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Data validation nuances for unifying Omnichannel data

 Author: Naju D. Mohan, Delivery Manager

Gone are the days when collecting and processing data gave CIOs sleepless nights. Now, they are kept awake by another data challenge -- an abundance of data overflowing from multiple channels that must be analyzed to derive meaningful insights. In fact, consolidating customer data from various sources to drive uniform communication across channels appears to be an uphill task, as it involves merging online and offline data to track customer interactions and understand them better to provide a seamless experience to them.

Omnichannel shopping experience for millennials and centennials

The millennials, who grew up with the internet at their fingertips, are definitely online and mobile-savvy customers. However, they also frequent stores (because who can resist the urge to touch and feel products before you buy them?). They demand an effortless transition from smartphones to computers to physical stores so that they can have their best pick of products from retailers. The centennials who never had an existence without being internet connected, are still a mystery to most retailers. They are not a dominant earning group yet, but their spending trends prove that they are visually-led and that they flip across channels to make their final buy.

Big data insights and omnichannel shoppers

New generation shoppers do not shy away from providing retailers a huge library of personal data. In fact, they regularly share their viewpoints, likes, and dislikes along with their shopping preferences. This provides retailers, ample data to understand their behavior, personal choices, preferred mode of engagement, reasons for abandoning a purchase midway through the shopping journey, and so on. Retailers need to process this customer data to provide an enriching omnichannel shopping experience to these young people - who don't hesitate to make use of the advantages that big data analytics provides.

The latest trend among shoppers is that, although they are influenced by peers and online media and are open to change, they are willing to listen and keep coming back to a brand or a company once they like it. Retailers should thus derive insights from the vast amount of customer data and design personalized marketing campaigns and loyalty programs that are more visual and which customers are able to connect with.

Validation to guarantee quality insights for omnichannel user experience

Poor data quality is one of the primary reasons why retailers struggle to keep pace with consumers' omnichannel expectations. They most often fail to provide a consistent experience across the various channels due to inconsistent data. To address this, they need to move away from isolated systems, which cater to individual channel's needs, towards a truly digital ecosystem that integrates all channels. We can take a look at common data quality issues that retailers face and suggest a validation strategy that they can adopt to address these issues.

The test strategy should focus on three primary areas:

  • Address the volume of data for testing, through appropriate techniques
  • Verify the proper integration of data from various channels
  • Ensure integrity of data across all channels

The data that gets collected across the channels and its huge volume may make the retailers feel a little lost. Additionally, the fact that this data gets multiplied every millisecond further challenges companies and can leave them wondering about how to derive any meaningful insights from it. The data variety could include online and offline marketing and sales data, social media profiles and behavioral data of customers, online browsing history, etc. Identifying the right data is what that matters here. Data filtering testing should concentrate on validating and making sure that relevant data is being extracted from across the channels and stored for analysis.

The success of retail businesses depends on the availability of relevant customer information with their in-store employees, call center operators, and ecommerce managers. This helps retailers provide more personalized product recommendations that are more customer-centric and saleable. A proper, customer data integration validation approach, focusing on match-and-merge, alongside updating the right customer attributes helps maintain actionable strategies for the retailer. This will help them increase their sales opportunities, profitability, and customer loyalty.


A holistic integration between internal operational systems and external customer-facing systems is a primary need in today's digital age. Ensuring this integration, requires detailed testing to ensure data integrity across systems from various departments like marketing, sales, loyalty, human relations, etc. This ensures the preservation of brand integrity and confirms that all departments honor the brand promises that are made to the customers. This data integrity validation has to be an ongoing process, in order to achieve true brand integrity, credibility, and authenticity.

Conclusion


Omnichannel has huge potential for retailers. However, it can be properly exploited only if retailers are able to filter out the noise from the available data, enrich the customer data to provide a rich user experience across all channels, and integrate the data available across channels to provide a consistent shopping experience. This ultimately boils down to keeping the retailer data in order.

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