Retailing has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and it continues to change on nearly a daily basis. While years ago a customer’s primary ways of interacting with a retailer was either via the showroom or the catalogue, today those options include a website, mobile apps, marketplaces and a number of social media channels, among others. And along with the increase in the number of ways consumers have to interact with retailers comes a corresponding increase in the amount of information retailers can access about their customers like geodemographic, points of interest, search patterns, social posts, etc.
To stay competitive, retailers need to understand their customers from a multichannel perspective to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience, communicating with them no matter who and where they are and being able to provide the right information at the right time throughout all stages of the buying process. The amount of information available is becoming so vast, though, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to sort through and make sense of it in a meaningful way. Complicating the challenge is the fact that the available information tends to be inconsistent, captured in different formats, and reside in silos, making it difficult at best to gain a 360 degree view of each customer. The challenge retailers face is to integrate, cleanse, standardise, validate, enrich and consolidate that information from various silos and connect it in a way that provides value to their operation. This (tongue-in-cheek) video, based on a white paper by Pitney Bowes, explains more.