For retailers and other B2C organizations, knowing the customer has become a much more complex task in recent years. What was once an assessment of in-store transaction information has grown into a non-stop digital excavation of fast-changing consumer behavior and engagement data from an ever-growing number of channels.
Founded in 2006, AgilOne began with the goal of enabling retailers to better understand their customers—who they are, what they want—and to facilitate meaningful communication by leveraging that insight via their Customer Data and Engagement Hub.
“You can think of it as sort of a next generation CRM,” said AgilOne CEO Omer Artun, “but it’s not just about transactions. It’s about engagement and conversations with the customer that take into account all of their interactions with a brand.”
The company currently serves over 150 retailers worldwide, Artun said, including companies like Hugo Boss, Vineyard Vines, Lululemon, and Joann Fabrics. AgilOne’s platform collects transactional, behavioral, and engagement data from retail websites and mobile apps, in-store PoS, email, call center data, and a number other customer touchpoints, compiling this information into a unified customer profile.
The platform then uses data analytics to make meaning of the compiled consumer information, Artun said, allowing retailers to understand consumers on both an individual basis, as well as in targeted groups, and to take action on that data.
Retailers using AgilOne can determine who their most valuable customers are, which customers are likely to return, how likely individuals are to click on a promotional email, etc. This data enables retailers, for example, to discover which discounts and promotions are driving engagement and sales for which customers as a means to optimize margin and marketing spend.
Along with marketing channels, the data on individual consumer profiles are actionable on the marketing end as well as for customer service reps, and on the PoS system for retail sales associates. The result is a greater understanding of consumers on a macro and micro level for retailers, and a more personalized experience for consumers.
“We make this data available at the call center, for email, in the PoS system,” Artun said, “the places where you need to interact with customers in a more authentic way.”
The functions of AgilOne’s platform benefit the retailer on a number of levels, said Artun.
First, the Customer Data and Engagement Hub can increase the number of individual customers retailers can know and communicate with simply by consolidating the plethora of consumer data from various sources into one place.
Secondly, the ability to target and personalize marketing and promotional content leads to a higher level of customer engagement downstream, Artun said, which in the long run can result in higher conversion rates and a greater customer lifetime value.
AgilOne customers also see a real impact on the revenue side, Artun noted: “because we can get people back and more engaged, the metric is around anywhere from a 7 to 15 percent increase in terms of additional revenue because you’re marketing to more people, you’re casing people better, and they convert more throughout.”
Retailers find they can reallocate anywhere form 10 to 20 percent of their marketing budget to more high-yield channels, Artun said. This is accomplished by knowing which customers are high-value and what their behaviors signify, and which promotions, keywords, and channels see the highest rates of success.
The speed of consumer insight action is in the midst of another major shift, Artun said. In the past, transaction information drove retail marketing and communications action on broader time scales. Then web and email data channels came along, creating discussions within days.
“One of our customers provides free Wi-Fi,” Artun said. “As part of that, they gather email addresses. They know who walked into which store when, and that data is valuable for conversation and authentic action within hours or minutes.”
With mobile device proliferation and growing IoT use and data, meaningful action for retailers is increasingly based on near real-time consumer relationships with brands. Artun said that AgilOne’s platform would continue to work in supporting the retail industry’s motion toward near real-time, hyper-personalized, targeted marketing action.