A 3-step plan for improving retail operations—especially during a crisis
If you are a retailer, it’s likely the current global crisis is impacting shipping and delivery delays, staff and supply shortages, and lagging operations. And if you have brick-and-mortar locations, you’ve had to close up shop and rapidly shift toward functioning as an e-commerce operation, relying only on your current customer and product data. The question is: Do you trust your business’s data to deliver on your brand’s promise to customers? To successfully deliver goods when customers need them?
Inaccurate customer information, like misspelled mailing addresses or emails, leads to distribution centers shipping packages to the wrong address, leaving you with returned-mail fines, additional delays on shipments, and a rise in customer service complaints bogging down your staff. If your product data is outdated, you could be sending your customers the wrong products or incorrectly supplying your warehouses with minimal or surplus amounts of goods. Unhappy customers and distrust in your brand’s ability to deliver, especially during a time of crisis, can very quickly result in a significant decline in customer loyalty and lost business to a competing brand.
Untrustworthy insights can have real-time negative impacts on your operations and hurt the chances of your retail organization overcoming this new normal. It’s time to shift course and fix the quality of your data—we can help with that.
Steps retailers can take to improve and streamline operations—starting with quality data.
Clean up your existing data.
First, make sure you clean your existing data by profiling, standardizing, and de-duplicating your records. Not only will you and your business users have an accurate, holistic view of your contact and product data, but your operations will begin to streamline, even with a skeleton crew. When you have clean data, you will see:
• Collaboration across departments.
• Better internal communication on business initiatives.
• Warehouses stocked with the right amount of inventory.
• Packages delivered to correct addresses.
• Emails delivered to the correct inboxes.
• Customers targeted across most consumable digital platforms.
Streamlining your operations also ranks you higher in the competitive field. Our research shows the top ways retailers believe being data-driven gives them a competitive advantage is when:
• They are able to better adapt to market changes (56%)
• They have better insight for decision making (51%)
• They improved customer experience (50%)
Using trustworthy insights helps you operate efficiently and effectively, which is crucial when you need to quickly respond to the economy with minimal disruption to your competitive edge and your customers’ experience.
Automate data quality checks in your online shopping cart.
Program automatic data quality checks where you collect data the most, like your online shopping carts. This allows you to quickly execute on your response to the market while maintaining the quality of your insights on an ongoing basis. Here’s an example:
If you are a grocery store, providing customers with an online delivery service can help you meet regulation requirements while reassuring customers they can continue to shop with your brand and receive quality goods when they need them. Happy customers keep your business happy. However, moving to an online shopping cart leaves room for contact information to be misspelled. In fact, 50 percent of inaccurate data is contributed to human error.1 If your drivers are delivering groceries with invalid addresses, there’s a high chance the food will be delivered to the wrong address, delaying operations, delivery, and making for an unhappy customer.
To save time, money, and resources, embed an automatic data quality solution into your e-commerce site to quickly course-correct this issue and give your business a quick win.
Drive business decisions with trusted data-driven insights.
Delivering and sustaining an exceptional e-commerce experience starts with driving a data-driven culture built on trusted customer insights. We see 85 percent of retailers see data as one of the most valuable assets to their organization,2 but to see the greatest ROI on your data, you must empower your entire organization—business and tech users alike—with accurate customer and product data. When you leverage data insights to drive customer conversations, you will notice:
• Effective decision-making across the organization.
• More creative thinking for business initiatives.
• Efficient operational efforts.
• Improved understanding of customers.
At the end of the day, promoting a data-driven mindset across your organization results in initiatives that lead to bottom-line growth, and it also prepares you for the unpredictable.
Retailers operating with high-quality data are the ones setting their organization up for success—and they’re the ones that keep, and better yet, increase customer trust and loyalty, even in trying times.