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IRX 2016 INTERVIEW Paul Kendrick of Bonmarché on the single view of the customer

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Ahead of this year’s InternetRetailing Expo (IRX 2016), we’re previewing event highlights and interviewing speakers. Today’s interview is with Paul Kendrick, multichannel director of Bonmarché , on demystifying the single view of the customer.

InternetRetailing: At IRX 2016, you’re speaking about demystifying the single view of the customer. In your view, what’s the single biggest benefit of measuring customer behaviour across channels?

Paul Kendrick, multichannel director of Bonmarché: To get a single view of the customer and understand their true value. Only then can you decide how much and where to invest – provide true personalisation and relevance. If you measure your online channel you can easily undervalue the impact one channel has on another or, for example, end up making recommendations for product which customers have already purchased.

Having the single view across channels will also provide surprises in how customers behave and challenge the way you optimise your business.

IR: What’s the biggest challenge that this presents?

PK: In an online world it’s relatively easy to ‘recognise’ a customer and link up all their transactions. In a store this becomes far harder – how do you get the customer to identify themselves? If you have a loyalty programme to gain customer data you still miss out on browsing data and they walk around your store, what they look at but don’t buy. Getting customers to identify themselves, consistently, so you can link up their cross channel behaviour and transactions is the key challenge.

IR: How do you think retailers’ use of the single customer view will develop in future?

PK: I think we will see lessons being learnt across channels and retailers getting creative about how the single customer view, and the data it provides, can provide the ability to offer personalised service across all channels. Providing product recommendations online is common place – but why not do it in stores as well using the same data and logic. I believe the power sits in the customer data, and increasingly we will see retailers determining customer strategies on the back of this and then decide which is the most appropriate action and then the most relevant way in which to interact with the customer – whether that be onsite, in store, via email or direct mail.

IR: What, apart from your own presentation, are you most looking forward to at IRX 2016?

PK: To get to see other retailers’ views on how customer behaviour is changing and the tools they are using to engage with them.

Paul Kendrick is speaking in the Insight & Experience conference on April 27 2016 at IRX 2016, at Birmingham’s NEC. His presentation, Single customer view demystified – beyond the technology, do customers behave in a consistent and measureable way?, is at 2.45pm. Find out more about his presentation here, and more about IRX 2016 here. Register to visit the show for free here.

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