According to IDC Worldwide Retail Predictions, CIOs will make omni-channel integration technology a top investment priority this year. They will do so to support the omni-channel shopper sales premium of 30%. This investment may be realized by the organization’s Chief Digital or Chief Data Officers, who are focused on the value of business information.

Recently, I attended a retailers’ internal strategy day with Supply Chain Leaders and Commerce Leaders. At the event, I was shown how omni-channel investments are paired with supply-chain optimizations. At the event, the managing director said: “We must deliver a seamless, omni-channel customer experience. This investment will streamline our information flow, enabling better customer service.”

In the age of engagement, the client is demanding more than ever before: “Always on, always now!” This digital transformation is disrupting B2C retailers, B2B distributors and those brands which sell directly to consumers. By digital transformation, I refer to the process of using information to increase the relevance of sales offers to customers. In order to achieve this, you must first become a data ready enterprise.

Factors that Impact Tomorrow’s Customer Experience

  1. Issue of the informed purchase journey:  When does the customer have enough information to buy?
  2. Turning Big Data Relationships into business value for decision making and customer segmentation for relevant merchandizing
  3. Store fulfillment & in-store experience will become a big investment area.
  4. The mobile conversion: Revenue spend on mobile is growing. Forrester Research projects $38 billion in US mobile phone sales this year and $76 billion in US tablet sales.

Everyone claims to be customer centric – Every customer interaction counts

If you read corporate mission statements and annual reports, you’ll see many claims to place the customer in the center. When delivering seamless, integrated, consistent customer experiences across channels and touch points is one of your top priorities, every customer interaction counts. However, if you don’t know exactly who your customers are, you cannot begin to deliver the types of experiences that retain existing customers, grow customer relationships, grow customer spend, and attract new customers.

The brands and retailers that focus on becoming data ready will be poised to win, by offering the right products, to the right customers at the right time.