TCS analytics software enables retailers to use Internet of Things and deliver personalized customer experiences

Tata Consultancy Services announced this week new software that enables retailers to leverage insightful data either from in-store sensors or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices to deepen relationships with customers through more personalized customer engagement strategies.

Available from TCS’ Digital Software & Solutions Group, ‘TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail’ helps established retailers compete more effectively for the loyalty of today’s connected and increasingly empowered and demanding consumers. It is designed to counter the bombardment of consumers with random, irrelevant and untimely offers, which occur when retailers lack granular insights about individual customer preferences or can’t capitalize on real life situations, such as in-store shopping.

Retailers are increasingly using IoT technologies to boost customer loyalty through customized marketing campaigns and to close sales — when, where and however the customer chooses. According to the TCS Global Trend study on IoT, 50 percent of retailers are using IoT technologies to monitor customer data through mobile apps and 27.9 percent are using it to track data via sensors in physical locations such as stores.

For retailers to deliver the most appropriate offers or opportunities to consumers – at the right time and place – they require unique, data-driven representations of real customers instead of less accurate, traditional funnel driven marketing.

The TCS software accomplishes this using behavior based customer personas that are continuously informed and refined using proprietary machine learning technologies such as TCS’ Adaptive Analytics Engine (A2E) and statistical algorithms, applied to demographic, social media, customer transaction, channel interaction and loyalty data. The A2E technology, which works across a variety of industry domains, improves the accuracy of highly personalized actions, offers, promotions and other interactions designed to increase brand engagement.

The software enables retailers to build trusted consumer relationships over time by delivering valued, personalized experiences in the right context and driven by insights from a variety of real world and online data sources. For example, a running enthusiast who’s been reading reviews of fitness trackers on a retailer’s website and app enters a store and is immediately greeted by a salesperson who shows her a display of wearable devices.

While examining them, she receives a smartphone alert offering her an opportunity to connect with a local community of runners who can demonstrate the products. After making a purchase, her relationship with the retailer continues with invitations to running events, opportunities for discounted race entry fees and targeted offers for running shoes, supplements, etc.

“Consumers buy through multiple channels, but online shopping has made them expect all retailers to understand them better,” says Leslie Hand, VP, IDC Retail Insights. “This puts pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers to transform how they market to consumers across their converging physical and digital worlds. By 2018, retail laggards who haven’t transformed how they use data from the Internet of Things and other real world sources to engage with customers will be closing ten times more stores than their peers to stay in business. With its persona driven technology, TCS is on the right path to help retailers interact with customers across these two worlds in a very personalized fashion.”

“The Internet of Things is further blurring the line between traditional and online retailing, forcing marketers to reconstruct the customer’s journey with their brands across both physical and virtual worlds,” said Seeta Hariharan, General Manager and Group Head, TCS Digital Software & Solutions. “Retailers are moving from hit-or-miss marketing to highly relevant, timely interactions delivered in the right context that add real value to their customers. Their goal is creating binding emotional connections at every touch point with consumers to withstand the lure of discounting.”

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