Providing every existing or potential customer with one view of the retailer, where the customer has a consistently good experience in and among the retailer’s physical and digital channels, is foundational for success in unified retail commerce. However, doing so within the context of digital business means delivering consistently excellent operations in each channel, as well as across the channels, to yield consistently good experiences for millions of customers across thousands of touchpoints. This feat is proving to be almost insurmountable for many larger retailers. Results from the 2018 Gartner CIO survey indicate that 49% of retail respondents listed personalization/customer segmentation as one of their top three solution priorities.
While personalization is the goal, customer data availability, quality and consistency are major issues. Retailers are focused on loyalty programs and customer relationship management as the foundation for obtaining and mining richer customer data. However, this is only a start, as more-contextualized and targeted information on customers must be used to enhance their engagement with customers and, thus, increase loyalty. As a result, the first hurdle is to gather all the internally available data. Once the internal data is consolidated, retailers find that there are many gaps that prevent behavioral segmentation and require additional, external data.
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