Why do most D2C brands struggle with centralizing data? Is data at fingertips just jargon?

Posted on March 26th, 2021
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Why do most D2C brands struggle with centralizing data? Is data at fingertips just jargon?

D2C brands have realised that data is their central nervous system, supported by a robust supply chain. The fresh breed of D2C players are continually creating their own database, analysing findings and honing their marketing and selling strategies. The move towards consolidating this data in a centralised format seems quite logical. However, many D2C brands are feeling the struggle related to centralization of their data.

The cloud-based push and the dangers of scattered data have forced companies to adopt centralised data systems. However, this data can be accessed by individuals in various departments without protocols or under no specific sharing conditions. In other words, with a centralised system, people are able to share data more freely and without permissions. This understandably, causes unease with the independent, self-reliant D2C brands.

Should D2C players leave their data scattered or act towards centralising it?

This depends on how their data systems are architected, especially owing to the technology offered by cloud data lakes. With big data entering the picture, open systems have been enabling D2C companies to store their data on low cost, commodity hardware. This led to the birth of realms of unstructured data within massive data lakes.

However, the cloud has offerings for both, centralized and decentralised data systems.

Centralised storage systems include Amazon Web Service’s S3 and Microsoft Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS). These systems provide highly scalable and affordable facilities for vast amounts of data. As we move up the cloud stack, D2C brands can utilize databases such as RedShift or Google Cloud‘s BigTable which recreate high-performance SQL data warehouse systems in the cloud. Decentralised systems on the other hand, utilise SaaS applications as they come with their own database. The most common platforms include Salesforce and Netsuite among others.

How is data centralised?

The process of data digitization may also throw up a few aspects of the struggle with centralising mass amounts of big data.

Step 1: All data components are digitised as it is difficult to centralise paper documents and physical files. It also helps in easy retrieval and reproduction.

Step 2: The data is analyzed, access protocols and security measures are put into place.

Step 3: The analysed data is transferred to where it needs to be used with certain processes.

Step 4: Processes based on the data are implemented

Step 5: Measuring and checking if the data offered has served its purpose. If not, other relevant data is accessed, to achieve the business objectives.

Even this simplified version of centralising data portrays the complexities and systematic sides of centralising data. Though some may find it expensive and tedious, it seems to be necessary to get the best out of a D2C company’s data collection.

The need for centralised data for D2C brands

Every D2C customer expects seamless service across each chosen channel. Consumers constantly compare following customer experiences with the best one they’ve had. Living up to this expectation has immense benefits. Which is why every successful direct-to-consumer business has evolved to cater to specific sets of consumer needs as they scale and continue to innovate.

D2C consumers leave digital impressions across multiple touch points via websites, social media platforms. Consumer data, on the other hand, comes forth in a flood. A successful D2C strategy involves collecting consumer data every single source via a single platform. A unified, omnichannel platform is the ideal way to capture consumer behaviour and utilise this information to personalise customer experiences.

Customer data, however, is more scattered than ever, owing to new channels being developed every day. This causes the following issues for most D2C companies:

  • Misalignment in goals and processes between various company departments

  • More prone to cyber attacks

  • Limited shared information benefitting only some departments

  • Lack of coordination and efficiency

  • Bad decision making

On the other hand, centralization of data presents a plethora of advantages:

  • Strong, unified organisation that experiences transformal changes in every department

  • Better transparency between departments

  • Easy accessibility and no physical location limitations

  • Brainstorming, collaboration, efficiency and cohesive working styles.

Naturally, consolidating information on one platform can help D2C brands create a stress-free and consistent experience for consumers across all channels. Plus, one can create a seamless internal functioning, that places every department on the same page, to work in line with a joint vision.A unified customer data from across the company can be synced to create the best marketing campaigns, distribution strategies and sales techniques.

Data at fingertips - A reality

Centralising data triggers the idea of data at fingertips in a seamless and effortless fashion.

Apart from assisting in aspects of your business involving payments, performance metrics and business decision making, ready-made, real time data is a game changer to scale and expand your business.

D2C brands that grow in tune with their customers will always enjoy an upper hand. And though it's not easy to centralise data, the benefits are worth it.

Hence, D2C brands that find difficulties with centralising their data should understand how data is collected, analysed and presented in a centralised format. This will help eliminate doubts while providing high value addition to their businesses.

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D2C brands! Apprehensive about centralising your huge data collections? You’re not alone and we get it! Here is a quick analysis of why you may be feeling this way, the truth behind centralised data and its advantages to help overcome your fears.

It’s an opportunity for keeping everyone on the same page regarding their customers. The result: a better understanding of who your customers are and what they might want from you.

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Posted on:
March 26th, 2021