As a successful eCommerce retailer, it’s important to start diversifying and reaching new audiences with a multichannel sales approach: that is, if sales through your eCommerce site are achieving a good conversion rate, many retailers will seek new audiences through different means, such as online marketplaces, B2B eCommerce, social media, and other multichannel sales options.
However, while diversifying can be highly profitable, it also carries more risk and complexity. Multichannel sales routes can lead to difficulties in managing stock across different locations and can create an increased risk of stock-outs and overstocks as a result of mismanaged data and conflicting information.
To combat these risks, retailers need a ‘Single Source of Truth’ to manage the data coming in from all of these outlets, native integrations, APIs, and suppliers. A Single Source of Truth (SSoT) is the unified view of all this data, allowing for smarter decision-making, intelligence and insights.
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According to Lionel Grealou, a business consultant working in data management, a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) approach is defined like this:
The practice of structuring information models and associated schemata, such that every data element is stored exactly once. From a business perspective, at an organisational level, it means that data is only created at source, in the relevant master system, following a specific process or set of processes. SSoT enables greater data transparency, relevant storage system, traceability, clear ownership, cost effective re-use, etc.”
While this could sound daunting, SSoTs are achievable, creating a trustworthy, automated system that integrates data across platforms and allows merchants to take control of their business, eliminating excess workloads and compromised data.
There are two ways of storing data within an eCommerce business: in the Cloud through an integrated system or locally (on-premise). The latter is how most traditional businesses have been running, but this is now incompatible with an SSoT approach as it’s time-consuming and inefficient. A Cloud-based approach is essential for eCommerce businesses running multichannel sales with a SSoT approach.
The benefits of cloud-based data storage is that the Cloud allows for instant global updates, providing every business partner and stakeholder with up-to-the-second information from the SSoT. The Cloud also allows for unlimited scalability as you bring on new suppliers and sales channels, as well as native and API application integrations.
As eCommerce retailers grow and incorporate new sales channels into their business, it’s essential to be able to plug into each new system or application API – whether it’s your Amazon sales report, Accounting invoices or a whole host of others. This means that merchants can evolve at their own pace, integrating new APIs and channels at their own pace as they grow, without compromising the quality of the data.
A SSoT approach allows you to connect and unify this data, even though it comes from completely different sources, into one digital home to to make smarter decisions faster.
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