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  • Writer's pictureInteractive Rewards

The 5 key challenges preventing retailers from providing the ultimate digital experience

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Challenge 1: Too complex, expensive and time consuming

According to Ascend2 “Marketing Technology Trends Survey” (Jan 2017), inadequate technology integration is a significant barrier to marketing technology success for nearly half of B2C marketing influencers. 50% of companies indicate that technology integration is a significant barrier to success, where only 37% have extensively integrated their marketing systems and 4% have not integrated their marketing technologies at all. So, it’s understandable that deploying the ultimate digital experience could seem to be a complex challenge.

Deploying the ultimate digital experience is not complex and doesn’t need to be expensive. Also, companies do not need an army of digital experts either in house or from an agency to see results. With the easy to integrate and open digital marketing platforms available today, the complexities of integrating new technology with legacy or in-house built systems and applications are greatly simplified, if not by the in-house IT team then by the digital marketing partner or agency.

Challenge 2: Can’t prove value or justify business case

New initiatives cannot always be measured in the old legacy measurement KPIs and funnels. Take social for example: According to the DMA Insight: Social Data Integration report, the top concern is lack of evidence for ROI for almost two in  five marketers (39%), rising to 52% of B2C marketers and falling to 30% of B2B marketers. Marketers need to learn quickly to define, measure, and communicate progress for measuring and demonstrating the success of new initiatives to the business.

Challenge 3: Siloed and disintegrated technologies

In this digital age, technology, along with data, analytics and design, underpins and shapes the entire customer experience. Information technology is not only pervasive; it is fast becoming a primary driver of market differentiation, business growth and probability. As consumers head full speed into a world where brand and technological experiences are indistinguishable, revamped marketing and IT teams need to be jointly responsible for owning the design of the customer experience. A recent report by Accenture highlights:

As a result, chief marketing of cers (CMOs) and chief information of cers (CIOs) must work more closely together than ever before. Also, many retailers still operate and manage transactions and inventory across siloed technology stacks – so an item purchased online cannot be returned for a refund in store, leading to poor customer experience. New data management platforms are now available that can bring together disintegrated and siloed data to provide a 360 degree view of customers across multiple channels and systems.

Challenge 4: Don’t have the right ecosystem or partnerships

Another barrier to providing the ultimate customer journey is not having the right team in place internally, or not working in partnership with the right technology partners who can help deliver this service. Marketers should initially evaluate their existing technology partners to identify any unexplored capabilities.

By creating an eco-system of success, bringing all your technology providers together, you could uncover some valuable capabilities to enable the next generation of retail experience using the toolkit already in place.

Challenge 5: Can’t identify customers

Another major challenge is customer identification across platforms. It’s absolutely necessary for a successful connected customer path, but it can be hard to achieve. Often the information collected in customer databases is “dirty,” with multiple problems for each customer and lots of missing or incorrect information. When customers buy something online, they give away a lot of personal data both actively (via payment forms) and passively (via cookies), which allows companies to identify them quickly. But in brick-and-mortar retail, often the only data collected is an anonymous, encrypted credit card number not nearly enough information to build an accurate customer pro le. Also, some brands have access to data, but do not wish to risk upsetting their customers. This will become even more prominent with the new data protection regulations coming into play.

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