In the United States, over 3,800 retail stores are shutting down among these Walgreens, Macys, Toys R Us, Sears, and Gap. While this is being attributed to the rise of e-commerce (i.e. Amazon taking over the market) there are other reasons behind it. Some of these change in consumer shopping habits, preferring to shop online rather than go to brick and mortar outlets, change in general consumer habits such as preferring to spend on experiences rather than spending on things and an oversupply of malls. You may assume that it is only retail that is been affected, however, restaurants too have been suffering. Bloomberg reports that Subway, for example, has closed over 500 stores in a period of months in the US.
Turning to Kenya we have seen a certain surge of malls over the last couple of years with Roslyn Riviera, Two Rivers, Southfield Mall and South End mall being the latest entrance. International retailers and restaurants have taken advantage of this opening multiple stores in both new and existing malls. With all this going on it is easy for your store/restaurant to be lost in the noise. Malls Restaurants and Retailers are leveraging on customer experience to keep up with the competition and increase sales. For example, the Village Market recently announced the entertainment section it is completing for both children and adults. Two Rivers has ensured that both children and parents have activities to do in the mall. Restaurants such as Nyama mama, Picasso and J’s Fresh Kitchen and Bar have incorporated live music to help in improving the customer restaurant experience and retailers such as Mr. Price have shopping attendants receive you at the door and guide you as you pick and choose what you would like to try on. Evidently, customer experience is everything. But there is one thing missing.
Customer experience is no longer measured simply by the experience, the product or service that customers receive at your mall, store or restaurant. The customer journey and marketing now have a major role in improving customer experience. Popularly coined as “Personalized marketing”, personalization can be a huge benefit for retailers and customers. Personalized marketing is the ultimate form of marketing, a strategy that leverages on customer data analysis and digital technology to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current and potential customers. According to Nielsen (2017), 71% of customers prefer personalized advertisements. Personalized marketing is a customer relationship builder that helps customers feel welcome, valued and remembered as individuals. To the retailer and restaurant, running personalized marketing campaigns will help increase sales, ensure the marketing budget ROI, improve customer relationships/engagement and customer loyalty.
Data Fintech a Kenyan Artificial Intelligence startup, is currently is currently holding free Customer experience workshops that aim to help retailers, malls, and restaurants create personalized and meaningful promotions for a better customer experience. At these workshops, industry players discuss challenges facing them when it comes to marketing, customer loyalty, and sales and discuss solutions to these challenges. Additionally, the workshop takes them through how to leverage their customer data and analytics to:
- Create a customer experience database
- Determine the true value of a customer
- Segment customer database
- Create personalized marketing promotions.
The Data Fintech Customer Experience workshop has currently been running for the last two months and has had retailers such as City Walk, Bata, Wide Shoe and Jade collection attend. Restaurants have not been left behind with Steers, Debonnairs, Ocean Basket, Seven Seas Food and Grill, Newscafe, Olpul Steak house and Secret Garden taking part in the workshop in a bid to understand how they can effectively use customer data.
“The Data Fintech Customer Experience Workshop is trying to revolutionize the retail sector by helping them use big data and analytics to aid their marketing activities. This is something that will benefit Kenyan customers and businesses.” Edna Maritim, Marketing Executive.
“We want Kenyan businesses to be at the forefront of the digital transformation in the Retail & Distribution sector and create the jobs of tomorrow”, said Draman Traore, Data Fintech Co-Founder.
“The Data Fintech Customer Experience Workshop showed us how to use customer data efficiently and manage our marketing costs as a restaurant effectively.” Valentine Ochieng, Marketing Manager Corydon Limited. (Olpul Steak House and Secret Garden Café.)
To be part of the workshop or find out more visit: bit.ly/DFCXWorkshop