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The importance of data quality tools within omni-channel solutions

In my role, I frequently talk to retailers and I find that many are facing challenges with disparate, sometimes outdated systems. Oftentimes they are using multiple vendors for their necessary technology solutions. For example, their Ecommerce platform is hosted by one vendor, their point of sale (POS) system is from another, and their enterprise resource planning (ERP) or order management system (OMS) is provided by yet another vendor. This can create a headache when retailers have data initiatives that span these multiple platforms.

Today, especially within the retail industry, organizations are moving away from channel-specific software and moving towards an “omni-channel” provider that can power their CRM, ERP, OMS, Ecommerce, marketing and loyalty programs, etc. This allows stores to have an interconnected technology suite without a massive development effort to connect separate databases for each vendor’s platform. As organizations are beginning to review omni-channel solutions, and ultimately deciding on their vendor of choice, adding value with data quality solutions can be a key differentiator. This is a huge opportunity for retail software providers to separate themselves from the competition and provide a valuable service that would improve the decision-making process on the customer’s end.

While omni-channel solutions are often a great fit, retailers see even more value when data quality tools are integrated to ensure that quality information is flowing from one platform to the next. For example, retailers receive orders from multiple sources: their website, call center, POS or mail orders. Utilizing address validation will minimize shipping costs while ensuring packages or mailings arrive at their intended destination. Verifying the customer’s email address will allow you to trust that your marketing messages are reaching their inbox. Similarly, phone number validation solutions will allow you to verify phone numbers, as well as differentiate between landline and mobile phone numbers, powering your mobile marketing initiatives while remaining compliant with regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Seamlessly integrating these solutions anywhere that retailers are collecting customer contact information ensures that the data entering their system is complete and correct.

Since contact information can flow into an organization from multiple sources, companies are also putting tools in place to eliminate the possibility of duplicate contact. Our matching products can help retailers mitigate the potential risk and rework from duplicate contacts by using fuzzy matching and phonetic tokenization to match new contacts entering the system to an existing record within a database. This enhances the probability of creating a single customer record and helps let businesses make better decisions based on their data. In fact, our research found that one in four retailers plan to undergo a single customer view project this year, so offering this solution to your clients can help you stand out.

Establishing a primary contact data quality solution provider can allow you to stay ahead of your competition. As many retailers become more aware of problems with their data quality, they look for tools that can improve this process and they often become a requirement when reviewing solution providers. By partnering with Experian Data Quality, not only does this check the box when prospects are reviewing omni-channel solutions, but data quality tools are a major value-add that can drive a new source of revenue for your organization.

As the retail industry continues to place a focus on addressing their data quality issues, let Experian be your partner to ensure that duplicate contacts aren’t entering their systems and verify that the information being collected is going to be fit for purpose.

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