Today’s customer is spoilt for choice and swamped with information. To keep this customer engaged is a tall order for any retail business who needs to keep a 24/7 focus on multiple factors including organizational strategy, customer data, competitor moves, and market forces such as planned and unforeseen events.

Some basic factors that need to be synchronized for smooth customer conversion are store, products, marketing, branding, and customer experience. But these behind each of these categories are innumerable messy, busy, shifting sub-factors – such as footfalls, display layout, return policy, campaigns, attitudes, perceptions, and so on – that need to be watched and accommodated while making every single tactical and strategic decision. Moreover, this is not usually an independent task, but one that involves several teams or stakeholders, which further complicates the situation. To make the right decisions and progress together as an organization, all of these elements need to come together and align with each other in perfect symphony.

In the past two decades, organizations have made several martech and data investments that connect various parts of this system and drive data into decision-making. But with a growing omnichannel and infrastructure elements, the goal of achieving a seamless cohesive picture has only moved further away. It has now become imperative for organizations to turn to unified products and platforms that are omniscient and omnipotent – they need to fully connect all aspects that impact the customer journey and are powerful in their data-crunching, analytical, and machine learning abilities to provide a strong basis for real-time decision making. This would be something like a Digital Trading Desk that gives brands and retailers a real-time view of the factors that matter in the proportion the matter, empowering even split-second decisions with the most relevant information from internal, market, and competitive forces.

Shannon Murray, Director at Lenovo and I recently spoke about the factors involved in setting up a Digital Trading Desk and how it’s changing the way retailers and their competitors are operating in a Webinar titled ‘Analytics-Driven Digital Trading Desk’. A recording of the Webinar is available here Do watch it at your convenience and let me know what you think about how the Digital Trading Desk could transform decision-making at your organization and the larger industry.

(Note: This article was also published on LinkedIn)

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