In today’s ever-changing online world, innovations in the e-commerce and phygital retail sector have driven customers to expect even more out of their shopping experience. Consumers demand an enriched and seamless user experience across all touchpoints, be it a physical store, online store, social media channels, mobile apps, or otherwise.
Users today prefer to sign in with their credentials on their PC, and stay logged in, even when they access the interface from another device like a smartphone. Ever wonder how the experience of all of these devices remains seamless, and the interaction with the brand on one channel influences their communication on every other channel? The retail world has now been introduced to unified commerce, a form of retail evolution keeping the consumer at the center, and one of the important facets of this is ensuring that data is not just used for high-level decision making, but also to drive and personalize experiences for the consumer.
There are five main streams of data that brands need to focus on to deliver consistent and seamless experiences to the end-users. While any retailer would have access to transactional data like names, numbers, and emails of customers, the following five are non-transactional data and play an important part in creating optimized user experiences.
Data around a customer’s engagement on e-commerce sites, mobile apps, buying preferences analyzing how customers engage with the brand on social media, can provide insights on how certain customers prefer to interact with the brand. Understanding buyer behavior and preferences provide an opportunity to increase the size of your customer’s wallet and optimize the way products are positioned. Collecting and analyzing this data also offers detailed insights into what prompted the customer to buy your product on a particular channel and whether or not they will end up sticking with your brand.
Retailers list their products across multiple e-commerce platforms, social channels as well as display them in their physical store. Gathering information about these products and how users perceive and peruse them offers unimaginable insights to the retailer. While it might not be easy to go through multiple reviews or product insights, natural language processing technology offers retailers an idea of how many reviews were positive, negative, neutral and also gives them an insight into which aspects of the product customers liked best and otherwise. Gathering product information across both physical and digital channels and analyzing them through the right lens also allows retailers to offer a consistent experience to customers whether they choose to buy online or in-store.
3. SALES DATA ACROSS CHANNELS
It is no secret that the data within the sales funnel, across any device or channel gives a lot of insight to the retailers on how each line of business functions and combined with the data from customer and product information, opens up new ways of matching the right products with the right customers. Brands add value to a customer, when the customer experience and availability of information are consistent across channels, including any listings on 3rd party channels, translating into an uptick in revenue.
Having a view of real-time inventory provides retailers with the unique opportunity to manage campaigns on the store level and fulfill orders that could have otherwise been lost, thanks to an instant view of availability in other nearby locations and visibility into in-flight inventory.
Capturing and analyzing data across the order fulfillment process can help with optimizing a complex supply chain. It provides a better way to handle complex logistics, such as product returns, and greatly helps with streamlining the supply chain.
While it is not very difficult to capture data across these five streams and bring it onto a single platform, the one key factor to ensure that this is not being misused or present an imminent threat is to ensure security is woven into the overall design of the user experience, instead of being an add-on.
Using data available to cater to individual users
Collecting the five data types outlined above, cleaning up this data, bringing it onto a single platform, and analyzing it allows retailers to create a unified experience that gently nudges customers through the sales funnel. It ensures that every interaction with the brand is meaningful and allows retailers to be sure that no money is left on the table. A few of the challenges some retailers face with this lies in identifying where the data is stored (mostly islands of data), then analyzing it, and converting it into usable chunks of information to fine-tune the experience for the user, without compromising on security.
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