Today an omni-channel retailing strategy is essential. Retailers need open lines of communication across multiple channels—in-store, online, mobile device, or social media—that lead to a seamless, continuous experience across brands and devices, and that engage a customer one-on-one.
To seamlessly engage the customer, myriad databases and systems such as eCommerce platforms, POS (Point of Sale) systems, marketing automation, and customer relationship management tools must be connected to make omni-channel sales and marketing initiatives a reality. Thus, to be successful in the new omni-channel world, it is critical that retailers create a fully integrated ecosystem connecting every aspect of their data and its associated parts.
Fundamentally, omni-channel is the means by which customer engagement can be measured across multiple channels or platforms. And omni-channel is not just a buzzword or passing trend. Mobile usage is growing by leaps and bounds. Online shopping is taking off into the stratosphere. And more and more devices are being used to purchase goods and services. Look at IBM’s Global Consumer Study1: in a single year internet commerce jumped and, according to Google Data, mobile shopping clicks exceeded those on the desktop for much of the 2014 holiday season as shoppers made their purchase decisions while on the move.
This growth in online shopping and mobile usage means there are countless ways to engage with customers; as a result, there has been a swift and dramatic rise in data. Consequently, with new digital technologies driving change in consumer behavior, the role of data has become not just increasingly important, but also central to omni-channel success.