Will Retailers succeed with e-Commerce because of Data Quality?

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.

Data Quality For E-Commerce cluttered

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.

Data Quality For E-Commerce clean
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?


3 Responses

  1. Hello Jan-Erik Ingvaldsen,

    I couldn’t agree more. We are a young technology startup specializing in preference based selection and sequencing methods. Depending on the available data ( sales figures, click rates, customer ratings, but also results from systems such asFACT finder or semantic analysis- we construct a nonstop running order(playlist) of products in E-Commerce or of content in other portals in order to display these products in a controlled fashion like on a conveyor belt, giving higher presentation frequency to higher rated products and thus enabling low cost promotion even of the LONG TAIL. With our service all products in Encommerce gain more visibility, it solves the conformity problem or Top10 lists and display content nobody has searched for- it also is the only tool the react to the needs of product sellers.

    As a startup it’s sometimes difficult to understand that even major retailers still suffer from poor data and how difficult it is to extract usable data from their systems. So, we very much support your “fight” for more data quality
    Thank you

  2. Dear Kerstin, That seems to be the most common problem that I am seeing with my clients that utilize direct marketing. Direct Marketers today need a tool that not only keeps their current data updated and easy to access but gives them the ability to reach new prospects as well. Thankfully these tools are making their way into the market place. If you have any questions on these types of tools I would be happy to give you some suggestions.

  3. thanks!
    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.It will greatly help me in my activities.
    Thanks though, i’m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my activities
    Great job ! 🙂
    Cari Uang Di Internet

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