Retail Partner Conversations: Harness the Power of Your Customer Data with Insights from Amperity
As retailers around the world are experiencing unprecedented disruption, industry leaders are demonstrating resilience, tenacity, and a capacity for innovation. We’ve embarked on a series of conversations with executives from AWS strategic partners, to showcase their leadership and innovation in challenging times.
In the latest installment of our Retail Partner Conversations blog series, we chat with Brian Goldfarb, Chief Marketing Officer at Amperity, a leader in customer identity management. Amperity helps brands use customer data to create personalized, engaging interactions. Brian talks about how the turbulence of the last year has forced retailers to rethink customer data so it’s an asset instead of a hinderance.
AWS: Help our readers understand your vantage point. What are Amperity’s key segments in the retail industry, and with what type of retail executives do you interact?
Brian Goldfarb: Amperity works primarily with large consumer B2C enterprises in the retail, fashion, travel and hospitality, insurance, financial services, and restaurant verticals. Companies in these industries share a couple of common challenges:
- Managing vast amounts of data from multiple sources.
- Deploying customer insights across a broad array of consumer and media touchpoints.
Every team in a retail enterprise has a mandate to think about the customer, and for that reason, our technology reaches a really diverse set of executives. We work directly with:
- CEOs who use the data to drive strategy.
- CIOs who view Amperity software as foundational infrastructure for their data operations.
- CMOs focused on personalization and marketing effectiveness.
- CFOs who rely on customer data for accurate business and financial analytics.
We help these executives focus on metrics that matter to their organization, so they can drive wholesale transformation to deal with the next normal.
Our platform is designed to be flexible and interoperable because every retailer has different needs and unique implementation criteria. Our end-to-end offering spans three distinct products that reflect this diversity of needs. Retailers running Amperity can choose to focus on identity resolution, customer 360, customer analytics, all the above, or any combination thereof. And critically, all of this is adaptable to any cloud environment and interoperable with any enterprise architecture.
AWS: Retail companies are managing through a period of unprecedented disruption. What have been the biggest challenges facing your retail customers?
Brian Goldfarb: Retailers understand that it’s their best, most loyal customers who will keep them resilient in the face of these headwinds. Retailers also know the best use of limited resources is finding those loyal customers.
The proliferation of online channels has made this effort more challenging than ever before, and the customer experience is fragmented between different platforms and devices that don’t communicate with one another.
We help retailers construct customer 360 profiles based on first-party data, making it possible to identify top customers wherever they are and engage in consistent, personalized ways.
AWS: How do you see retailers adjusting their operating environments to current market dynamics and changing consumer expectations?
Brian Goldfarb: Retailers are doing lots of things. One, they are focusing on their digital presence across all channels—websites, social media channels, and ecommerce. That’s a natural reflection of this rapid, generational shift from offline to online shopping.
Retailers are also thinking about how online and offline work together. They are getting really smart about curbside pickup, in-store browsing experiences, COVID safety protocols, and the like. Offline hasn’t gone away by any means, but its relationship to online has likely changed forever.
The list goes on: supply chain, inventory management, promotions, etc. The scope of retailers’ adaptations is truly unprecedented. In our view, retailers can make better decisions across all of these areas when every team has access to accurate, comprehensive customer data.
AWS: The retail industry is incredibly resilient. As you look forward, what role do you think technology and the cloud will play for retailers? How do you see technology enhancing the customer experience and improving operational efficiencies?
Brian Goldfarb: Retailers are being forced to, in a matter of months, undergo digital transformations that might otherwise have taken several years. They are urgently exploring different ways to do business in the cloud as well as the benefits of technologies that live in the cloud.
Accurate, first-party data is the key to unlocking the real potential of these technologies. The tools are powerful, but they are only as good as the customer data that informs them. When you solve for customer data, you get more from the cloud and the various functions that live within it. The benefits are immense, both in terms of operating more efficiently and enhancing the customer experience.
AWS: With the current disruptions in the retail industry, how is your company innovating to help your customers?
Brian Goldfarb: Amperity has been working with partners beyond our customers to facilitate education and skill development to solve the data challenges presented by the pandemic.
Customer data is still new territory for many stakeholders across the enterprise. Given the breadth and scope of data applications, there is an urgent need to engage leaders from finance, marketing, IT, and analytics to establish new procedures and standards for data use.
We’ve contributed to new initiatives designed to accelerate professional development among practitioners. We are a founding member of the Customer Data Professionals Alliance along with other business leaders from companies such as CVS Health, Kendra Scott, and Brooks Sports.
AWS: There’s so much talk at the moment that the shopping experience has changed, and there’s a “new normal” going forward. What does this “new normal” look like to you, and how do you think the retail experience will look three years from now?
Brian Goldfarb: In my opinion, the new normal is already here. People are shopping more online. They are buying from whoever gets them their products fastest and whoever can ensure the safest and most seamless experience. These are permanent adjustments to what consumers expect from retailers.
Thanks to the growth of data-driven ecommerce, consumers were already expecting more personalization and more support from their experience. The pandemic has really just accelerated that trend.
As retailers contend with this reality, the single most important thing they can do is invest in first-party data that informs their understanding of the customer. It’s a big challenge because many retailers have more data on their products than they have on their customers. Retailers have been operating without a complete view of how customers interact with their business across all the many fragmented touchpoints.
We are working with a retailer with approximately a $12 billion market cap. This retailer is embarking on a multi-year, multi-faceted strategic growth agenda, which includes sharpening their focus on the customer. Our solution has enabled them to put actionable insights into the hands of their teams to drive experimentation and activation, without significant technology expertise or code.
This type of empowerment is essential to adapting to the new normal. The companies that will emerge strongest from this pandemic are those, like the retailer I mentioned, that deliver experiences across sales, service, and marketing powered by accurate first-party data.
Amperity makes it possible for retailers to harness those capabilities without the time and investment of building them in house from the ground up.
AWS: What excites you about the future of retail?
Brian Goldfarb: Any industry going through massive transformation is exciting. The turbulence of the last year has forced companies to innovate and compete at a higher level. The result will be better experiences for customers and a more effective sector overall.
AWS: Thanks for chatting with us, Brian. We appreciate your insights and expertise.
If you have questions for Brian, Amperity, or AWS, please comment on this blog or request a demo from Amperity today.