Data Challenges for the Retail Industry

Customer centricity is crucial for retailers. Retailers need an ‘always on’ data supply as transactions and product movement is taking place every minute of a 24-hour period.

Omnichannel visibility

In a multichannel world, businesses must have the ability to track customers, their communications and their transactions, whenever and wherever there is an interaction. This is the baseline requirement for providing an omnichannel customer experience that delivers improved customer service levels, higher conversion rates, greater average transaction values and more brand loyalty.

However, many businesses operate in responsibility silos, every team needing to access the customer journey but only seeing what relates to them. System and application architectures have been built to reflect this traditional organisational structure, and therefore they struggle to operate effectively into today’s “everything, anywhere, at any time” world.

Stock management

Unless you are a discounter, success relies upon making as many full price sales as possible. You can’t do this unless you can fulfil your customer orders. Products must be available for fulfilment regardless of where they are physically located. If one channel is sells out, and another is left with stock at the end of a season, there is no option but to mark-down the price just to clear it out – a missed opportunity.

Every stock management transaction must be considered a step towards achieving the best profit yield for each product in the supply chain. To achieve this, it is imperative that product and inventory data is unified across the business, tracked and appropriate action taken to ensure that the return on investment is realised to its full potential.

Single customer view

Having a single view of the customer requires data to be garnered from across the silos so it can be put in one place and used, in a meaningful way, by the people who can improve business performance. Personalising your customer experience is not possible unless you can achieve a single view of your customer’s journey.

Logical stock view

Many retailers do not have a single view of their products or their inventory; they hold stock in multiple warehouses, stores, online repositories, in-transit, on-hold, or even classified as “unavailable for sale”. They can get a logical view of their stock holding for audit and accounting purposes, but they can’t use this data to drive sales, and this is the challenge they must overcome.

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