The importance of data hygiene for a true omni-channel retail experience

Recently, Myer’s new CEO admitted the retailer has struggled to meet the modern and omni-channel expectations of its customers after announcing a 23% drop in profits in its first half. Myer’s new CEO, Richard Umbers further said digitisation had changed the way consumers shop, altering their expectations of retailers significantly.

This is not uncommon in Australia and a recent study conducted by Mobility: The New Opportunity for Australia’s Retailersindicated just how unprepared Australian retailers are to handle the shifting behaviour. Less than 30% of retailers currently offer a smartphone friendly website and only 21% have developed a mobile app for customers, despite the fact that approximately 65% of the population owns a smartphone.

Of course smartphones are not used purely to make online purchases, but play a major role in consumers researching new product offerings, reviewing customer feedback and finding store locations, all essential ingredients for a true omni-channel experience.

As you can tell from Myer’s current predicament, consumers are more demanding and empowered and with that comes an expectation of exceptional, consistent experiences whether shopping in a local store, researching products or buying online.

To be successful retailers need to embrace digital channels and think about the technology that is required to support a competitive digital marketing and channel strategy. Capturing customer information is one of the first and most critical steps of an interaction, whether collecting information via the website, physical store or other means; it’s crucial that the quality of the information captured is accurate and up to date.

Experian Data Quality Global Benchmark Report (2015)  recently cited that the accuracy of information collected is often a problem. 97% of companies suffer from common data errors. The most common data errors are incomplete or missing data, outdated information and inaccurate data. Duplicate data is also a significant problem for one third of companies.  The most common cause of incomplete or missing data is human error (61% of respondents) which is understandable, particularly in a POS (Point of Sale) environment, where operatives enter customer information manually, often under pressure.

Adopting real-time digital contact data validation at the point of data collection is the first step in ensuring a customer’s identity information enters the marketing database accurately. This facilitates enhanced analytics, single customer view and more importantly helps to understand customer interactions across channels, allowing retailers to personalise product offerings and provide highly relevant communications, building brand equity and driving competitive advantage.

Of course retailers need to choose a vendor with a unified retail technology that delivers an omni-channel solution across the enterprise and also understands the importance of accurate customer contact data.

Experian Data Quality has partnered with Retail Directions to provide such a solution that meets the needs of the retail digital landscape. If you would like more information on this contact us today.

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1.  Mobility: The New Opportunity for Australia’s Retailers: Frost and Sullivan (2014)