82.5% of all retail sales will still be offline as late as 2021

Matt Geary in Marketing automation on 24th of Dec 2018
What is data onboarding

What is data onboarding?

Data onboarding is a process that takes offline data and “onboards” it into the digital world. This offline-to-online transfer provides the puzzle piece that most digital marketers are missing — “what’s happening in the real, offline world?”

When data is onboarded, it gives businesses a view of in-store transactions, customer service interactions, and other offline activity. Legitimate data onboarding is done in a privacy-safe way, using hashing and other secure methods to protect personally identifiable information. Data onboarding is a crucial piece to giving marketers actionable insights into the customer journey.

Getting a complete view of the customer

The modern marketer has information and data coming at them from all directions. Among this digital barrage, it’s easy to forget that “offline” is a massive part of our customers’ lives.

In fact, most shopping is still done in-store — 82.5% of all retail sales will still be offline as late as 2021 (Shopify Plus).

Without offline data, marketers have a very incomplete picture of their customer’s journey. Data onboarding is critical to understanding how online spend impacts offline behavior, including purchasing history and decision-making.

Three reasons to use data onboarding

1. Improved content control

Controlling content distribution is a tried-and-tested approach to provide a better customer experience — nobody wants to see ads for a service they’ve already signed up to.

Simply put, with data onboarding, customers can be recognized from more sources. Since there are more data points available, content control and segmentation are have improved accuracy.

2. Accurate attribution

96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy. So in most cases your leads won’t convert right away, and need to be nurtured. Nurtured leads will purchase when they’re ready — sometimes weeks or months after seeing a brand’s initial advertisement.

Onboarded data helps connect the dots and attribute offline purchases with marketing from lead nurturing journeys. By connecting offline transactional data with customer data online, brands can see the true attribution and conversion metrics of their marketing spend — even if there’s a large gap in time between the (online) ad and the (offline) sale.

3. Optimized marketing funnel

Brands who onboard their offline, first-party data have a distinct advantage when turning to online marketing.

These brands can securely integrate customer data (such as email address or phone number) into a CRM like Pipedrive, then use that information to optimize their marketing funnel.

How? Brands that have integrated offline data can:

  • Follow-up offline purchases with personalized recommendations
  • Optimize CPA and conversion rates with greater accuracy
  • Increase in-store and online purchases

Secure data onboarding

Because of privacy and security requirements, it can be difficult to know who customers are when onboarding their data from the real world. This can be frustrating.However, in a world where information is highly-valuable, it’s 100% necessary.

If marketing and data handling aren’t secure, then they’re not sustainable. At the same time, until we connect offline and online data, we’re missing out on data contributing to more than 80% of retail purchases.

Implement personalized and optimized customer experiences online and offline to take advantage of one of the biggest unseized opportunities in marketing — data onboarding.

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