary VisitorMetrix are based on such algorithms and even have the capability to differentiate your staff from a genuine customer hence giving you an accurate count of foot traffic.

2. Sales and more

Don’t just track sales figures. Slice and dice it to reveal more about your customer’s purchase patterns.

What does it mean to me – Break down your sales figures and calculate the average transaction value, average basket size and the total number of sales made. These figures though basic, go a long way in analyzing campaign responsiveness. You can then work your magic to steer the promotions in the direction you initially wanted it to go. Courts Malaysia does this beautifully on a regular basis to get extremely high repeat sales percentages.

How do I track this – A centralized reporting tool will enable you to have a third eye into your campaign performance. Reports that automatically and at real-time pull data from all the touch points and crunch the data to present meaningful and actionable insights to you is the way to go here. Brands like KFC who have countless touch points and a mammoth amount of data have achieved this. Then what’s stopping you?

3. Conversion Rate

The mother of all metrics. You want to know how efficient your staff and promotions are? This is your go to KPI.

What does it mean to me – Want to know how your promotion did? Want to know if your store staff are actually ensuring they convert every customer that walks in the store? Want to ensure your store planning is perfect? Then this is the number you want to keep an eye on. Tracking this periodically – hourly, daily and weekly will help you identify and track trends that you wouldn’t have seen before.

How do I track this – You need connected devices at your store. By this I mean your people counter, your POS data and your reporting tool need to be integrated for you to be able to monitor this no matter where you are. Capillary VisitorMetrix, for example, uses AI algorithm to identify a customer entering the store accurately and then feeds this information along with the POS sales figures, at real-time to a reporting tool to give you hourly, daily, weekly and monthly conversion rates.

4. New vs returning customers

Common fact to all retailers: it’s 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. So it’s pretty clear why this is our last, but certainly not the least, point.

What does it mean to me – Apart from knowing how many new and old customers your promotions attracted, knowing instantly if a customer who walked into your store has purchased with you previously or not gives the stores the kind of power they never had before. Capillary Loyalty+ solutions have been adopted by world’s leading brands to track on a real-time basis if a customer visiting the store is a one-time, repeat or new customer and have setup practices to use this information to enhance the customer experience at the store.

How do I track this – Real-time reporting helps you analyze this easily no matter where you are. Solutions like Capillary Insight+ that has AI powered predictive models, you will be able to not only see the live numbers but also think and plan ahead of time so that you make most of the opportunity this festive season has to offer.

So there. Those were our four uber-important KPIs that you need track to ensure your stores perform the best this year. Reach out to us and let’s talk more on how you have been tracking your holiday season sales and how it has worked for you. We are all ears!