“Independent retailers are not the best experts in use of data”
By Philippe Sence, President of the digital transformation commission at IREF, Federation of European Franchise and Partnership Networks. IREF represents all forms of independent collaborative commerce (franchise, partnership, concession, brand license, commission-affiliation). Members include Calzedonia,Subway, E. Leclerc, Louvre Hôtels, Provalliance, etc.
For the past 18 months, the leaders of independent retailers have been faced with a profound change in consumer habits. From now on, it’s all about consuming better, locally, cleanly… in short, consuming differently. In this context, franchise and cooperative networks have major assets but are still faced with the priority to accelerate digital transformation.
Independent collaborative commerce retailers are not the best experts in the use of data for the following three reasons:
– Costs remain high because solutions on the market were developed for integrated retail chains.
– The architecture is not adapted for local commerce, which needs modular solutions.
– Technical skills are lacking, both within the network head and among the affiliates.
Based on this observation, the priorities for 2022 are as follows:
– Build a homogeneous C.R.M. that pools customer data held by the network head and the affiliates in order to increase broad customer knowledge.
– Analyse behavioral and transactional data using high-performance analytics tools.
– Use the collected data to clearly identify franchise candidates, build customer loyalty, win new customers and clarify future customer expectations.
In order to become “data-centric”, the investments that independent retailers will be of three kinds:
– Recruiting human skills to write the brand roadmap
– Defining good practices within the organisation by writing a data charter
– Adopting tools, from C.R.M. to marketing automation solutions, tailored to the needs of independent retailers.