Omnicommerce: The member data dilemma

Guest post written by Lorena Harris, VP of Corporate Marketing, Vantiv.  In the third part of this three-part series, Lorena discusses how providing a consistent customer experience across channels is a critical component of omnicommerce. Originally posted on Vantiv’s Blog.

As merchants develop their omnicommerce capabilities, they will be interacting with customers in more ways across more channels. That means that they will have access to a much wider range of information about consumers to use in their marketing efforts. But with power comes responsibility…

Merchants today know how to run discount and promotion programs, but more data means more opportunity to enhance those programs. Such incentives are already an effective way to modify consumer behavior: In recent Vantiv/Mercator research, more than four out of ten respondents said that they would switch from their current preferred payment type to another type if it meant getting a discount on a purchase or a reward. Having more consumer data to work with will let merchants target those programs with increased precision.

But merchants need to be careful about how they use this data. About three-fourths of consumers told researchers that they worry about getting too many inappropriate or irrelevant offers or messages via email or text. More than two-thirds worry about being inundated with too many offers as they shop—even if they’ve asked for those offers. So merchants must balance the number and quality of communications. They should also usegeolocation and analytics tools to provide relevant messages to the right customer at the right time—and to find ways to develop deeper customer insights without being too intrusive in the collection and usage of data.

Finally, don’t forget that other players are interested in this data as well. Merchants will need to find ways to avoid being disintermediated by apps providers whose intent is to gather point-of-sale data for their own marketing efforts. In the age of omnicommerce, maintaining control of this data asset will be key to owning the customer relationship.

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