Focus on the holiday season is apparent, but incorporating the data you've collected year-round will likely make it more actionable. George Gallate, principal at MKTG2.U, board director of Elite SEM and former global chairman of Havas Worldwide Digital spoke with eMarketer's Danielle Drolet about how retailers can leverage the data they've collected throughout the year for an effective holiday customer experience.
eMarketer: We’re predicting strong ecommerce sales this holiday shopping season (16.2% gains). What's driving growth?
George Gallate: There's a slightly longer holiday period, but there are a few more drivers.
One is the substantial adoption of mobile commerce among consumers. In addition, the advancing and improved understanding of the use of data and technology by retailers—it's the combination of both. And the third, is the meteoric rise of Amazon.
eMarketer: How can retailers keep up with Amazon?
Gallate: Regardless of whether you're a big-box retailer or a small business—or avoiding Amazon all together—you need an Amazon strategy.
For any company, whether that be a reseller or the brand itself, it’s critical to be proactive, and adopt and implement an Amazon strategy. They should use an omnichannel approach to ensure that the customer experience is best when dealing directly with the brand. To do that, they need to have an understanding and extensive use of data and technology to ensure that the customer experience is delivered in every touch point as opposed to only in brick-and-mortar.
Data is the competitive differentiator. If you know your customer or client better than your competitors, and you’re able to react in real time or close to it, make an offer based on their past behavior and activate at the appropriate time.
eMarketer: Retailers should be looking at their data beyond the holiday season, then.