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Data activation: the key to a truly seamless omnichannel experience

Data activation: The key to a truly seamless omnichannel experience



The omnichannel promise — a unified, seamless shopping experience across channels — is a simple concept, but to actually deliver on it has turned out to be very difficult. 

While your organization might possess all the customer data you could dream of, the main obstacle is often to translate that data into customer experiences that are shaped by all the available information.

In this article, we look at how payment data can provide the foundation that enables you to achieve just that. 


Data activation in an omnichannel world

How can you create customer experiences that build on everything you know about the customer? 

Data activation is the answer. 

Data activation means to use all your available data to understand historical customer behavior, and to act upon those insights. When done right, this means that every customer interaction — regardless of channel — is informed by all available data.

Let us take the example of Ella, a do-it-yourself enthusiast. Her latest project is to transform an old door into a table top, so she recently bought a sander at her local hardware store. A couple of days later, she is browsing the hardware chain’s online store for wood filler and varnish.

In a typical scenario, there would be no connection between the two interactions. But with data activation, the online store knows Ella’s offline purchasing history and her location. 

So instead of seeing only standard price comparisons and customer reviews, Ella now gets a pop-up message inviting her to a woodworking workshop that will soon be taking place at her local store. Though she had never considered attending a workshop, she takes advantage of the offer and ends up having a splendid time. 

A couple of weeks later, Ella receives the retailer’s monthly newsletter. It includes a link to an instructional video showing how to lay floor tiles, which she watches with interest without taking any further action. But the next time she drives by the store, she receives a text message offering her a 20% flash discount on a selection of tiles. 

By building on Ella’s purchases, browsing history and location, the retailer was able to provide a consistent, engaged experience. No matter which channel she moves to next, they can continue to create compelling offers based on Ella’s real-time needs, interests, and behaviors.


Mind the gap: Data in ≠ insight out

As customers interact with your brand across channels and systems, they generate ever more detailed data. In theory, you therefore have very precise insights into your customers’ interests and intentions. 

But in reality, how happy are you with the reach and results of your personalization efforts?

If you are struggling in this area, you are not alone. According to a survey by Ascend2 and its research partners, nearly two in three marketing influencers consider data-driven personalization the most difficult tactic to execute. 



In most organizations, different channels evolved separately, with different supporting systems and technologies. So while valuable new data is being generated every day, effective data consolidation can be very complex or even impossible.

Online-to-offline tracking, in particular, remains a major hurdle for most retailers. How exactly do you know when a loyal online customer makes an in-store purchase? 


Unlocking data activation with a single customer view

Loyalty — and in turn, customer lifetime value — is the result of your ability to know who your customers are across all channels, at any time, and being able to anticipate and meet their needs and desires.

This requires a comprehensive, always-on understanding of each individual customer, which captures their real-time behavior as well as their complete history in every channel.

While some retailers are successfully using third-party behavioral data to inform their marketing campaigns, many now realize that the real treasure trove is their own customer data — and in particular, their payment data.

Payment data is reliable, channel-neutral, and ready to activate. When delivered in the right way, it will give you the single customer view which can transform the way you run your business. 

The key is your ability to combine the data you already have to create a meaningful customer profile, and to make this single view of the customer available to all channels and brands across the organization. “Unsiloing” data will enable you to generate and act on customer insights in ways that were never before possible.

When you consider a payment solution, it therefore becomes essential to look for one that unifies all your payment data, and provides you with a single view of the customer across channels and brands.


An end-to-end payment orchestrator and single source of truth

That’s exactly what Worldline’s One Commerce Hub delivers. WL One Commerce Hub is a single convergence platform for all your payment needs, and a powerful end-to-end payment orchestrator.

WL One Commerce Hub captures vast amounts of tokenized data, which enables you to track individual buyers across multiple channels. 

The solution includes a merchant portal, OneSource, which consolidates data from all your payment methods and transaction types, and from all your sales channels: in-store, online and mobile. 

Last, but not least, OneSource allows you to extract that data to any tool of your choice, so that you can activate it and use it to inform and shape every customer touchpoint with real, operational historical transaction data.

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