What Good Are Feature and Functionality Without Business Outcomes? | Sponsored Content

What Good Are Feature and Functionality Without Business Outcomes? | Sponsored Content

This post was contributed and sponsored by Listrak.


Many retailers have dedicated time and effort into becoming “customer-obsessed”—using data-driven insights and engagement to provide meaningful experiences and increase lifetime customer value. But according to recent research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Listrak, 94% believe that their firm truly embodies customer obsession while only 18% are seeing the revenue growth they expected from those efforts. So, what’s the issue?

The issue, Forrester concludes, is that they’re too focused on the features and functionality of their technology solutions and not on business outcomes.

The Forrester study, Unlock Customer Obsession by Tying Features to Business Outcomes, sought to understand the origins of the disconnect between retailers’ customer-obsessed marketing efforts and their actual business outcomes–particularly as it pertains to the evaluation, purchase and utilization of martech. Forrester discovered that the ability to improve business outcomes factors remarkably low when it comes to making a martech investment, and shockingly, only one in five respondents rank business outcomes as the most important factor in selecting a martech solution. Features and functionality rank consistently higher.

“We’ve performed our Revenue Gap AnalysisSM methodology for thousands of retailers,” says Listrak CEO Ross Kramer. “In comparing performance versus potential for those retailers, time and again, we saw the same pattern of missed opportunities for engagement, revenue and loyalty. We asked Forrester to help us validate and understand this phenomenon.”

To uncover the “why,” Forrester surveyed 200 North American ecommerce and marketing decision makers from retail organizations with revenues ranging from $100 million to $5 billion along with more than 500 monthly online shoppers. Retailers were questioned as to the extent their organization ties features and functionality to business outcomes, while consumers were asked the extent to which they have interacted with retailers across common features, and their attitudes based on those reactions. Data was gathered and analyzed during Q4 of 2018.

Customer expectations have obviously changed, and martech has subsequently evolved to keep up. But despite, those advancements, Forrester discovered that most retailers are still leaning on traditional tools like shopping cart/browse abandonment and transactional messaging. Once implemented, many are not fully optimized, resulting in missed opportunities to further engage and connect with customers and providing a false send of success.

The report’s top-level findings include:

  • Customer-obsessed marketing determines retail success; however, it’s rare, and it’s leading to gaps in business outcomes.
  • Retail marketers are struggling to win because business outcomes are not their top consideration; and
  • Retailers need to align features and functionalities to business outcomes to close the opportunity gap at their next martech solution selection.

“The study answered a lot of questions and validated a lot of our own findings,” adds Kramer. “Retailers need to hold their martech solutions accountable. They can have all the features and functionality they want, but if they fail to tie those directly to business outcomes, they’ll also fail to deliver on customer obsession.”

Learn more by downloading the full report here.