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Future of Retail — Omnichannel


issue 07


“Retailers need to know the ‘cause and effect’ from any activity they undertake. This boils down to skilled practitioners using the data.”


suggested. But for this to work effectively, businesses


need the right resources and must not think that they can develop secondary revenue strategies within their existing infrastructures. They need to create a whole group around the website team who must be very commercial and understand exactly how people behave online, according to Finn. Dunn agrees with this and said:


“Companies need to bring in people who understand the mix of old and new skills and to place these people in leadership roles. In essence this is the biggest challenge. Retailers need to know the ‘cause and effect’ from any activity they undertake.” This boils down to skilled practitioners using the data.


AFFILIATE PROGRAMMES Affiliates are another valuable secondary revenue source, which also benefit greatly from using data as it helps retailers determine the most sophisticated way to use them. In essence, affiliates provide a monetisation solution for publishers of any type of content - this could be classified sites, blogs and portals – and the aim for retailers is that they deliver a secondary revenue stream alongside their core business by selling their goods on these third-party sites. Retailers can also use them on their own website to sell other goods and services from third-parties. The simplest affiliate solution involves a


widget that displays offers from retailers or providers of services through a banner ad that is simply added to a publisher’s or retailer’s site using a cut-and-paste type process. The banner could in theory involve an offer on any product. Pierpaolo Zollo, vice president of


business development at Quandoo and former commercial director at Kelkoo, says developments have been taking place in the affiliate area with a focus on ensuring the customer only receives relevant products and associated content. This brings in the more complex affiliate solution involving API feeds. The publisher or retailer takes feeds


from the likes of Kelkoo, who run affiliate programmes, that comprise lots of data points about products from multiple retailers. They then undertake data analysis on this information and align only relevant products with the content displayed on the web page. Increasingly, artificial intelligence is being used to read the content on the publishers’ and retailers’ web pages to determine the relevancy of the products offered. Zollo said: “They must ensure they display


relevant content and that the secondary revenue is introduced at the right stage. It’s very delicate and is an ongoing topic. But there are now much less intrusive ways of doing it and so the use of affiliate programmes should be reconsidered [if not already used]. Any business interested in profits and with addressing low margins should be interested. There has to be the right balance of transaction business versus being cautious and not alienating the customer.” Clearly much care must be taken over


how retailers introduce any form of secondary revenue generating initiatives, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that if a company is not yet looking at secondary revenue in today’s increasingly tough retail environment then this must be addressed.


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