Master data in retail enterprises includes core data pertaining to customers, products, services, and supply chains. Widely referred to as the “golden record,” master data is the most current and accurate information managers can use across the entire business.
Maintaining master data quality can be challenging because it pulls from dozens of sources. Without strict standards, this data can quickly become duplicated, fragmented, and obsolete.
Master data management (MDM) systems for retail solve this challenge by producing accurate, timely data that managers can use to gain insights, answer critical questions, and formulate precision strategies. Advantages of MDM span the entire enterprise and include increased data utility, upgraded customer experiences, better supply chain visibility, improved security, and a higher return on investment (ROI).
MDM Addresses Modern Retail Data Challenges
Retail enterprises receive data from multiple sources, including physical stores, e-commerce software, vendors, affiliates, mobile applications, and online sources like social media.
Types of master data vary from business to business. Some common master data domains (or categories) include:
Customer data: buying history, preferences, payment methods, demographic information
Product data: catalog information, specifications, sales information
Supplier data: purchase history, logistics information
Employee data: hiring details, educational credentials, work experience, salary information, next-of-kin, health history
Financial data: revenues, expenses, asset information, budgets
Numerous applications and sources produce data. However, it is often inconsistent or obsolete. MDM solutions sort, structure, and transform this information to create a single view of “master” data that can then be used to answer critical questions, including:
Which transactions belong to the same person?
What is the lifetime value of each customer?
What is the customer acquisition cost per segment?
What products and services appeal most to each customer?
How do customer sales vary by channel?
Which customers belong to the same household group?
What is the preferred contact method for each customer?
Traditional methods can answer many of these questions, however, MDM takes the process up a notch by providing higher-quality information. This allows retailers to effectively leverage the power of data to gain additional benefits, address technological challenges, stay agile, and move forward on their digital evolution path.
7 Benefits of Master Data Management
Master data integration practices fuse key business and IT processes to ensure an enterprise's data assets are uniform, accurate, semantically consistent, and managed according to best practices.
MDM provides numerous business benefits that allow retailers to:
1. Unlock the Full Power of Data
A high-quality product depends on the sum of its parts. The same goes for products, processes, and decisions that depend on data-driven business decisions.
MDM strategies produce better quality enterprise data you can use to refine business processes, enhance customer services, improve product management, and manage your supply chain. MDM ensures that master data records are formatted, organized, current, and relevant, so they provide valuable insights into all business areas.
MDM also breaks down complex data silos that act like bottlenecks to prevent the free flow of data across departments. All information is condensed into a single source that provides a comprehensive overview of what’s happening right now.
2. Upgrade Customer Experiences
A master data management system helps produce a comprehensive picture of the entire customer lifecycle, from first contact to after-sales service.
Access to a unified set of master data records improves the customer experience by enabling you to:
Hyper-personalize products and services
Enable customers to create wishlists across multiple applications, add themselves to waitlists, track packages, and more
Maintain accurate order history across all applications and purchase methods
Execute loyalty programs that drive revenue
Maintain customer communication history
Allow users to update personal data and have that information automatically reflected across all applications
Every customer-oriented department benefits from MDM. Marketers can pull up data-rich profiles for use in campaigns, and merchandisers have total access to purchase and return histories. In addition, customer service departments can obtain complete communication history to save time and help resolve customer issues quickly.
3. Increase ROI
Effective decisions stem from high-quality data. MDM helps managers make better decisions that improve ROI, drive revenues, and increase profitability.
Expanding into untapped markets requires new perspectives. MDM unites teams from different business areas to share ideas and develop trade promotion management practices that increase revenues. MDM also improves how you identify high-value market segments, enabling you to differentiate the most profitable products, locations, and marketing strategies.
Learn more about Master Data Management
Solutions for your Retail Business
MDM systems unlock the power of data for your retail business to improve customer experiences, increase ROI, improve supply chain visibility, and increase security. Connect with AVIO to discover data-powered solutions to modern retail challenges that evolve your digital transformation.
4. Reduce Costs
MDM strategies lower costs by improving process efficiency. Collecting data into a centralized resource reduces the need for manual data entry, minimizes human intervention, and decreases the risk of errors. In addition, MDM can automate processes, allowing you to scale business operations effectively, employ fewer resources, reduce process delays, and save time.
5. Improve Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain processes frequently evolve due to constantly changing product preferences, prices, and economic disruptions. Advanced MDM systems synchronize and centralize external data sources from vendors and suppliers to improve supply chain visibility, so businesses are better equipped to adapt to the changing financial landscape.
Master data solutions can also eliminate data silos, reduce errors, and provide accurate information on inventory, product returns, and out-of-stock items across the supply chain. MDM also encourages critical data flows between supply networks to improve communication between all parties on the supply chain network.
6. Increase Security
MDM centralizes data into one location, enabling enterprises to establish security protocols that help prevent cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security threats.
MDM systems also help align security processes with data governance through the creation of role-based security policies linked to specific data sets. This allows managers to define user and group-level access rights and restrict actions on particular data sets, ensuring that only credentialed employees can access sensitive data.
7. Stay Compliant
Data regulations concerning consumer privacy are getting stricter and more complicated as the digital commerce environment grows. Modern data management practices simplify regulatory compliance by streamlining how data is collected, stored, and shared.
Master data management tools support data synchronization, which is critical when adhering to data privacy laws. These include the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which mandate how user data is gathered, used, stored, and shared. MDM tools also protect sensitive and confidential data from fraud, loss, or misuse, enabling organizations to stay compliant with constantly evolving regulations.
Use Case: How AVIO Helped a Sports Entertainment Company Improve the Customer Experience and Increase Revenue
A well-known, worldwide sports entertainment company was struggling to synchronize its waitlist function with various applications that shared data, including customer IDs, loyalty card numbers, and other user information. The company had been using MuleSoft to support its integration strategy and improve customer experiences and wanted to achieve similar results by implementing a customer waitlist function.
Before partnering with AVIO, each partner venue managed customer waitlists separately, forcing customers to physically visit or call a local venue to add their name to a waitlist.
In addition, the data was not synchronized, causing further problems for both the customers and the company. For example, if a customer updated their phone number on the waitlist, it wasn’t reflected across the different systems. This resulted in customer frustration from the inconvenience of waiting onsite or physically calling a location and constantly being asked to update information.
The business goal of the project was to implement a waitlist function across all company applications that allowed users to add themselves to a waitlist, check their place in line, and receive updates on any mobile device. In addition, the company wanted any data updates (such as addresses and phone numbers) to be reflected automatically across all systems and applications.
AVIO used MuleSoft to build an API-led architecture that integrated the company’s mobile application into local waitlist management systems. This allowed customers to sign in and join the waitlist, receive real-time updates, and monitor wait times from their mobile devices.
The system recognized phone numbers across all systems and synchronized the waitlist so that customer ID, loyalty card number, and all other relevant information remained together. Any updates to customer information were accordingly reflected across all applications.
Evolve Your Retail Enterprise with Master Data Management Solutions
Master data management systems are a primary driving factor in your digital evolution. Connect with AVIO for a complimentary consultation to discover how MDM can unlock the full data-driven potential of your retail enterprise.