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Customer Data Acquisition is Next Big Thing in Tech

The consumer electronics (CE) industry is developing new devices that gobble up customer data from unlikely sources.

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Customer Data Acquisition is the Next Big Thing in Tech

The sprint to collect user data has never better hotter. Consumers demand personalization, and the consumer electronics (CE) industry is listening. A recent Accenture study found  “91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.” The fast pace of consumer electronics and data collection means that companies that want to outlast their competition need to be poised to use the information they know about their customers to create the products and experiences those customers expect and demand.

Brands like Amazon, Google, and Apple prime their private-label devices to offer consumers personalization. A quick conversation with Alexa lets a user add items to their shopping cart and even make purchases. When they log into their Amazon account again, new suggestions appear, whether the user logs on via the website or app. These new offers even translate from clicks to visits at Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

All that personalization requires data, and the big tech companies consume a lot of it. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft host data for billions of customers over a variety of products and hold an estimated 1.2 million terabytes of data. That data holds a treasure trove of opportunities to drive behavior and create unique customer experiences.

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91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations." - Accenture
Photo of customer data acquisition from consumer electronics with Apple watch and wellness app

Customer Data & Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics companies have become creative in collecting and using customer data to learn more about their audience, build new products and ship updated features. It’s no longer just smart speakers and smartphones that collect information. The dropping cost of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors drives the production of hundreds of products, from fitness trackers and smartwatches to kitchen appliances to geo-fenced dog collars and soothing baby cribs.

The IoT market shows no signs of slowing down. According to research from Transforma Insights, the number of IoT devices will “grow to 24.1 billion in 2030, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%” from 2019. In terms of revenue, the IoT market is expected to hit $1.5 trillion in 2030, making this a hot opportunity for many organizations.

Consumer Goods Technology explains how new IoT technologies change how consumers purchase goods. They note, “IoT-enabled consumer electronics allows all parts of a connected ecosystem to be purchased together as a bundle and through sensors and beacons, brick and mortar stores can learn what items frequently are purchased together like on Amazon.”

Illustration of home app;liances connected via the Internet of Things that collect consumer data

Data Collection Drives Results

IoT devices and websites no longer live in silos, and omnichannel marketing is more than just a website and a Facebook page for users to browse products. User data and website analytics can provide a holistic view of how customers use products and make purchasing decisions. Companies that act on that data can provide a better experience for customers — the ultimate goal.

Jordan Brannon, president of Coalition Technologies, explains, “Brands that succeed in omnichannel don’t just think about how to sell on different devices. They’re also thinking about how consumers use different devices and channels to inform a purchasing journey.”

The omnichannel mindset also applies when developing products and features. Understanding how customers use all their devices instead of just one product alone provides valuable insights that can translate directly into new offerings.

A customer who uses a smart speaker to ask about information or adds items to a shopping cart can receive suggestions the next time they log in. But, as more devices are connected, they can “talk” and provide data about usage from smart lights, wearables, fitness trackers and consumer preferences and behaviors. A customer who owns one device can be more easily persuaded to purchase accessories or bundles of other products based on what they own and what other consumers like them tend to purchase next.

Organizations need the right tools to view, analyze and act on data in real-time. Observing customer behaviors and experiences in all channels will identify both challenges and opportunities

Image of two electronic smart toothbrushes on counter.
Electronic toothbrushes are the newest frontier of IoT technology. New models run on AI and IoT technology that track a user’s brushing habits and provide personalized tips for improved oral health within the proprietary app.

Wellness Tech & Customer Data

The innovation of tracking technology has changed the trajectory of traditional markets. The home fitness industry has seen an enormous boom as more consumers have avoided the gym during the pandemic. Peloton saw a “172% surge in sales and more than one million people subscribing to its streaming classes” in 2021.

While the pandemic may have accelerated the home fitness industry’s growth, consumers have been looking for digital solutions for health and wellness and have been willing to spend big money to get them.

Fitbit entered the health and fitness technology space early, well before apps and real-time data were expected. As they evolved, their software and devices became more sophisticated, and now consumers expect their wearable devices to track much more than steps. They track breathing, sleep, stress levels, heart rate and a variety of fitness activities.

All of this data is compiled for users to track their fitness goals. Fitness tracker makers also use this data to offer products and services like 1-on-1 coaching and guided programs.

Now more than a decade after Fitbit launched its first wearable, its acquisition by Google means even more options for integration of user data into the other data Google collects. All of that information funneled together can provide valuable insight into a user’s health and wellbeing that can then be used to enhance features or launch products.

As the healthcare industry leans into its own digital transformation, consumers will have many more options for how and where to share their data. Paddy Padmanabhan, CIO of Damo Consulting, predicts that “consumer access to patient data will unleash a new wave of innovation,” including competition for a better patient and customer experience

Collecting Actionable Data

For many organizations, gathering data is the easy part. But, once that data is collected, where does it go and how is it used?

According to Gartner, improving the collection and combination of data to drive behaviors is one of the key strategic trends for organizations. “With an increase in technologies that gather the ‘digital dust’ of daily life — data that spans the digital and physical worlds — that information can be used to influence behaviors through feedback loops.”

Tools that automate and innovate data collection and analysis are worth their weight in gold to organizations looking to stay ahead of the changing market.

Screen grab of Air360 user experience analytics platform and its customer data analytics and collection capabilities
Screen capture of Air360 dashboard .
Screen capture of Air360 user experience analytics tool.

Scalefast and Air360 provide buyer behavior insights in real-time, allowing you to pinpoint problems, seize opportunities and quickly measure your success. Tracking this information across platforms and drawing it into simple, actionable reports means you’re looking forward instead of checking over your shoulder. Scalefast’s enterprise commerce cloud gives customers an intuitive shopping experience with a personal touch. Our AI-powered personalization engine places the right content and products in front of your site visitors at the right time. 

From big-name brands to new innovators, organizations are faced with the challenge to centralize and coordinate data collection and turn it into valuable insights for marketing, product development, and sales. Using smart technology can help brands stay ahead of the pack, ready to race into the future.

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