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Friday 06 December 2019


Payments Awards 2019

Retailers struggle with ‘single customer view’

Written by Peter Walker

New research has revealed that 82 per cent of retailers are committed to implementing a data-centric strategy in the next five years, and 58 per cent of retail decisions are being guided by data, but almost half are yet to implement a single customer view in the omnichannel era.

The study, conducted for in-memory analytics database creator Exasol by research firm Vanson Bourne, looked at how and why organisations are transforming from business intelligence to data analytics.

It surveyed a mix of 500 IT and business decision-makers, finding that retailers are relying on data to drive better insights and address specific challenges within their businesses, but the adoption of data analytics is not universal.

Respondents stated they used data for decisions on sales and marketing campaigns (70 per cent), price optimisation to overcome issues around diminishing margins (64 per cent) and better supply chain management (55 per cent).

However, many retailers have not yet implemented a strategy that provides a holistic view of their customers. Despite customer experience becoming a mantra for leading retailers, only 46 per cent use data analytics to better understand their customers’ behaviour and needs across channels.

Over 80 per cent of respondents said the data strategy is owned by a member of the c-suite, although that ownership has fallen away from its traditional home of the chief investment officer, with only one in three respondents stating data belonged to the CIO and 58 per cent accrediting another C-level position – including the chief executive (18 per cent) and chief financial officer (12 per cent).

Aaron Auld, chief executive at Exasol, said: “Retailers are coping with razor-thin profit margins, increasing the pressure to deliver for customers at any time, any place, at the right cost, and personalised to them.

“This research shows that, despite the big e-commerce brands having set the standards for omnichannel and customer experience, more than half of retailers still lack the all-important single customer view,” he continued, adding: “Customers don’t only wish for, but expect, an exceptional and consistent experience across all channels now.”

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