2. Use GDPR as an opportunity
When we speak about data, the question of privacy is just around the corner. The privacy will be further safeguarded by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is due to come into force in the EU in May 2018.
With the customer’s permission, use this GDPR deadline as a transparent way to collect data and show the customer what is in it for him, namely a personalized shopping experience. This means turning data into actions, special events (online and offline) or targeted promotions. For instance, targeted on summer clothes when the weekend weather forecast is excellent. Of course, any business should strike the right balance in terms of data usage. A ‘customer profile store’ is not Big Brother.
The GDPR does, however, put the spotlight on data, so it provides an opportunity at last to think about what you do with it. Most retailers do not know what customer segmentation is about. They have no idea of their sales costs in comparison to the customer profitability of specific segments. By using customer profile stores, retailers can gain this insight and consequently reallocate their marketing expenditures.
Coming back to the community building mentioned above, data can also be a source of new revenues. Some of the world’s leading e-commerce brands are already making more revenues from selling profiles (not customer identities!) to third parties than from selling products and services.