Guest Column | November 28, 2016

Delivering Great Customer Experiences Starts With Having Great Data

Branden Jenkins, GM Global Retail, NetSuite

By Branden Jenkins, GM of Global Retail, NetSuite

There is no greater imperative for today’s retailers than deepening brand loyalty. As such, they’re constantly evaluating how disruptive technologies can empower outstanding, differentiating customer experiences – the linchpin of the journey to digital transformation.

But while most retailers agree that’s a train they have to ride, they have trouble figuring out where to jump on something that seems only to accelerate. As such, they fall into the trap of looking at their customer experience in silos, and throwing so-called bleeding edge technologies at consumers in the hopes they’ll drive a positive image of the brand.

The hard truth is, no amount of bells and whistles on the front-end will matter much to the customer if the information governing the sale isn’t correct on the back-end, and she can’t get what she needs in a time frame acceptable to her.  It’s no wonder that IDC estimates that 70 percent of siloed, digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail. What many retailers don’t realize is that in order to move at the pace today’s customers demand, they need to first slow down and take a hard look at their transactional systems.

Brands may differentiate themselves with their customer experiences, but all great customer experiences share four characteristics that all start with having complete visibility across operations with a unified platform and harmonized view of customer, inventory and order data.