NRF: Big Ideas for Retail Recovery include Customer Data and CDPs to Grow, Compete with Startups
What big ideas will drive retail and brand expansion this year and beyond? At NRF Converge , one of the most intriguing came from Deepak Bhosale, general manager of IT at Asian Paints, a $2 billion company that started in India as a paint store and has expanded its offering to become a fierce home decor competitor in 60 countries. The idea? Your competition is far broader than just other retailers, and the best way to compete is through the smart use of customer data , preferably in real time.
“We knew we had to get into better digital capabilities, because our competition was not just paint companies but lots of tech-based startups,” says Bhosale.
“Creating customer experiences that relied on data was going to be key to our growth and expansion,” he says.
And for Asian Paints, finding a way to collect, manage, and use customer data is critical to personalizing customer journeys as people go through the myriad of choices necessary to do home remodeling. At the center of this strategy is a Treasure Data Enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP) .
What’s Driving the Push to Digital Transformation in Home Stores?
Bhosale sees customer data as far more than a nice-to-have item in Asian Paints’ martech array. Rather, he says, it’s the only way to manage the growing need for personalized customer journeys, complete with suggestions for coordinating products or product families.
“The length of customer journeys is increasing, breadth of offerings is increasing, and the depth of customer engagement is changing,” says Bhosale.
“What we intend to do through digital transformation , is to have the data to empower our employees to make great decisions, based on data,” he says.
And that all means that the company’s data management has become a key driver of its expansion strategy—to enter new markets and to expand the range of products that it typically sells.
Developing Better Retail Relationships with Customers
“Previously, we were reaching out to our customers through retailers and contractors,” says Bhosale. But now, interaction with the customer could start from anywhere, on any channel, and is often a direct experience with each customer.
This has made it essential to make the experience of online and offline channels absolutely seamless, from unifying the digital and physical elements of the showroom experience with everything that happens before and after an in-store visit.
Data unification brought together information from more than 30 sources and more than 100 tables, a huge effort.
Bhosale says Treasure Data CDP has helped to bring down the cost of new customer acquisition, as well as help the company deal with the many sources of data about each customer—especially when it comes to dealing with combining structured and unstructured data.
Contact Centers Come Into Their Own
Another trend to watch in the near term: Bhosale says that the AI-powered recommendations that its CDP provides also help to support contact centers, an increasingly common need. The use of contact centers has increased during the pandemic, as in-person channels vanished overnight, and provided a way to keep orders and customer communication flowing. Customers can call with questions, and that data is captured, processed with machine learning (ML) algorithms, and used for such things as next-best-action recommendations .
Asian Paints Expects Customer Data to Stay Central to Its Strategy
Like many other NRF attendees and speakers, Asian Paints expects to integrate customer data across channels—everything from mobile apps to showroom floor data to social and web data—to open new markets and stay competitive. That’s a retail trend to watch in 2021 and beyond.
Learn more about Asian Paints’ ambitious growth strategy to become a premier home decor brand. Watch the free on-demand webinar today, “From walls to spaces: Asian Paints’ digital transformation led by CDP.”