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Retailers and brands are facing a double whammy of keeping sales and profits buoyant, while facing a period of unprecedented change with an explosion of new market entrants. Many are seeking new ways to create revenue. This month for our 3-minute interview, we talked to Sandrine Devy, Global Manufacturer Practice Managing Director to learn more about why retailers should be monetising their data, how brands can benefit, and what they need in place to make this happen.


With current pressures in the retail landscape, what factors do you think brands and retailers need to prioritise more than ever?

With grocery channels under pressure, driving growth, creating efficiencies and developing new revenue through monetisation are the 3 main areas of focus for retailers and brands (make, save and find money).

Today, one quarter of the top 250 retailers in the world are monetising their Customer Data through insights (many more are doing so with their Sales Data), generating direct income of an estimated £320m from their supplier base. This has grown by 40% in the last two years and we estimate it will double in the next three years – not just by the number of retailers, but by revenue per retailer as well.

Retailers who are not currently thinking about monetising their data and media assets are in danger of missing this opportunity to secure additional income outside their core grocery sales business. But more importantly, they are missing an opportunity to gain wider benefit from Customer-First retailing by aligning their suppliers to this way of doing business.

In developing markets, where sales are still growing, retailers and brands really have to structure their category management approach to become more Customer-First focused. When a business understands the Customer and activates against their needs, they'll not only be more responsive to changes in consumer behaviour, they'll improve the Customer experience and generate long term loyalty. This type of operating model creates a platform for sustainable, strategic growth. And the best way to maximize this is to engage suppliers through insights, focusing the collaboration on what matters most to Customers in categories.

In mature markets, where sales growth is more limited, many retailers and brands will need to focus firmly on efficiencies. The challenge here is around promotions, and how to optimise them – driving more sales from a smaller investment. While promotions are already a key element in the relationship between retailers and their suppliers, analysis of their true performance generally suffers from lack of transparency.

What are the key things retailers need to address for monetisation?  What are the main barriers?

There are a couple of ingredients which are vital for launching successful monetisation strategies. First is having the right data to monetise. EPOS (electronic point of sale) data is not enough nowadays, but loyalty card data or tokenised data which enables richer insights on actual Customer level purchase behaviour is the way forward.

Secondly, and in some ways more importantly, if a business does not have the will to change the cultural mindset to become data-driven, then monetisation will fail. And changing the culture of a business is not a simple task – it requires total and absolute commitment from the top-down and bottom-up to drive a change in attitude and processes.

So while having a direct Customer data feed is paramount for any monetisation strategy, for it to be sustainable, the business must adopt a Customer-First approach to decision making. If you fail to consider the impact of your monetisation approach on your Customer experience, then you risk losing the very asset that's driving the revenue – your Customers. Business decisions should be made to improve Customer experience in equal measure as to drive revenue; the two are not mutually exclusive.

And lastly, the retailer must have the desire to collaborate with their suppliers in a transparent way that creates a working relationship for shared success. The ultimate goal for both parties should be improving the Customer experience to grow sales.

Tell us a little bit about how the Manufacturer Practice team at dunnhumby helps clients win.

Most brands and manufacturers are one step removed from their shoppers, as generally the retailer owns the relationship with the Customer. We help manufacturers collaborate more effectively with retailers, giving them deeper knowledge of shopper behaviours, so they can understand which new products work best, which ranges should be put in which stores to be Customer relevant, and which promotions are most effective to optimise sales and profits. And the starting point of this is to define and agree the collaboration framework with our retail partners.

What are your retail trend predictions for the next 12 months?

Brands, especially bigger brands, may lose out as consumers turn from global to local, seeking out niche products, looking for more personalised, relevant experiences from the brands they love. Understanding Customer needs more deeply will become increasingly important to brands as they need to adjust their strategies to engage on a personal level.

More retailers will monetise their Customer Data and their media assets. Doing both – media and insights – simultaneously will provide added value to retailers (and their suppliers), as the optimum way to improve the Customer experience in a relevant and engaging way, rather than just acting as a mechanism for generating extra income.

And finally, trade and promotions planning will become increasingly automated, especially in mature markets, driving massive efficiencies in the industry and allowing more time and investment to be directed towards new product development, proposition and experience development, to support changing Customer needs.

[This is the fourth in a series of articles advocating the voice of the Customer in the highly competitive food-retail industry. David Ciancio is Global Customer Strategist for dunnhumby, a pioneer in Customer data science, serving the world's most Customer-centric brands in a number of industries, including retail. David has 48 years experience in retail, 25 of which were in Store Management. He can be reached at David.Ciancio@dunnhumby.com].

Treating Customers differently based on their 'profitability' is counter-productive to building loyalty and toward creating a healthy retail Customer Experience.


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The dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey is a multi-phased, worldwide study of the impact of COVID-19 on customer attitudes and behavior. We surveyed more than 27,000 respondents online in 22 countries, with interviews conducted for Wave one from March 29 – April 1, for Wave two from April 11 – 14, and for Wave three from May 27 – 31. Due to the rapidly unfolding crisis in North America, dunnhumby conducted Wave four from July 9 – 12 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico only. Here are highlights from the study:

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In a series of posts published earlier this year, we covered the results of the dunnhumby Customer Pulse – a global study designed to explore changing consumer mindsets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over three waves, conducted between March and the end of May, we polled thousands of people from more than 20 countries on subjects including supermarkets' responses to the outbreak, the economic outlook, and how their shopping behaviour had changed due to COVID.

At the beginning of September – three months on from the previous wave and with supply chains stable and the changing nature of lockdowns – we wanted to revisit the Customer Pulse to see what, if anything, had changed. Below are some of the standout findings from this fourth tranche of research.

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Are you looking to increase your contactable Customer base? How much money are you losing on incorrectly identified Customer communications? Throughout our 30 years of big data experience working with clients across industries around the globe, we have found that maintaining contact through relevant Customer engagement is a crucial component of putting the Customer First.

Essential to preserving contact data is ensuring that you have the most up-to-date information from your Customers; not an easy task. On average, people in the United States will move an average of 12 times in their lifetime. United States Postal Service data indicates 14% of the population change addresses annually. As email contact has grown, it's important to note that, on average, 30% of people change their email addresses each year. This is driven by ISP or job changes, or just to stop being spammed. As people move away from home phones to primarily mobile devices, phone numbers are stabilizing as consumers maintain the same numbers through physical moves.

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It's a well-worn phrase by now, but it's true that the COVID-19 crisis has drastically altered the global retail landscape. Here in the Asia-Pacific region, a majority of markets are now looking past the panic of the first wave and towards the future. In this series of articles, we'll explore how grocery retailers must adapt to a more omnichannel reality to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

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Article originally appeared on Forbes.

My company recently produced a report on the state of the food retail industry, and in studying that sector, we discovered something that we hope will make food retailers stand up and listen. We learned that the nation's top grocery chains have found a way to focus on both short-term financial performance and investment in long-term consumer engagement. The latter is considered an insurance policy for the future — a sobering thought in the new year.

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FOR RETAILERS

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FOR BRANDS

Better understand and activate your Shoppers to grow sales.

Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

Last March, when we realized the potential impact that COVID-19 might have on all aspects of our lives, dunnhumby launched a survey to understand how the virus would affect consumers food shopping habits. It was designed to help our clients better meet the needs of their Customers by seeing the impact of the virus through their customers eyes.

Little did we know at the time that one year later we would still be dealing with the impact Covid-19. This study presents the results of the sixth global wave of the study and the seventh wave for the United States. Other waves were conducted in March, April, May, July, September and November of 2020. This wave was conducted in February 2021.

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Retail leaders must objectively understand how their business currently considers Customers before trying to set a more Customer-centric direction and focus. There are some formal assessment methodologies, like dunnhumby's Retail Preference Index (RPI) and Customer Centricity Assessment (CCA), which offer detailed evaluations of a business' capabilities, strengths and weaknesses based on Customer perceptions (RPI) or global best practices (CCA).

The approach outlined below is not intended to replace these formal tools; rather, these observations are intended as a kind of 'toe in the water' to help retail leaders form early hypotheses and points of views. These are rules of thumb, heuristics culled from global experience. Later, leaders might use these observations to informally check progress from time to time as a way of assessing whether the "program in the stores matches the program in our heads".

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In the first episode of Customer First Radio, Dave Clements, Global Head of Retail for dunnhumbyand David Ciancio, Global Head of Grocery for dunnhumby kick off the series by discussing what it means to be a truly Customer First business, share which retailers and brands today embody a Customer First mindset, and examine how Customer First materialized during the pandemic with retailers.