Fashion retailers have been systematically collecting data about their customers for years, tapping demographic information, often gleaned through catalogue subscriptions, as well as whatever customers were willing to share with sales associates in stores. But, special programmes targeting select high spenders aside, for many retailers, this information was largely used to build generalised profiles of archetypical consumers, not individual profiles.
That’s changing. “In the past five years, it’s become easier to collect a vast amount of data at the lowest level,” explained Lori Mitchell-Keller, head of the global retail industry business unit at SAP, which provides the enterprise software that retailers use to help parse through this data. “The challenge for retailers is: how do they harness the power of that data to impact the shopping experience?”
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