Can MDM help move the needle on digital transformation for retail enterprise organisations?

June 19, 2024
4 mins.
Martin Kjeldsen

Can MDM help move the needle on digital transformation for retail enterprise organisations?

Enterprise organisations in retail are leveraging digital technology to standardise complex business processes, weed out inefficiency and unlock new value from data generated because of digitalisation and in many cases to consolidate data across a complex IT landscape. 

The overall effect of digitalisation across an organisation is what we call “digital transformation” which is more of a process than an outcome.

Digital transformations are often long-term efforts, “rewiring” how an organisation operates, adapting how a business deploys ever changing technology within an enterprise business that is also constantly evolving.

To enable them to become better at business decision making, retailers have to become data-driven organisations - as data is the lifeblood of a successful digital transformation. Retailers need to be able to access consistent data, a stock inventory with visibility across multiple channels, with real-time operational insights. 

But the journey is full of pitfalls illustrated nicely by a McKinsey research that shows that, while almost every company has been running digitisation projects across various parts of its operations, 70 percent of them have not moved beyond the pilot phase.

What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

An MDM solution helps an organisation to manage its most critical data assets (known as master data) as a single source of truth across an entire enterprise.

Investing in an MDM system should be regarded as building a foundation on which many other business initiatives will rely upon in the future, with more informed decisions made based on trustworthy data.

A unified view of customer data

Digital transformation for businesses in the retail sector entails leveraging digital technologies to enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Retailers have discovered that in today’s ‘always on’ world, you are only as good as your last customer interaction - which emphasises the importance of personalisation and the omnichannel experiences in retail. Digital transformation has enabled retailers to leverage data analytics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to understand customer preferences and deliver tailored offerings.

To facilitate this personalisation, MDM enables retailers to create a single, accurate, and comprehensive view of customer data by consolidating information from various sources such as CRM systems, transactional data, social media interactions, and loyalty programmes. This unified customer view allows retailers to personalise marketing campaigns, improve customer segmentation, and enhance the overall omnichannel experience.

Retailers need to adopt and build on their omnichannel strategies that integrate physical stores, e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, and social media to create a unified shopping experience. This approach enables customers to interact with the brand seamlessly across these multiple channels.

Often what businesses forget is that the buying experience for a consumer can be across multiple devices and channels. May be a prospective customer starts out clicking on a Google ad on their mobile device, then moves to their laptop when they are at home, asks a question on the website live chat function, then sends a DM message on one of the social media channels to ask a product question - same person, same customer expectations but across different channels and devices.

Onboarding of data from suppliers. 

This is one of the main use cases for MDM when retailers create a centralised repository for storing and managing product data. This repository acts as a single source of truth, collecting this product data as smoothly as possible with as little human intervention as possible.

MDM facilitates the automation of data onboarding processes from suppliers, mapping the data to ensure that it meets predefined standards before being integrated into the system.

Responding to changing market conditions

By managing their data more effectively, retail organisations are able to improve planning and supply chain management, which means they are better able to respond more effectively to any volatile changes or disruptions in the marketplace. The fundamental building block for effective business decision making is that they use data that is harmonised and synchronised across their organisation.

MDM facilitates centralised management of product data, including attributes, descriptions, images, and pricing information. By maintaining a single source of truth for product data, retailers can ensure consistency and accuracy across channels, streamline product onboarding processes, and accelerate time-to-market for new products. This enables retailers to respond quickly to changing market demands and consumer preferences.

Data-driven decision making

MDM provides retailers with a foundation for data-driven decision-making by ensuring the integrity, accuracy, and completeness of data. By leveraging clean and reliable data, retailers can gain actionable insights generated by customer behaviour, tap into market trends, and optimise operational performance.

The data enables retailers to make informed decisions, anticipating customer needs and delivering relevant offerings by helping to identify customer preferences, segment target audiences, and personalise marketing campaigns.

Seamless omnichannel experience

With the shift in how end-consumers interact with retailers, it is critical now that a retail brand has the competencies and capability to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience, driven by customer data. 

MDM enables retailers to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience by ensuring consistent product availability, pricing, and promotions across online and offline channels. By synchronising data across channels, retailers can provide customers with greater convenience and flexibility in their shopping journey.

Next Steps

Get in touch to roll out MDM for your business as a part of your digital transformation journey, improve data quality and governance, increase efficiency and revenue, and gain valuable insights for better decision making.

Achieving success with your MDM project requires a lot of preparation. There are many things to consider and it can be hard to figure out where to start.

Book a free consultation call with us today to learn more about how we can help.

Also check out our video series How To Get Started on Your MDM Journey.

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