Tips for Managing Attribution in an Omnichannel World, Part 2
In part one of this two-part series, I described the concept of omnichannel attribution, some of its associated challenges, and reasons why it's critical for retailers to get this right. Given its importance, what must retailers do to be successful? Effective omnichannel attribution will ultimately require the right technology platform, the right data to tie online and in-store behavior together, and the right level of organizational readiness.
The first pillar of effective omnichannel attribution is a technology platform that enables the following capabilities:
- Data integration: The platform must be able to integrate data from diverse sources such as POS, web analytics, ESP, direct mail and media execution partners with the underlying CRM database in order to gain a comprehensive view of customer behavior both in-store and online.
- Identity management: Identity management capabilities enable retailers to consolidate data from diverse data sources into a complete picture of the customer's engagement across all channels. This results in a retailer's ability to understand "event streams" for each customer.
- Analytics: The value of attribution comes when credit is accurately assigned to customer touchpoints. This is only possible with the use of predictive analytics techniques (as opposed to traditional last-touch or rules-based attribution approaches) and statistically sound approaches to testing and measurement.
The required technology infrastructure can be rolled out in phases. For example, a retailer may start with building out the required data integration and in parallel doing some preliminary analytics around effectiveness of specific touchpoints. At a subsequent stage, identity management can be layered in with more advanced attribution models.
Equally as important as the technology platform is the ability for retailers to tie digital behavior to the final in-store purchase. This is straightforward for retailers with loyalty programs, as transactions can be tied to a customer's account when they scan their card at the point of purchase. For retailers that don't have a loyalty program, the goal is to incentivize customers to provide information in-store (ideally an email address) through some sort of value exchange so the transaction can be tied to the event stream.