Trends from the Nordics are confirmed in England. Retailers with physical stores are the fastest growing in the online shopping sector.
They have been a little slow to roll out, because of challenges like cannibalization, logistics and branding. I know that several chains are on the move to launch large worldwide shopping sites. In my opinion they will be highly successful and pass the early movers on the net. My basis for this is that they take the challenge of Data Quality seriously – maybe not by choice but out of pure necessity.
The retailers have multiple points of sales, and multiple point of customer data storage. Point of sales can be Telephone/Customer Service, Customer Clubs, Physical Stores and customer data storage can be in CRM, ERP and logistics system. In addition they will have several brands where also the customer data is stored in. When they then try to do multichannel marketing, it is impossible with the structure they have today.
Multichannel seems a little challenging in this picture……
The solution the chains choose is to make a Master Database, with one customer ID – with link to each brand. When you have the Master Data, you can start analyzing for cross selling opportunities. If you are a customer of Brand one, you are also a likely customer of brand 5. In addition you have tools to filter the information from the multiple points of sales and data. When customer data is entered in one of the point it is checked for duplicates, matched to the right record, checked for fraud. In addition you can set up error tolerant CRM search for the point of sales and enrich the data with Reference data.
Now you are ready for Multichannel Marketing!
The first movers, who often were pure online players, have not had the need for such a rigid Data Quality setup. Where retailers now use professional tools, the pure players still trust their homemade. They will wake up one day and wonder what happened?