Retailers: How to Focus on Accurate Customer Data

Retailers are especially struggling in 2020, so now’s the time to double down on customer data and make sure it is up-to-date and accurate.

As the full trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, more retailers and small businesses are closing their doors and declaring bankruptcy. According to Coresight Research data, as many as 25,000 stores in the U.S. could close permanently by the end of 2020. 

Because retailers are facing major challenges right now and are increasingly forced to depend on online sales, customer data has become more important than ever. And that means retailers are tasked with ensuring consumer and user data is accurate, complete, and timely. 

Here’s what you need to know to improve your data practices.

How does data become inaccurate?

According to the 2020 Global Data Management Research report from Experian, 85% of organizations think data is one of their most valuable business assets. However, 28% believe that their customer or prospect data is inaccurate in some way.

Inaccurate data can happen for a variety of reasons. These include errors in the collection process, malicious activity, or just human error. Data can quickly become outdated or incomplete if not reviewed and updated regularly, meaning that outdated CRMs can cause big problems for store owners. When hackers alter data in their online attacks, data can quickly become inaccurate. 

It’s also a challenge to ensure data accuracy if customer data is coming from more than once source. Data silos can be another problem, where consumer data is spread across storage locations.

Another cause, as the Deloitte report Predictably Inaccurate states, is depending on data that users self-report rather than data based on observed and actual behaviors. 

All of these challenges mean the world of big data is wrought with inaccuracies and obstacles that can become overwhelming for retailers. 

How to ensure data accuracy

Retailers can proactively take steps now to reduce the likelihood that customer data is inaccurate. Start by recognizing that information must be:

  • Consolidated: Avoid siloed records by consolidating data in a single database or CRM platform. This prevents duplicate or conflicting data.
  • Complete: There shouldn’t be missing values or information. This can lead to assumptions or inferences that further support inaccuracies.
  • Up-to-date: Timeliness is extremely important for customer data, so it should be updated and reviewed regularly.
  • Automated: Many issues with data accuracy come from human error and manual entry. Take advantage of automation and AI techniques that can help reduce these errors.

Keeping these principles in mind will help ensure that the data you’re gathering and using to reach customers is relevant, complete, and accurate.

It’s also crucial that you educate employees on the risks of inaccurate data and how important it is to not use outdated customer data or contact information. This wastes time, energy, and money. Train staff to monitor and review data regularly to ensure it is updated and consolidated.

One tactic is to implement a system that shows you and your team the exact date that the data was collected, and the date it was last verified as accurate. Using simple dashboards to track, analyze, and view data can make the process easier for all team members as well.

Using data tools from BDEX

At BDEX, we believe that real-time targeting is better targeting. That’s why we place custom real-time tags on thousands of websites and apps, tracking consumers across their many channels. This approach gives you real-time data to more effectively reach the right person at the right moment, ensuring data is never outdated

The BDEX Data Exchange Platform (DXP) has more user data than any other data platform. The marketplace has more than 5,500 data categories, over 6 billion unique IDs, and more than a trillion data signals. All of this data means you get a better picture of every consumer’s behavior and desires.

Now more than ever, making real human connections with your retail customers is top priority. We help you connect to the right consumers by putting them in front of you when they’re ready to make a purchase. You’ll have a much better, holistic view of what individuals want and when they want it. Our Data as a Service (DaaS) solution, Omnisource IQ, gathers behavioral data from more than 70 sources in the moment to make these connections happen.

Another way we ensure you have access to accurate data is with our BDEX ID Check. We know there’s a lot of bad data out there, so we have advanced solutions in place to both identify and filter our data so the information in the BDEX Identity Graph is always high-quality.

When you’re ready to focus more on gathering accurate customer data and making more meaningful connections, contact the BDEX team to get started.