Customer Data Management Best Practices for eCommerce
Jolene RutherfordApril 21, 2022
Data management is a critical component of any eCommerce operation, and customer data management is at the heart of it. So much emphasis is placed on driving the right traffic, optimizing conversions, and cultivating customer loyalty, but companies also need to put equal, if not more emphasis on making sure they capture the right data while the customer is interacting with them, so they can tailor the experience, and create a more personalized connection.
Additionally, companies also need to develop a sound data strategy, and while that strategy will differ from one business to another, there are some general data management best practices that apply across the board.
Keep your data safe
Customer data is being transmitted online at an increasing rate these days. Businesses must protect this information from illegal access. According to Experian’s Global Identity and Fraud Report, 74% of consumers consider security to be the most important aspect of their online experience.
It’s a good idea to improve your cybersecurity by using platforms with impenetrable security measures and ensuring that you have backup systems in place so that activities may continue uninterrupted in the event of a disaster.
Collect only the information you require
It’s never been easier to collect and store data. As a result, many companies end up with too much data that eventually just takes up unnecessary space and causes security risks. By being careful about the data you acquire, you may save time and money while avoiding overburdening your team and customer data platform.
It pays to know what problems you’re aiming to tackle and what kind of data you’ll need to accomplish so. Whatever data you have, it’s important to have a strategy in place for how you’ll use it.
Provide an incentive to your customers
Most customers are willing to provide personal information in exchange for personalized offers. As a result, by providing customers with a compelling reason, you can gain access to a wealth of information. For taking surveys, several firms provide discounts or enter clients into sweepstakes or gift card drawings.
It also aids in the collection of data at various stages along with the customer experience, such as during website visits, after support conversations, or following a purchase.
Make data storage centralized
It’s ideal to store all customer data in one centralized location so that no customer record is misplaced or lost. This ensures that customer data can be easily accessed when it’s needed.
Companies can also employ an MDM (Master Data Management) platform, which serves as a centralized location for all customer data. With MDM, companies can apply data governance and policies, as well as streamline data integration, cleansing, and enrichment.
Maintain a clean client database
A unified system offers improved analytics and the ability to respond to consumer requests and make quick business choices using real-time data. However, this is contingent on having clean, correct data. Customer confidence can be harmed by outdated or erroneous information, which can be costly to your company.
Maintain data quality by checking and removing extraneous data, duplicates, and inactive contacts on a regular basis. This process can also be aided by automated data validation technologies.
Create a data governance plan
A data governance strategy lays out the rules for storing and processing data, data archiving best practices, and exchanging data across the organization. It’s an important aspect of customer data management since it creates company policies and processes and gives data ownership and responsibility to a person or team.
Having a uniform protocol in place ensures that data is kept at the forefront of everyone’s mind and that everyone understands their part in the process.
Educate your employees
It’s one thing to have a protocol and policy in place; it’s another to ensure that staff is aware of them. Anyone who deals with data should be taught how to use the right approach and procedures.
Consistent data entry techniques, for example, can help with data quality, and knowing what potential security dangers to watch out for can help ensure data security. Don’t forget to reevaluate and update training as needed to reflect any changes or advancements.
Be aware of data protection laws
Because of the sensitive data they manage, several industries, such as healthcare and financial services, have their own set of rules. It’s critical that you understand the rules that apply to your specific firm. There are also other regulations to consider, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Make sure you provide an easy mechanism for website visitors to consent to provide access to their data, examine the data you have on them, and request that their data be removed, regardless of the unique restrictions that apply to your organization.
Take a look at your tech stack
Successful customer data management requires the use of the appropriate technologies. A customer data platform (CDP) unifies customer data from many sources and integrates it with other systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
A CDP gives you access to client profiles, including all associated data, interactions, and history, giving you a complete picture of the consumer. Furthermore, by combining a CDP with a data management platform (DMP), you may send tailored advertising to prospects, improving performance.
Over to you
With so many new ways to acquire, manage, and analyze customer data, having a plan for managing that data, as well as thinking carefully about what data you’re gathering in the first place, is crucial.
To keep your company on top of consumer data management, you’ll need the correct technologies. That way, you can concentrate on exploiting client data to provide customers with amazing products, services, and experiences.
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