By Hugh Stevens, LiveRamp’s head of strategic growth
Nowadays, a robust digital strategy is a necessity for brands to survive, let alone thrive. As the digital transformation of all industries reaches unprecedented acceleration, brands must think about how they can maximise their data insights, to have a competitive edge in the digital age.
Our own Moving Forward Through Digital report shows that 32% of retail, hospitality and leisure leaders say customer data helps improve their products and services and is essential to drive growth in their sector. By leveraging their valuable first-party data, brands can optimise their digital strategies and transform the customer experience, resulting in more targeted and fruitful results.
Data is transforming the customer experience globally and Carrefour is at the very forefront of this trend with its Carrefour Links platform. With a network of 13,000 stores in more than 30 countries, the Carrefour Group is one of the world’s leading food retailers, with gross sales of €78.6bn (£68bn) in 2020.
LiveRamp has been a critical accelerator of Carrefour’s transformation into an industry-leading data-driven retailer, enabling the company to build closer links with its consumer packaged goods suppliers, as it strives to put data at the heart of its business. Central to this partnership is LiveRamp’s Safe Haven, a platform that enables secure, permission-enabled data sharing.
Safe Haven aims to provide a safe space for data collaboration between retailers and brands. Advertisers can then activate their campaigns in an environment that respects consumer privacy, through the use of LiveRamp’s proprietary unique identifier, RampID.
Our technology is built around allowing businesses and publishers to connect their customer data in a secure, neutral and safe place, without needing to rely on third-party cookies. The benefits here are twofold – first, Carrefour can access deeper insights and analytics into marketing campaign performance, category analysis, and shopper habits. Second, consumer privacy is prioritised and protected.
Based on a database of more than 80 million households worldwide, and 50 million loyalty card accounts, Carrefour has the ability to better target prospective customers and measure campaign performance from the beginning, right the way through to the in-store transaction. Carrefour’s partnership with LiveRamp has increased the efficiency of marketing campaigns by up to 15%.
As 85% of Carrefour sales are still made in-store, omnichannel reach of data strategies is paramount to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Carrefour can now advise a client prior to the delivery of a product based on in-store data, which can in turn inform online stocks and connect the data portfolios of both brick-and-mortar and online retail.
Customer consent and transparency on how the data is used is essential in modern retail. Safe Haven enables safe data collaboration between the retailer and brands, with close adherence to data protection regulations.
Especially in light of Google’s planned removal of third-party cookies, it is vital that brands consider alternative strategies to leverage their data insights. Strong data strategies that prioritise privacy and security for customers, such as LiveRamp Safe Haven, can ameliorate the losses that may come from the removal of third-party cookies, strengthen businesses understanding of their customers, protect against risk in the face of an ever-evolving advertising landscape, and ensure the recent growth seen in the retail and hospitality sectors is sustained.
Our work with Carrefour shows that the retail landscape is innovating at pace – and across the channel here in Britain, whilst our high streets continue to suffer the effects of a digital first experience, without innovation that looks to drive an evolution in consumer behaviour we will see further degradation of our highstreets.
In comparison, there is the thriving ecommerce market which is on an unstoppable trajectory. No one wants to see in-person stores completely disappear – but brands who still want to exist in-store need to act fast.
Employing a robust data strategy is a crucial investment to make in the future of any business. It’s really your most valuable asset in business – if you don’t have access to data you are flying blind. Carrefour’s results lead by example that investment in digital strategies is the way towards growth and transformation.