JD Williams: understanding the customer one click at a time

There’s so much data in the world, so how do retailers use it to drive sales?  Many businesses that started off with catalogues are at a natural advantage thanks to their customer focus.  But in an omnichannel world, where do you focus your efforts first to make the most of the swathes of available information?

We know that smartphone use is on the rise, but it’s interesting to see that this trend is also the case amongst older demographics. Recently at RBTE 2016, Gareth Powell, Head of Web Analytics at JD Williams, stated of the 2.4 millions sessions per month their website receives, 68% is mobile generated.  This is for a retailer whose customers are predominantly female and over 50.  Indeed, he was sure there had been a slowdown in tablet use replaced by mobile.

Williams also found that first click to placing an order can take 110 days. So multi-sessions and devices need to be viewed as a whole to build a picture of the customer.

This is extremely important because JD Williams can identify 30% of traffic thanks to automatic log ins or account numbers at the point of order.  They use a probabilistic approach to infer a further 20%.  In this way, the retailer can utilise email marketing intelligently and segment their database based on orderer/non-orderer flags.

Of course this still means 50% of activity cannot be tracked to an individual and the retailer admits it has work to do here.  In the future, JD Williams plans to exploit unstructured data and look at pattern detection through big data tools, as well as digital attribution modelling for sales and campaign assessment.

One striking thought from Powell’s talk was the recommendation that data scientists and analysts be given the time to think and look at problems and solutions aside from day to day operations.  In this way, blue sky thinking may lead to more sales of sky blue tops just when they are needed.

 

 

 

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