This is the first part in a series meant to help globally-ambitious brands and retailers to navigate budget barriers when looking to buy a solution that improves their onsite customer experience.

“I don’t have any budget for this…at all.” This is a common snag for brands and retailers. And for those of us that work or have worked at a consumer brand, we’ve all run into this at some point.

The story goes as follows:  Many brands and retailers in the beauty and wellness space come to us to simply learn about our holistic approach to engaging shoppers across the customer journey.  They see the potential of the platform for their business and they dive into the minutiae to learn more. They get excited about our solution and how it will enable them to further delight their shoppers and help them to find the products they want and need. And then they remember they don’t have the budget for it.

When this is the case, here’s the question we always ask:

“What is the value of a delightful shopping experience to your business?”  

To create a budget for this sort of investment requires brands and retailers of all sizes to calculate the upside to justify the spend.  There’s no way to make the case without looking at the full value to the business. And the “full value” extends beyond what you may think.

Several brands and retailers we work with initially come to us without a budget for this type of project. The approach to solving this requires discipline around the numbers. We model out different scenarios in partnership with them. When it comes to buying a tech solution that impacts the entire customer experience, you can’t consider any one metric in a vacuum. Analyzing the confluence of multiple variables at every point throughout the funnel is paramount.  But the typical KPIs like conversion rate, average order value, number of return visitors and loyalty are a few variables to factor into the equation, but they aren’t enough.

Metrics that drive business are only as good as the data on which those metrics rely. It’s not very hard to gather data that drives the metrics and KPIs listed above. But there exists additional data that helps your business drive deeper actionable insights beyond those typical metrics. One cannot underestimate nor refute the significance of zero-party data that a company can collect by leveraging a solution built for gathering and analyzing customer information, especially when that personal information is given willingly by the customer. This rich data further aids a company in learning what really matters to their audience firsthand and in detail. It allows a brand and retailer to educate their audience, engage with them in more meaningful ways, proffer relevant recommendations, and create stronger relationships. This isn’t just about conversion rates and average order value and all the rest; it’s about shifting your business to relationship-driven commerce by leveraging data. And you must account for these data points in the model to understand the full upside to the business.

By leveraging Revieve’s tech, data becomes an even exchange: our tech provides valuable, proprietary data to the customer to inform their decisions. In return the customer provides their personal preferences and other information that informs our AI engine, and in this way the brands and retailers we work with are able to provide those customers with an increasingly superior experience.  This data trade creates a symbiotic relationship with enormous benefits. It combines humans and technology to collaborate and continuously improve the customer experience, which benefits customers and businesses. Also, coupling data and metrics in this reciprocal relationship affords a company the benefit of making proactive decisions for improving the personalized experiences for shoppers in the future (rather than making reactive decisions) because they now understand their shoppers even better.

To summarize the point here: when the budget isn’t there and seems impossible to even consider, the next step is to figure out how you value data that innovative personalization tech can provide. Further, the value of data goes beyond the uplift in the usual metrics impacting the short-term, but also includes precious data points yielding long-term gains through a constantly improving two-way relationship between the consumer and the business.

A solution provider like Revieve can help model out the indisputable value of this data to the business and justify creating a budget for the investment. This is how our most progressive and forward-thinking brands and retailers think about, and ultimately, tackle this scenario.

Stay tuned for part two!