By Graeme Grant, VP Predictive Intelligence, former president and COO at CQuotient

Are you leaving $100M on the table? You just might be, according to a new study from RIS News and EKN, which found retailers that are not customer-centric are looking at 10% in lost revenue.

No one wants to think they’re leaving money on the table, especially if you’re a large, billion dollar retailer where 10% means $100M in lost sales. To succeed in today’s retailing environment, you have to invest in projects that begin and end with the shopper. After all, isn’t that what retailing is all about?

The retail industry has become obsessed with the need to be “omni-channel,” but I think too many retailers are missing the point that omni-channel is the same as being customer-centric. The reality is that serving the customer in a consistent, relevant way across all touchpoints means you start with the customer, focus on their needs, then work on providing value to them – on their terms.

But the big problem is not definitional; it’s that few retailers understand how to turn this strategic direction into specific, tactical actions. According to the RIS News and EKN Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study:

  • An omni-channel customer is 23% more profitable than a single channel one
  • 76% of retailers say they don’t know who their omni-channel customers are
  • Only 50% of retailers say they will be omni-channel ready in the next 3 years

So, what’s the answer? Once again, it begins with the customer. Retailers need to develop a deep understanding of their customers’ needs and behaviors, and then use that information to be more relevant to those customers. CQuotient customers that have done this are already gaining back that $100M opportunity.

My suggestion to get started is to leverage email, since it is already a hugely important communication channel and improving it has a material impact on results. But don’t just look at triggers (e.g., abandoned cart emails); this doesn’t impact enough customers. You have to look at your broad, promotional emails, since these messages touch more customers and have the biggest dollar impact.

The race to omni-channel customer engagement is on – how will your company fare?

The full RIS News / EKN study can be downloaded here.

You can also read this on the Demandware Commerce Innovations blog here.