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What is Customer-centric Marketing?

Successful businesses today understand the importance of customer-centric. It is also important to know how electronic shelf labels can help retailers achieve this.

As industries continue to move forward at a fast pace, it’s becoming evident that consumers hold the reins. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all strategies, especially when it comes to marketing in the retail industry. Today's successful businesses understand the importance of putting the customer at the core of their marketing efforts. This is where customer-centric marketing comes into play.

What is customer-centric marketing?

Customer-centric marketing is the marketing approach or practice that prioritizes the needs and preferences of customers in every stage of the marketing and sales process—from the promotion and advertising to the delivery of the product or service.


Customer-centric marketing revolves around building strong and lasting customer relationships instead of focusing solely on product advertising. This approach tries to understand and address the individual needs of customers and provides guidance and motivation throughout the customer journey.


Some of the key principles of customer-centric marketing include:


  • Customer Understanding: In order to cater to customer needs, businesses must thoroughly understand their target audience. This involves collecting and analyzing data to gain insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and demographics.
  • Personalization: Customer-centric marketing emphasizes personalization. This can include tailoring marketing messages, offers, recommendations, and experiences based on individual preferences and behaviors.
  • Customer Engagement: Building and maintaining engagement with customers is crucial. This involves creating content and experiences that resonate with the target audience, as well as creating two-way communication.
  • Customer Experience: The overall customer journey someone has with a brand is a key focus. This includes factors like user-friendly interfaces, customer-friendly technology, excellent customer service, and streamlined purchasing processes.
  • Relationship Building: Customer-centric marketing aims to build long-term relationships rather than focusing solely on individual transactions. This involves ongoing communication, loyalty programs, and exclusive social media groups or communities to retain existing customers.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Actively seeking and incorporating customer feedback is integral to customer-centric marketing. This allows businesses to adapt their strategies and offerings based on popular customer preferences and changing market dynamics.

Why is customer-centric marketing important in retail?

Customer-centric marketing is key to long-term success for a lot of businesses. This kind of approach leads to a lot of advantages, such as increased revenue, higher website traffic, a larger customer base, and more. And because customer-centric marketing focuses primarily on customers, this approach is crucial for a lot of retail businesses.


Various types of retail brands face and interact with a lot of customers, whether it be in-person or online. Having a customer-centric approach to marketing and delivering goods to people can be a game-changer. Retail stores like groceries, department stores, convenience stores, drug stores and pharmacies, electronic stores, sporting goods retailers, bookstores, DIY stores, and other specialty stores need to prioritize being customer-centric.


Here are a few reasons why customer-centric marketing is particularly important in the retail industry:


Increased Competition

The retail sector is highly competitive, with numerous options and brands available to consumers. Adopting a customer-centric approach helps retailers differentiate themselves by providing a superior and personalized shopping experience. This can help them attract new customers and retain loyal ones.


Changing Consumer Behavior

There’s an increase in expectations for personalized and convenient shopping experiences nowadays. A Salesforce survey revealed that 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data for more personalized offers and discounts. Meanwhile, 53% of them would do the same for more personalized shopping experiences. Retailers that understand and adapt to these changing behaviors through customer-centric strategies are more likely to succeed.


Enhanced Customer Experience

Retailers that prioritize the customer experience create a positive and enjoyable shopping environment. Customer-centric practices such as offering personalized recommendations, efficient service, omnichannel retailing, and user-friendly website or app interfaces will contribute to a better overall customer experience. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased loyalty.


Data-Driven Decision Making

Customer-centric marketing relies on and provides data and insights into customer behavior. Retailers can then leverage this data to make informed decisions regarding changes in their businesses. This includes product assortment, pricing, promotions, and marketing strategies. Data-driven decision-making can lead to more effective and targeted campaigns.


Adaptation to Market Trends

Retail trends can change rapidly, especially in the modern world. However, with customer-centric marketing, retailers will be able to stay agile and adapt to these trends. Retailers will closely monitor customer preferences and market dynamics and can easily adjust their strategies to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience.


Brand Loyalty

Building and maintaining customer loyalty is crucial when it comes to the retail industry. Customer-centric marketing helps create emotional connections between customers and brands. It also shows a deep understanding or empathy for customer needs and pain points. And, of course, it helps foster loyalty among customers.

According to a study by Gallup Workplace, customer-centric companies or brands report a 25% increase in customer loyalty and a 20% increase in customer confidence. These satisfied and loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the brand to others.


Word of Mouth and Social Influence

A customer-centric retail approach leads to satisfied customers who are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. This includes both online spaces and offline circumstances. In the age of social media and digital communities, positive word-of-mouth and discussions can significantly impact a retailer's reputation and attract new customers.


Customer Lifetime Value

Focusing on the long-term relationship with customers rather than short-term transactions is key to maximizing customer lifetime value. A customer-centric approach encourages repeat business and customer retention. This, of course, leads to sustained revenue over time for retail businesses.


Revenue and Sales Growth

Increased revenue and sales are also another advantage of a customer-centric approach in retail. This is because prioritizing customers leaves them satisfied and looking forward to doing more business with a brand. In a Dimension Data study involving over 1,300 companies across 80 countries, 84% of those who focused on improving customer experiences increased their revenue. Additionally, the Gallup Workplace study also reported a 66% higher sales growth and a more than 10% increase in net profit.

At the end of the day, customer-centric marketing is vital to retail success. By prioritizing the customer experience, retailers can create a strong foundation for sustainable growth and profitability in a competitive market.

How can SOLUM ESL help retailers achieve customer-centric marketing?

Having a customer-centric approach in retail stores can be achieved in a number of ways. From personalized marketing to optimized customer service and customer support to a better purchasing process, these can all be used to prioritize customer needs. Digital labeling, however, is another solution that can contribute to customer-centric marketing.


Digital labels, also known as electronic shelf labels (ESL), are a retail solution that replaces paper labels and streamlines retail operations. For example, the Newton ESL from SOLUM, is equipped with various features and capabilities that will help retailers prioritize customers.


Here’s how Newton ESL can help retailers achieve customer-centric marketing:


  • Real-time pricing and promotions - Digital labels can be updated with one click and in just a few minutes. Newton ESL, in particular, has a 10 times faster update speed, ensuring that all labels in the store are updated for daily shopping or hourly promotions.
  • More accurate prices and product information - Apart from accurate prices, Newton ESL can contain product information on up to 7 pages. This means retailers can be more detailed by including allergy warnings, ingredients, expiration dates, specific instructions, and more. Shoppers can make more informed decisions as they shop.
  • Seamless customer service - Newton ESL also has two multifunctional, programmable buttons that can aid in customer service. These can be programmed to call for customer service or assistance, stock problems, and more.
  • Interactive or engaging experience - Some digital labels have interactive or engaging features that enhance the shopping experience for customers. QR codes, personalized product browsing, product videos, navigation, and picking assistance can be expected from Newton ESL.
  • Efficient inventory management - Newton ESL has a label management system, Aims, that will help retailers oversee and manage all digital labels in the store. This will help in improving inventory management—ensuring that shelves are well-stocked and ready for shoppers, getting real-time stock information anytime, and preventing confusion throughout the day.
  • Omnichannel retailing - Digital labels like Newton ESL have a significant impact on omnichannel retailing. This means that retailers will be able to serve customers and complete transactions with either offline or online sources and touchpoints.
  • Data and reporting - With Aims as the label management system, retailers using Newton ESL can easily create data and reports. These can provide insights into customer preferences, best-selling products, customer behavior, and more.
  • Streamlined retail operations - And of course, Newton ESL contributes to efficient store operations by automating price updates, better label management, allowing mobile payments, and more. This allows staff to focus on customer service, further improving the overall customer experience.
  • Customizable displays and label designs - Retailers can use Aims to create customizable and visually appealing displays as well. This flexibility allows for the easy implementation of themed promotions, seasonal campaigns, and other visually engaging content that resonates with the target audience. This can also help reinforce brand identity for new customers.


Leveraging the capabilities of Newton ESL can create a more customer-centric shopping environment for a lot of retailers and their customers. With a customer-centric marketing approach, retail businesses can grow and become brands that customers will advocate for.

Are you ready to prioritize your customers with the help of digital labels? Talk to SOLUM experts now and get Newton ESL for your store.

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