Recap: Customer Experience & Data Bootcamp

On the 17th of November, we held our most recent boot camp in London where we explored what it means to deliver great experiences in the context of data.

We started the day by thinking about what it means to ask customers for their data and what customers want to share with us – exploring the idea that there is a scale of comfort depending on the context of the interaction and customers’ own views on their data. We established that as retailers we should be thinking about the values our own brand and customers hold around the ethics of data collection and use. From here we need to think carefully about the value the customer gets from sharing each data point with us. To make sure we are being considered in our data consumption, we can start by identifying the experience and then what data points are needed to deliver each part of the experience, and what the fallback is if we don’t have that data point. The latter is that our experiences are still engageable and meaningful even if we come from a place of no data.

Now we had set the scene to think about the scales of data collection and usage, our partners were ready to take us on a journey of exploration.

Our colleagues at Empathy demonstrated how brands like Zara are delivering search and discovery experiences that keep all data in the session but still enable customers to tailor their shopping to their needs by applying preferences and settings in that session. Hearing about how large brands are paving the way to deliver experiences that are personal and relevant to consumers without data having to be exchanged with the retailer, demonstrates that data is not the prerequisite for great experiences. This deviation from the data-informs-experience default shows the importance of having a customer experience that puts the customer first, not their data.

The next session was delivered by Vonage, introducing, a new conversational commerce platform. The platform helps retailers connect with customers in spaces that they already feel comfortable being in – such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Customers can engage, converse and transact with brands in these apps, which means that they are not being forced to interact in a space we as retailers want to own, but rather where they already are. As conversations are an intimate form of two-way connection, there naturally needs to be a high level of data sharing. However, experiences can be set up so that customers can initiate the conversation, or brands can initiate them – giving flexibility for brands to create experiences that meet their customers as appropriate.

Treasure Data then took us through understanding how to store customer data securely, manage consent, identify customers better and then use this repository of good quality data to enhance customer experiences and connect with other like-minded people. With their ability to receive data in any schema, set custom retention policies and help brands meet policies around security and sustainability – brands can genuinely be intentional about the data they hold, for how long and how it is used.

Last but not least our colleagues at Talon.One came along. We know that if we are asking customers to engage with us in a deep and meaningful way, then that relationship is built on a true value-exchange that customers can trust. Loyalty for Talon.One isn’t just about offering discounts. It is about finding areas in the customer journey where the value-exchange is not meeting customer expectations, improving it and then having the flexibility to adapt and change as the customer experience evolves. Loyalty is all about surprising and delighting customers, and it’s something that retailers should see as a core competency, not just something that the ecommerce or marketing teams think about.


To Recap

  • We all have different values that determine our comfort around data sharing – and this is contextual as well as principled
  • When we ask consumers for data we should be thinking about the value that we are giving back to them for sharing that data with us
  • Great experiences can still be delivered even if consumers do not want to, or have not yet, shared information about themselves with us
  • We can converse and transact with consumers in spaces they feel comfortable, not just spaces we have created
  • If we are asking for data storing it in a place that allows us to be intentional about where and how it is stored and used is important – and a CDP can enable this intentionality
  • Loyalty is a core business capability that evolves as customers expectations do and therefore should be supported by technology that can support this


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