Retailers have to ensure their knowledge on customers and store locations enables them to achieve the best possible return on investment

The retail landscape is changing. Retailers can no longer expect their brand and store presence to solely deliver their sales and margin targets. The future success of retail lies in understanding customers and the channels they wish to use.

If as a retailer, you do not know who is shopping in your stores, can you really expect to maximise customer spend and compete effectively? Similarly, if you do not know your customers, how can you choose the places that offer the most profitable new store locations? The economic challenges ahead will inevitably create a further divergence in spending power. Retailers have to ensure their knowledge on customers and store locations enables them to achieve the best possible return on investment.

For many retailers, customer data did not form a part of their business strategy. The introduction of online retail has driven many to understand how important data is, both strategically and tactically in increasing sales and margins. The combination of understanding customers and the right technology allows retailers to put in place communication strategies that are tailored and timely to drive them in-store or online. Customer data is a strategic asset that needs to be collected across all the channels to maximise the customer experience. Every retailer knows customers have to be the focus. That focus can only achieve success if it is based on detailed customer knowledge.

CACI is helping many of the UK’s leading retailers to make sense of this complex and changing landscape, driving better decisions to increase sales and margin through effective strategies in customer marketing and store location.

Jonathan Burston is director of CACI