Identity Resolution Enhances Omnichannel Retail

May 21, 2019

Perhaps more so than any other industry, retail has undergone a significant shift in business models with the rise of the digital era and new technology. DTC brands are thriving thanks in large part to e-commerce platforms, while legacy brands with large physical footprints are challenged to innovate to meet changing customer expectations. In this competitive retail landscape, brands need to deliver an engaging shopping experience throughout the customer journey.

Studies show that retailers that invest in an omnichannel approach to customer engagement retain up to 89% of their customers, compared to the 33% retention rate of companies with weak omnichannel engagement. Yet, only 8% of retailers say they have achieved a successful omnichannel strategy. The fact remains that many retail marketers struggle to deliver a seamless customer experience across engagement channels.

To provide customers with an effective omnichannel experience, retailers need to be able to identify individual customers across channels and devices. Achieving this goal requires robust identity resolution (IDR) capabilities.

IDR is the process of analyzing disparate customer data sets and unifying them into a single, comprehensive view of each customer. IDR leverages a combination of deterministic and probabilistic matching techniques to attribute multiple sessions to a single customer, and recognize that customer as the same individual no matter the channel or device they use. Below, we highlight three important functions of IDR for omnichannel retail marketers.

  • Create a unified customer profile: Effective identity resolution matches data from multiple sources into a single comprehensive view of each customer, providing marketers with an in-depth look into customer behavior, purchase history, and products of interest, regardless of channel or device. For omnichannel retailers, this includes recognizing that a person browsing the website is the same customer who just purchased something in the retail store. Marketers can then provide a personalized offer, leveraging insights into the customer’s size and product interests.
  • Enable omnichannel interactions: Once retailers can recognize a customer across channels, they can provide consistent messaging that continues the conversation, regardless of where the customer appears next. If a customer visits a physical store, they might receive an offer via SMS or a mobile app. If the customer visits a retailer’s website, they might get a coupon informed by a recent purchase or recent research activity. The possibilities are endless once identity resolution processes are operating at a sufficiently high level.
  • Ensure consistent data across systems: Marketers too often employ fragmented technology stacks with point solutions that lock customer data into channel-specific silos. Robust identity resolution capabilities eliminate these silos, enabling retail marketers to have an accurate understanding of where, when, and with which products their customers are interacting in real time. Identity resolution also enables customer-facing departments to leverage the same data, ensuring consistency across every customer interaction.

Retailers need to leverage the capabilities of identity resolution if they wish to compete with the success of DTC brands. Identity resolution is a key component of success in omnichannel retail, empowering retail marketers with the ability to better understand their customers and engage them throughout the customer journey.

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