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Microsoft Industry Blogs

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During the last 15 years of my career in the tech sector, I’ve focused on developing innovative customer experience solutions and overarching digital transformation for the retail industry – and I’ve never been more excited about the opportunities. It feels like we’ve always known the potential of digital tools, but now we’re finally at the place where the data is rich enough and the analysis engines strong enough to be truly insightful. The ability to dig into data and come out with truly actionable and relevant results is monumental.

All retail-related data is valuable, but this is an industry that really starts and ends with the customer. Tracking everything you can about customer interactions provides a gold mine of data that can help you really get to know your customers—as a group, and as individuals. This 360° view of your customers is your secret sauce. None of your competitors has this intelligence. So your customer data is one of your biggest competitive advantages.

If you don’t already have a customer data platform, this is absolutely the place to start with your retail transformation. If you do, bravo! Step two is to flesh it out so that it captures every existing contact and connection and all the feedback it can. This customer intelligence is what will allow you to create personalized and relevant experiences that delight customers and grow brand loyalty.

Knowing what your customers really want (and what they don’t!) helps you adapt and hone in on what makes your brand relationship with your customer special. It not only helps you develop a meaningful relationship with your customers and grow their customer lifetime value, but it also helps with more traditional operations challenges. How do I plan my store, how much do I order, what do I charge, how do I market it? These are all questions your customer data can help answer.

We’ve created an executive brief with more in-depth information about knowing your customer, and how technology fits in. Check it out and start innovating your own retail future.

You may also be interested in Insights for the Savvy Retail Leader where you can gather expert retail insights to evolve your business and learn from the success of others.