The Customer is Always Right: How Retailers Can Offer a True Data-driven, Omnichannel Experience

August 31, 2020
Mary Grose
The Customer is Always Right: How Retailers Can Offer a True Data-driven, Omnichannel Experience

Retail has never been through a more complex and crucial time.

Customers are increasingly selective and will only buy from those retailers providing the best, hassle-free, satisfying experience. These are the brands that create loyalty and return customers who come back again and again.

So how can retailers redefine the customer journey to match these demands, and become a truly data-driven business?

Taking Stock of Multiple Data Sources

Retailers have many open fronts: from physical point of sale (POS) in the store itself, to the ecommerce site, to customer support applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms. All these systems and data need to be tied together across the entire business, to create impeccable, customized service.

In addition, retailers need to eliminate the errors and delays resulting from disconnected apps, which can seriously damage a smooth customer experience. Often, these apps are disconnected because some live on-premises and some in the cloud, and there is no hybrid bridge between the two.

Omnichannel, Multi-touchpoint

While customers interact with the business on many fronts, they demand a single, integrated experience. The retailer itself, on the other hand, needs to have a complete view of its customer data to choreograph a consistent and contextualized journey. Aggregating the data from multiple systems will help the retailer understand each individual customer and personalize the experience according to their specific tastes and requirements.

Speaking of omnichannel, it’s all well and good to offer customers the possibility to engage on many different touchpoints to buy, pick up, and return, but retailers can struggle to connect all these into a single source of truth to keep the experience seamless. The solution is to connect the data received on all these interactions, creating a well-rounded, accurate image of each shopper’s purchases and experience, and deliver to a great journey to the customer, wherever they might be.

Don't miss Boomi and Aspire Systems' joint webinar, "Transform Your Customer Journey With Connected Data" on Tuesday, September 15 at 2:00pm BST. Register today.

Inventory Management, a Common Hurdle

Many retailers struggle with poor inventory control, which can lead to reduced sales, increased losses and customer dissatisfaction. Retailers can now rely on real-time inventory data across both their online and brick-and-mortar stores, gaining new visibility to enhance demand planning and streamline replenishment, and cutting down on costs as well as reducing leftover, unsold inventory.

Making Good on Promises

A key part of great experiences, as every shopper knows, is order fulfillment. Long waiting times frustrate and alienate shoppers. With tools to boost interoperability across order processing, inventory, warehousing, barcode scanning, and logistic systems, retailers can get orders to customers’ hands faster and more reliably. Automating the entire fulfillment lifecycle also provides the added benefit of eliminating inefficient manual work, saving costs and time.

Supplier Relations Are Just as Critical

Retailers must strike a delicate balance with their suppliers as well as their customers. Supplier interactions are fraught with potential fail points when entrusted to manual management, but automating EDI transactions will help retailers gain scale while saving time and money both for the company and for the trading partner. Should they wish to expand with partners like Amazon and eBay, process automation helps them meet EDI requirements and grow their businesses to meet their customers where they are.

A great customer experience is the cornerstone of brand loyalty. Today, this experience is multifaceted, spread across many channels, and more complex than ever. Keeping tight control of data stemming from all these sources, and ensuring all applications are seamlessly integrated are the keys to realizing the ideal of customer-centric, omnichannel retail.

Transform Your Customer Journey With Connected Data

Boomi and Aspire Systems are hosting a joint webinar, "Transform Your Customer Journey With Connected Data" on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 2:00pm BST.

Though retailers understand the importance of data, they are often not able to achieve a single source of truth/single view of customers, as the data is stored in silos across channels and systems. Integration, paired with master data management and API management enabling the necessary data integrity and connectivity. We will discuss how we are helping retailers to redefine their customer journeys by connecting their data and systems, enabling them to become data-driven organizations.

Don't miss Boomi and Aspire Systems' joint webinar, "Transform Your Customer Journey With Connected Data" on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 2:00pm BST. Register today.

About the Author

Mary Grose is Boomi's EMEA partner marketing manager.