APEX Technologies awarded the “2019 CCFA Retail Technology New Enterprise Award”
How to Rely on Data Insight to Retain Discerning Retail Brand Consumers?
A review of the competitive landscape of the retail industry reveals that many still focus on homogenization and price wars, inefficiently and through costly means. With the popularization and application of data technology, new ways of thinking and new business models have been spawned, and the retail industry is shifting its focus onto new and improved strategies. Perceived consumption habits, predicted consumption trends, guided manufacturing, providing personalized products, and achieving a “one-person-one-face” service model — new technology is shortening the business derivation path of the retail industry, leading to a return to retail.
Refusing to overdo it, retail needs to return to the essence
The retail industry already exists when people know about bartering. In historical research, western economists summed up three retail revolutions; from markets to supermarkets, supermarkets to chains, and chains to super shopping centers. Today, the fourth retail revolution is beginning to break out. But as the entanglement of new technologies continues to seduce retail practitioners, the phenomenon of overkill is still prevalent. Relying on capital, resource building, and technology waste, these behaviors are causing companies to deviate from the essence of retail.
The economy is transforming form a personal economy to a personalized economy. The Chinese retail industry is moving back to its essence; once again becoming consumer centric and meeting the needs of the consumer. This brings an opportunity for change. In the period we have entered, the key to increasing profit for retail enterprises is no longer information gaps, but mainly from adding value to goods and services. It can be understood as the use of data technology to meet the individual needs of consumers, and creating the ultimate experience of goods and services to achieve longer term profit conversion. This benign cycle can promote a healthy development of the retail industry and reduce the conflicts of interest between enterprises and consumers.
Data empowered marketing to serve consumers appropriately
The essence of retailing in the age of technology is to rely on digital technology to provide consumers with the right products in the right amount and at the right time and place, to create the ultimate consumer experience. But what is “appropriate”? This requires deep insight and analysis of the connections between people (consumers), goods (goods) and fields (channels) to be able to make optimal decisions. A more comprehensive analysis of customer purchase data, industry competition data etc. to help companies manage proper pricing, develop promotional activities, and plan the most cost-effective operation possible. Data empowered digital marketing can enhance the company’s success through scenarios, interactions, and experiences that match consumer needs, increase the contribution value of individual customers, and create a sustainable competitive advantage.
But the problem lies in the integration of consumer data. The digitization of goods can be realized by most enterprises, however the digitization of consumers is difficult to achieve. Without proper digitization of the consumer side, big data is equivalent to “small eyes”, and cannot be used efficiently in various aspects such as marketing. The famous baby brand Wang realized the importance of customer data and set up a precision marketing department at their headquarters, specializing in digital transformation. By establishing a tool for the proper integration of consumer data, we can access and analyze consumer data to enable us to implement targeted marketing, shorten the business derivation path and increase the contribution value of individual customers while at the same time catering to the needs of consumers. It is understood that the source for 80% of the sales of the above mentioned brand are their existing members, and the annual sales can reach 6 billion.
Marketing to improve business and maximize customer value
In a data-rich retail environment, companies never lack data — but they often lack the ability to turn the data into business and sales. No results because there is no action? Statistics show that 95% of medium to large retail companies perform some sort of data based marketing, but few companies achieve the same effect as the previously mentioned baby brand. What is the problem? A main problem faced by enterprises is that the traditional data analysis methods cannot be integrated and applied in the face of massive data sources, and because of this they cannot produce accurate results from the data they have. They then run the risk of running their data analysis only to end up wasting marketing resources and increasing consumer dissatisfaction.
In contrast, an internationally renowned coffee brand has multiple channels of data sources such as their app, membership cards, SMS, and EDI. Through working with APEX Technologies, they hoped to make personalized recommendations by analyzing the relationship between food and beverages. To this end, the company studied data on the purchase of beverages and food of their members during the past year, and used APEX’ customer data platform to clean up more than 300 million pieces of data. During this process, different factors influenced the establishment of models and possible applications for the data, the attributes of drinks and foods were divided accordingly, after which cross-correlation was performed. After acting on the results, an analysis showed that the company’s food conversion rate increased by 46% — through scientifically analyzed personalized recommendations. After the association analysis, the user’s preference can be used not only for personalized marketing, but also for further development of the whole food segment of their product portfolio, where the analyzed data can provide scientific advice that helps create new application scenarios.
Thanks to APEX Technologies’ continuous optimization and adaptation of their technology, its enterprise customers in the service industry can be more acutely aware of consumption habits, predict consumption trends, guide production more effectively, and provide consumers with diversified and personalized products and service. Based on these remarkable results, China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), in conjunction with Microsoft Accelerator (Beijing), Plug and Play, and Bailian Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Space, awarded APEX Technologies the “2019 CCFA Retail Technology New Enterprise Award” award after carefully judging elements such as innovation, influence, development potential and entrepreneurial team.”
Considering the uncertainties of the retail industry, it is clear that data technology will bring broader and deeper impacts. More than just marketing, the future will bring consumers a better shopping experience and improve their operational efficiency. APEX Technologies will also be deeply rooted in this, and use their technology to better serve consumers, contributing to returning retail to its essence.