Everyone talks about how to make the most of their data. Data impacts everything, from customer onboarding, distribution, and omnichannel payment flows. As data volumes grow, they also expand in complexity.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s creating a tsunami of data, which many businesses weren't prepared for, especially in the wake of the pandemic. A report from Deloitte and the Institute of International Finance stated: “Institutions that invested in digital over the past decade have been better prepared to navigate these shifts and respond to the crisis.”
Data Fragmentation is a Hurdle to Business Growth
Insufficient resources as well as a lack of internal expertise and data tools are just some of the obstacles that smaller businesses struggle with. Around 20 percent of retailers point to a lack of investment in relevant data tools as holding them back from scaling successfully.
No matter what you’re selling, utilizing data-driven insights to guide your growth strategies is essential for your future survival. They show you how to improve operational processes, understand your customers, and harness your omnichannel e-commerce capabilities to grow globally.
Peeling back all of the intertwining data layers only adds to the burdens of data management, governance, and regulatory compliance demands facing businesses, especially smaller retailers that are trying to grow across borders and diversify customer bases.
Breaking Down the Data Siloes
It’s crucial to understand what data unlocks, and what data doesn't unlock. Just because a business has reams of data doesn't mean it's useful data. And when it’s kept siloed in separate business units or processes, it can’t be leveraged to its fullest potential at the wider enterprise level. Disjointed data processes harm operational efficiency. Without a unified overview, many retailers will struggle to gain the deep operational or customer insights they need to grow.
Effective data governance and centralization isn't about physically moving all the data and putting it in the same place, but at the very least understanding where all of your data flows are and trying to harness them in the most profitable way.
Businesses need a clear idea of what they want their data to achieve. Is it better analytics? A new product? Data’s value will be different for each business.
It’s a rare business owner that likes to do the intensive manual labor of drilling into that data. It requires methodical, painstaking analysis that swallows up lots of time that could be better served focusing on customers. It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint.
How a Merchant of Record Solution Can Ease Data Burdens
An expert merchant of record (MOR) provider can shoulder the intensive work of data drilling and analysis, and ensure that data governance, security requirements, and compliance demands are taken care of.
That's how we're approaching leveraging data acquisition at Reach. We figure out what the pain points are and solve them. How many different data sources do you have, and what tools do you use? How are they mapped to each other? Does a customer’s data exist in just one pipeline? Is that data duplicated elsewhere?
By walking businesses through these data pipelines, Reach helps them to break down data and present it in a way that everyone can understand. It may be that the retailer just needs a simple API weaved into its website, or a plug-and-play integration with a third-party sales platform to streamline transaction flows. For more complex enhancements, a custom integration may be a better fit for the retailer’s growth plans.
When data is optimized, businesses experience less friction and enjoy smoother operational flows. Retailers can focus their efforts on expanding, confident in the knowledge that their data processes are taken care of in the background.
Lohrasp Seify is head of data for Reach, the e-commerce experts and Merchant of Record provider.
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