Innovative Retail Technologies

JUL-AUG 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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of respondents say that this rich insight into the customer is just not part of their current data set. What is hampering advancement most is that offline intelligence is failing to power real-time in-line with the systems that are in turn powering personalization and action. The reality of hard-to-access data is that this data often needs to be manually extracted, which takes time. And, if we are all being honest, we know this whole dance; we've seen the movie a million times before. Once we export these spreadsheets, these spreadsheets and files need to be manually imported into another engagement channel's execution platform in order to power the rich personalization and next best offers that are based on a customer's actual behaviors and past transactions. Then, to measure it, the extract and import process needs to happen all over again. But according to 48 percent of marketers, their ability to connect all of the engagement dots and pull together a customer's transactional history, their past behaviors, and the current conditions, circumstances, and variables that can put a customer's needs and expectations in context is selective at best and not in real time. This means that, while personalization is possible, meeting the customer in the channel the customer chooses for engagement in the customer's moment of need is not. Unfortunately, these data and technology gaps and disconnects have Jul-Aug 2017 16 are missing key insights about real-time customer behaviors and are trying to figure out how to integrate this real-time intelligence into their current systems. What becomes clear is that data — or at least the ability to gather and collect it — is not the problem. Turning that data into action, in real time, and across the fractured technology landscape, is the big issue. This challenge also extends beyond an organization's first-party data as only 3 percent of marketers say that the entire organization has access to real-time second- and third-party data. For the most part, marketers are simply not bringing this data in, as 36 percent develop a single view of the customer, let alone deliver rich insights about that customer to key stakeholders across the organization. Fragmented systems have deepened the silos of data that 29 percent of marketers believe have broadened the strategy-to-execution gap. Similar to the state of the technology foundation, marketers are dealing with a fragmented and fractured data foundation that fails to connect data to actionable intelligence and place that view into the hands of teams across the organization. This siloed data picture has also made achieving a complete view of the customer that extends across all engagements and touchpoints, including those that are owned by third-party partners or vendors, feel out of reach. In fact, only 7 percent of marketers believe they have this comprehensive view. Moreover, as marketers are spending more time trying to align systems and are throwing money at resolving their fractured technology systems, less attention has been paid to establishing a comprehensive data strategy that the entire organization needs. Marketers are not only struggling with data accessibility issues but are also trying to resolve significant data quality issues. A plurality of marketers (43 percent) agree that they are not lacking data. What is missing is the ability to transform data into real-time action. Marketers are also looking to patch holes in their insights, as 34 percent feel they

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