No more guessing games in retail

For all the retail companies that were not part of the first digitisation wave, there is now help to be found. Armstrong One is a large step for the retail industry. Everything from digital business operation is gathered here in the cloud, and does not require any starting investment.

In collaboration with Houston Analytics, IBM and Agillic, Armstrong One has developed a cloud-based solution. It serves ready-to-use automised and personalised omnichannel communication, based on intelligent and self-learning data analysis. It creates a rennaisance for the retail trade and the classical virtues, where the essence is to know and understand the customer’s needs.

“The current IT infrastructure is outdated in many places, and far too costly and cumbersome to maintain. Armstrong One has been created for future business management, where systems are collated, software is updated daily, and data is stored in the cloud, with the purpose of effectively supporting the company in reaching it’s customers with relevant and timely communication. That is simply good business,” explains Armstrong One CEO, Jesper Valentin.

Easy to get started

Some of the greatest advantages is that Armstrong One is cloud and subscription based, and does not require specialist knowledge, Jesper Valentin points out. “Armstrong One uses sophisticated technology, but is already prepared, so that companies can get started immediately, see the concrete business results, and adjust the usage of the solution as their needs change. The solution does not require specialists, and there are no start-up costs, and no long-term committments,” explains Jesper Valentin. He continues:

“Many companies can probably identify with that fact that it is difficult to predict both costs and real business value when investing in technology. To link the costs closely to the creation of value is an attractive model for most companies, but not something that the established IT industry is good at. Here we have a completely different model.”

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Pilot test before investment

Armstrong One has been created for small and medium companies, but several larger companies also use the solution. “For a larger company, Armstrong One is an effective way to pilot test whether a larger technological investment is worth it. It will provide them with a clear picture of what they can gain in terms of business” Jesper Valentin says, and elaborates:

“Established businesses experience that they are being increasingly challenged on their reaction rate when new opportunities arise in the market. Here, Armstrong One is an example of how future techologies will be a service that the company can immediately use with first having to go through long and costly development projects.” For example, it could be a business that wants to test an investment in beacons, where devices in the physical business can communicate with the customer’s mobile phone and send relevant push messages.

Data-based communication

In simpler terms, Armstrong One can systemise the company’s own data and mix it with public, available data, e.g. demographic data or weather data. It creates predictive, self-learning analysis models that ensure the sorting and segmentation of data, which immediately triggers automised and personalised communication across the communication channels.

“Retail businesses receive a fact-based and intelligent, calculated presumption of what the customers are interested in. This makes it a whole lot easier to accommodate the customer’s needs, to be precise and relevant. In that way, the collective amount of communication is also minimised,” says Armstrong One’s CEO.

Understanding customer behaviour

Armstrong One sees a great potential in predictive analysis, i.e. calculations that can predict consumer behaviour. Sometimes this behaviour will change, as the customer’s situation in life changes. For example, a grocery retail chain in the UK experienced that, when the sales of diapers rose, so did the sales of beer. Closer analysis showed that new parents chose to not go to the pub, and instead drank beer at home.

“The case from England is a good example of how difficult it can be to guess customers’ behaviour. Data and intelligent technology make it easy to get a clear answer and base communication on that,” says Jesper Valentin, and like other technology suppliers, he states that communication does not equal sales.

Create loyalty and gain

“Personalised communication means that one can offer one’s customers the correct goods, across the correct channel, at the correct time. The goal is communicate timely and relevantly. Modern consumers are dead-tired of spam, so it only scares the customers away,” Jesper Valentin emphasises. For the businesses, it is also an advantage that an integration key between customer data and other date sources, e.g. demographic data, controls the personalised communication. Realtime bedding, banner advertisements, or other online marketing can be expensive, and can easily be perceived as spam.

On the other hand, it is good service to display a selection of goods that represent the individual customer’s wishes and and interests, regardless of whether one meets the customer on one’s own platform or via purchased media exposure.
“Those retail businesses that will be the strongest going forward, are those that can win the customers’ loyalty. We only give them the tool for that,” Jesper Valentin from Agillic sums up.

Know the customers’ purchasing patterns – and adapt the communication

Scenario: A webshop with clothes for children and adults, with automised and personalised digital marketing via newsletters, app, online advertising and social media, based on the customer’s last purchase.

Challenge: After the first purchase, the customers return. But far too few shop for a third time.

Clarification: Sorted and systemised data about customers’ history and shopping behaviour reveals that the first purchase is typically for the children of the family, number two is for the mother, and purchase number three is for the father.

Solution: The customer receives relevant communication on all platforms and given a good offer – for example, on men’s clothing after their second purchase.

How: Omnichannel content execution, i.e. automised and personalised marketing, is organised based on a preditative score model – i.e. a prediction based on intelligent data from one’s own databases, mixed with demographic conditions such as the weather.