TECHNOLOGY

Home furnishings retailer gains visibility into the customer journey

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Crate and Barrel has found a way to improve customer engagement and the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns.

As the home furnishings retailer’s customers increasingly discover, browse and purchase merchandise online, in catalogs and in-store, the retailer knew it needed to make the shopping experience personal and frictionless. This can be a difficult task when channels do not always share data.

To solve the issue, Crate and Barrel partnered with Neustar to ensure it could identify consumers consistently cross-channel and cross-device. Neustar provides a framework that links customer transactions and engagements back to a household and individual persistent ID that can be used across channels. This will give Crate and Barrel a unified view of the customer on one single platform, eliminating the data gaps inherent in customer intelligence.

By linking Crate and Barrel’s rich first-party data (such as email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers) to the Neustar OneID system, the platform continuously corroborates, verifies and appends missing information across customer records. This will give the retailer a comprehensive, complete view of the customer.

Additionally, OneID facilitates the capture of cross-device digital interactions and, using hashed identifiers, enables a single holistic, connected view of the customer. The solution will also identify gaps in CRM data, such as which households or individuals have recently moved homes. This data will allow Crate and Barrel to create tailored marketing campaigns focused on a unique segment of movers.

Using a design approach, the software protects customer privacy. Online and offline signals are hashed and securely segregated in order to inform activation without compromising user privacy.

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Study: Desktop sales jump 26% on Cyber Monday

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite mobile commerce’s ongoing growth, desktop sales hit a milestone on Cyber Monday.

Desktop online spending reached $3.36 billion on Cyber Monday, up 26% versus year ago. This represents the heaviest online spending day in history, and the first day to ever surpass $3 billion in desktop sales, according to comScore.

Thanksgiving weekend as a whole proved to be strong for desktop sales. It marked the third straight year in which both Saturday and Sunday individually had billion-dollar online shopping days, combining for $2.92 billion for a year-over-year increase of 17%. For the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, online buying from desktop computers totaled $10.21 billion, up 21% versus last year, the data revealed.

“Cyber Monday once again ranked as the heaviest online spending day of all-time and became the first day to ever exceed $3 billion in sales from desktop computers,” said comScore senior VP of marketing and insights Andrew Lipsman.

“Every year it seems there’s talk of the big promotional days becoming less important as promotions get extended across so much of the season, but the data suggest the exact opposite – that the biggest promotional days are only getting more important with time,” Lipsman said. “Online retailers have conditioned consumers to be very responsive to the deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is why they have consistently shown above-average growth rates year after year.”

Other highlights include:

• 140 million Americans visited online retail properties on Cyber Monday, with 77 million arriving via desktop, 103 million via mobile, and 40 million shopping on both platforms. The total number of digital shoppers on Cyber Monday surpassed Black Friday’s total by 11 million.

• Amazon once again ranked as the most visited online retail property on Cyber Monday, followed by Walmart and eBay.

• Apparel & Accessories ranked as the top product category on Cyber Monday, with nearly $900 million in desktop sales, followed by Consumer Electronics and Computer Hardware, respectively.

• Consumer Packaged Goods was the fastest-growing category year-over-year on Cyber Monday, followed by Toys & Hobbies, and Apparel & Accessories, respectively.

• Households making $100,000+ in annual income accounted for 44% of desktop spending on Cyber Monday.

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Online retail card fraud drops during Black Friday weekend

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Online retailers — and consumers — have something new to be thankful for this holiday season: a decrease in online fraud.

For the first time in recent years, credit card fraud — which remains the highest fraud type for online retailers — has dropped to 42% of total fraud during the holiday weekend (Nov. 24 – 27, 2017). This level was 59% of total fraud for the same period in 2016, according to data from device intelligence for authentication and fraud prevention provider Iovation.

Overall, this decrease demonstrates that online retailers are making strides in their ability to identify and prevent card-not-present (CNP) fraud which has been on the rise since brick-and-mortar retailers have increased their adoption of EMV card technologies, the study reported.

Consumers are doing more of their holiday shopping online in general, a practice that has contributed to a decline in transactions occurring solely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is the result of a shift in sales strategies among online retailers that are now extending promotional deals beyond the holiday shopping weekend.

According to data, 62% of consumer’s online retail transactions from Black Friday to Cyber Monday originated from mobile phones/tablets, compared to 55% last year, confirming the trend that m-commerce during the holidays is increasing year-over-year.

“Online retailers who leverage device intelligence are making significant inroads when it comes to proactively preventing card-not-present fraud,” said Greg Pierson, CEO and co-founder for iovation. “This type of fraud not only cuts into their bottom line results, it can cause irreparable harm to their brand so this is a meaningful improvement.”

In a separate survey of more than 1,000 consumers across four generations, 83% percent of respondents seem to understand how to protect themselves online. They are using a credit card rather than a debit card for online purchases, monitoring credit scores regularly and shopping at well-known retailers. Yet, consumers across all demographic groups continue to exercise poor password hygiene.

While currently serving as consumers’ primary means of authentication, passwords frequently fail when it comes to both user experience and security. Despite these shortcomings, vulnerable passwords are firmly ensconced in today’s online experience.

Of those surveyed, 60% of consumers said they are not changing their passwords regularly (less than every six-to-12 months). Worse, close to 70% use the same password across multiple sites, meaning that a hacker can easily take over multiple consumer accounts with just a single compromised credential, the study said.

A shift from static, password-based authentication to frictionless, multi-factor authentication is crucial to combat today’s escalating threat environment. Multi-factor authentication combines the best of user experience and heightened security for businesses.

Using context to determine how trustworthy the user is ensures the appropriate level of authentication is required. Thus, dynamic authentication makes the right things easy and the wrong things more difficult, providing additional or less layers of authentication when needed, the study said.

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