"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak."- Rachel Zoe
Discovering the fashion personality of your customers can provide a great deal of insight into their buying behavior. But you can't uncover that personality by relying on transactional data alone. You also need the consumer insights (CI) you get from talking to your customers directly.
Combining insight community feedback with business intelligence (BI) helps you understand motivations behind consumer decisions. If you can tie customer ID numbers to each member of your insight community, you can compare actual purchase behaviour (what is purchased and in what quantities) with insights gleaned from research studies.
Merging customer insights with business intelligence data can create three advantages for your business:
- Get the whole picture.
Customer insights can help you get past the what to discover the why. For example, transactional data can tell you that a specific customer purchased girl's clothes, plus size men's shirts, and luxury women's fragrances. But why did they do it?
Perhaps the customer was shopping on behalf of her daughter and her husband and bought perfume for herself. Without asking her directly, you can make assumptions about her purchases but you can't accurately explain her purchase behavior.
An insight community helps you grasp the why to explain how certain purchases make their way into your customers' shopping carts. Understanding the changes to customer preferences over time can help you anticipate trends and keep shoppers loyal.
- Win over even the toughest fashionistas.
By customizing surveys and personalizing marketing initiatives, you can avoid presenting things that will annoy your customer.
- Customization: When people join an insight community, we recommend that researchers welcome them and ask a series of behavioral and demographic questions shortly after. Getting to know your community members will help you avoid sending irrelevant content to them. Jane only shops in store? Then don't send her surveys about her digital shopping experience. John has no kids? Then no need to ask him about the junior girl's department. Knowing your members lays the groundwork for a respectful relationship between you and your customers.
- Personalization: Particularly popular in online marketing methods, personalization caters to the segment of one. Personalization works on the premise that the company can send tailored content to customers based on available information such as age, gender, income, and purchase behavior.
By combining business intelligence with demographic, behavioural, and attitudinal data from an insight community, advanced analytics teams can develop more accurate personalization algorithms. Marketers can then send surveys to customers with tailored content, either validating or highlighting areas for improvement in the algorithms. By integrating BI insights into insight communities, businesses can test hundreds of their assumptions and validate hypotheses.
- Be a trendsetter, not a follower.
Many organizations have identified key groups into which they can fit most of their customers; this is typically referred to as segmentation. The trouble with segmentation is that customers change over time. A customer's personal style or financial status, for instance, could evolve.
Brands also change. For example, a company can choose to evolve to reflect a different style and vision, or they might develop new products to provide different price points.
Marketers can engage customers in an insight community to help develop and continually revise customer segmentations that the company can use to refer to the past, present, and potentially future profiles of dominant shopper groupings.
In the fast-paced fashion industry, anticipating trends is imperative. Brands can gain valuable business insights by discovering what customers say they are buying and what they actually buy. Insight communities benefit retailers and customers, but also designers by helping determine trends that will appeal to most customers and set them apart in the industry.
The popular phrase "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" characterizes the relationship between a brand and a consumer. The more time and energy brands invest into understanding their customers, the more customers will feel valued and "give back" to the brands they love.
Consumer insights and business intelligence are traditionally two areas of companies that have a rich supply of data. Bringing together the power of insight community data with transactional business intelligence is an innovative approach that can connect the dots between what customers feel, think, and say they do (CI), and what they actually do (BI). These two valuable sources, once integrated, can result in extremely meaningful and actionable insights to any organization.
What are you doing to get inside the minds of your customers?