Six ways that top retailers leverage their customer data
Retail Data Management
What is retail data management?
Data is everything, particularly in the modern age of retail. Your customers are engaging with your brand via multiple channels, submitting a plethora of information which can feel almost impossible to sift through. This is precisely the reason why successful brands like yours should rely more on retail data management tools and systems. This software often taps into machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop data management solutions for businesses across the retail industry. Proper retail data management can not only help you organize your vast pools of customer data, but when launched properly can drive business growth and assist in the development of more effective marketing strategies.
So, what is retail data management? Retail data management is the process of unifying your personal data into a single accessible location, which provide actionable insights on customer behavior that can be used to drive sales and marketing performance. This data can include basic information such as demographic data, or can capture more enriched data points such as time to purchase, size, products purchased etc. With this knowledge, retailers can use retail data management systems like customer data platforms (CDPs), CRMs, and DMPs to create more meaningful connections with customers. Data management in retail is essential for any modern brand that operates in ecommerce. Retail is more virtual than ever before, and being able to fully organize the data coming into your systems is crucial if you want to continue driving business growth.
What is customer master data management?
Customer master data takes retail data management to the next level. Customer master data takes a specific look at transactional data, focusing on how transactions are recorded and posted by a team. This is the core data that is essential to running your retail business, and can provide you with the insights you need to do business with your customers, helping you develop a more connective relationship with them.
Customer master data management or customer MDM, essentially means organizing and unifying that data into a single platform. Once properly consolidated, your business can then use that data to create more meaningful touchpoints with your customers. Additionally, you can use these insights to gain a deeper understanding of both your customers and the performance of your marketing or products. Proper customer master data management implies that this data can be accessed via a multitude of organizational data silos, allowing for different members of your team to easily access and utilize that data on the fly.
Why should I manage my retail data?
Data management is crucial in the current world of retail. As customers increase their virtual footprint, retail businesses should adapt to better capture the information that their customers are providing. This data is more or less, free insight into who your customers are, how they operate, the products they enjoy, and the marketing they’re likely to best respond to. Gaining these insights can only benefit your business, and can help you make more informed decisions when interacting with your customers.
Develop a single customer view
Retail data management, when executed effectively, can help you develop a single customer view. What this means is that you have a single location or platform that houses all of the data that you’ve collected on them. What’s important about this single customer view, is the fact that all departments are granted easy access.
Retail businesses can achieve a single source of truth for their customers via the use of a CDP platform. CDPs deliver retailers a place to capture and disseminate all of their customer information, and acts as a unified hub for retail data management. Additionally, these platforms, allow for retailers to perform advanced customer segmentation based on their single customer view.
Leave little room for error
Data quality is crucial when trying to serve your customers, and poor data quality can result in detrimental errors. Poor data management can hinder your business processes. This is the reason why retail businesses should focus on improving their retail data management. Retail data errors can range from failed customer deliveries to lackluster marketing campaign results. These errors can cost sales teams valuable time responding to these errors and answering customer complaints. As a result, businesses can experience pretty significant revenue loss if these errors aren’t addressed in a timely or effective manner.
Retail data management can help mitigate the potential for errors. By organizing the influx of data into your systems, you can foresee potential pitfalls and make more accurate and timely decisions when interacting with your customers.
Paint a more vivid picture of your customers
Whether you’re business is B2B or B2C, retail data management can assist you in creating a more detailed idea of who your customers or clients are. With this accurate information you can create more valuable touchpoints, drive customer retention, and improve the lifetime value of your customers.
For B2B it is crucial to know the corporate hierarchy of the client company or organization that you’re interacting with. By understanding a contact’s position in the organization, you can seek out the right channels and make the right connections, ensuring that you get the best results possible. Likewise, for B2C, knowing your customer’s location and purchase history can help you develop marketing that better targets their specific needs or product desires.
The benefits and retail data management
Managing your retail data comes with a wide share of benefits beyond just modernizing the way you collect and store information about your customers. Retail data management can streamline your business processes and help you realize improvements across the board.
Improve marketing performance through retail data management
One of the ways in which businesses are benefiting from retail data management is in improving ad performance. By optimizing your retail data capture, and segmenting that data, you can create unified customer profiles that target specific demographics or behaviors.
For example, if you’re hoping to encourage replenishment purchases, thanks to effective retail data management you can create a marketing campaign that focuses on the customers who purchased your products that require replenishment. Further, you can organize your data by purchase time to only target those that are more likely to be in need of a replenishment purchase. As a result, you can expect improved marketing performance, as the only ones who are likely to be interested will receive the marketing content.
Personalize your customer journey
In the modern age of retail, personalization is key. Your customers are getting a multitude of marketing content every day. As a result, the status quo marketing strategies are no longer as effective as they once were. Instead, your customers desire and even expect more connective experiences and journeys with the brands they purchase from. Retail data management gives you the chance to collect as much information on your customers as possible, ensuring that you have the clearest picture of who your customers are and the kind of content they best interact with. You can then use this information to develop more personalized customer experiences,
From pre-purchase to post-purchase, you should utilize your customers’ personal data to create touchpoints that work to develop a deeper relationship with your customers. Regardless if you’re creating a post-purchase email, or want to focus a segment of customers who purchased a specific product, retail data management can ensure that all the data your using to create these experiences is accurate, consolidated and accessible.
Stay in stock and secure your supply chain
Stocking issues can be detrimental to customer retention, particularly when they occur because of data errors. By optimizing your retail data management you can get a better grasp on your current product supply. As a result, you can ensure your product listings are as accurate as possible, and keep your customers informed on the kind of products that are available.
Effective data management can also help you secure your supply chain. By understanding how much of a product is sold on average you can reinforce your supply chain against potential shortages or surges in demand.
Examples of retail data management systems
There are many retail data management systems you can deploy, however, picking the right software tool can make all the difference in your results.
For example, CRMs or customer relationship management software can manage the communication data between your sales teams and your customers. This data can then be used to improve customer relationships, and assist sales teams in being able to call up customer or client data on the fly. That being said, CRMs lack the kind of granular focus that can be attributed to other retail data management systems.
On the other hand, DMPs or data management platforms, can capture and track direct customer data and place it into a unified platform. Unfortunately, DMPs run on third-party data, which is less reliable than first- or second-party data. Third-party data tracks browsing history across websites, and while this form of data was once considered central to digital marketing, it is steadily being phased out by technology providers like Google and Meta due to privacy concerns. Additionally, third-party data has a greater potential for inaccuracy as this data is tracked passively, often placing false intent on certain actions or purchases.
In the modern age of retail, the tool that can best empower your retail data management are CDPs. CDPs provide retailers with advanced customer data unification, and better yet utilize more reliable first- and second-party data. This data can be unified into the CDP’s central hub, then synthesized into customer profiles and segments that aid all departments of your business in real time. Lexer in particular, is a CDXP (customer data and experience platform) that is built with busy retailers in mind. Without the need of a data science or IT team, you can easily handle all of your business’s retail data management. From advanced customer segmentation to enriched customer profiles, you can use Lexer’s CDXP to develop a deeper understanding of your customers so that you can better serve them.