What Internet Retailers Need to Know Right Now

This morning, as I sit and have my morning coffee I am still in awe of everything that I heard and learned this past week at the Internet Retail Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago. I was lucky enough to go as part of the Umbel team and came away with a greater understanding of what retailers and e-commerce shops need to know in order to be successful in this space.

Failure is painful, but good

When you’re part of space that’s changing so quickly, failure is inevitable. As I was listening to the keynote address by Jason Goldberg, President of Target.com and Mobile, I reflected upon  a quote by Robert F. Kennedy: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Goldberg stressed the importance that retail companies need to continue to innovate, push and reinvent e-commerce, despite the possibility of failure. Goldberg stated when you fail and push yourself and your company it will be painful, but it “forces you to make it better.”

Be Guest Obsessed

When retailers are always innovating, it is important for them to remember who they are innovating for: the consumer. With the boom of social media and the opportunity to integrate so many new technologies into e-commerce solutions, it is sometimes easy to forget the end user of your site or product. As Alec Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit, said in his powerful session: “Building for users is so blindingly obvious to us because we wouldn’t have a product without doing so.” Jason Goldberg also shared this sentiment by saying at Target.com they refer to their online consumers as guests to remind themselves to bridge the online and offline experience into one shared experience.

Have a Single, Unified View of Your Customer

When retailers have their product ready to go, how they go about marketing, selling, shipping are all factors that they need to consider. Walking around the exhibit hall of IRCE, this became glaringly obvious.  With all the solutions presented on IRCE exhibit floor, retailers could find what they were looking for: from a CRM, a POS, a shipping supply company or a social media marketing marketing guru. But, what is often overlooked is a deep understanding of their customers, and not just the ability to market to them. As James McQuivey of Forrester said in his session: “You need a cloud based, single view of your customer. It is eminently important that you do that.” Part of what we do here at Umbel is help retailers have a 360 degree view of their customers by unifying all of their customer data. With all the tools, systems and data available for all retailers, their effectiveness is only as powerful as their understanding of their audience. Reddit understands this, which is why their email open rate is 45% compared to the industry average of 23%, because they know their readers love original content. We give this type of visibility to our clients which in turn enables them to make smarter decisions when talking to their customers.

Overall, IRCE offered several great insights and we look forward to going back next year!

Umbel helps companies collect, unify and analyze their customer data to drive sales, loyalty and engagement. We want to make data the most valuable asset you own. For more information or a trial of Umbel’s Customer Data Platform request a demo today.