The risks of unstable shopper data


The risks of unstable shopper data

  • Relying on unstable shopper data risks flawed insights, biased decisions, and unreliable strategies. CPG firms need ePOS-aligned data for dependable insights that enable data-driven decisions. 
  • See if you are falling into the fast-data trap and learn how to protect your business with NIQ’s latest report. 
  • NIQ experts Ken Cassar, Vice President of Omni Industry Leader, Natalie Williams, Senior Vice President of Product Leadership, and Stacey Maniscalco, Vice President of Omnisolutions, share their insights on overcoming the risks. 

The evolution of data — a story of accuracy

In a perfect world, all shopper data from all channels would always be accurate and up to date. There wouldn’t be any risks to using that data since it’s in real-time — all users could rely on it without concern. Brands and retailers could access that information to conduct research and other analytical pursuits to increase profitable sales, gain market share, and have minute-by-minute real-time data to best understand the shopper’s wants, needs, and desires. We are at the cusp of this nirvana-like data state of total real-time consumer knowledge for the extended consumer packaged goods value chain, bridging the gap and reducing the risks with our singular electronic point of sale (ePOS) system.  

The story of data evolution starts with understanding the risks and challenges of using traditional shopper buying data, and it concludes with the goal and achievement of reaching near-risk-free shopper data insights. Perfection is a dream, but NIQ’s Omnishopper utilizes ePOS-aligned data, which is capable of providing in-depth insights needed to engage loyal customers and build an even more robust go-to-market approach from a singular system. 

Reliance on unreliable data leads to significant risks

In the new digital marketing age, brands and retailers need to constantly leverage all data and better understand every stage of consumer purchasing behavior. With that knowledge, companies relying on unstable or untrustworthy data can lead to significant risks, including inaccurate insights, biased samples, unreliable trend analysis, and poor data integration.

Navigating these challenges is crucial for companies aiming to make informed decisions and drive successful outcomes. 

Inaccurate insights: Building on shaky ground

Unstable shopper data — like errors, inconsistencies, and missing information, poses a significant risk of inaccurate insights. This erroneous data can lead to flawed analyses and misguided conclusions. Decision-makers relying on the resulting unsound insights may implement ineffective strategies resulting in poor business outcomes that, in turn, result in lower sales, market share, and profits. It is essential to ensure proper data validation, quality control, and analysis procedures to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the insights derived from omnishopper data. 

Biased samples: Distorted perspectives

Another risk of unsound shopper data is the potential for biased or unrepresentative samples. Incomplete or skewed data collection can result in over- or under-representation of specific consumer segments or channels. This can lead to distorted perceptions of customer behavior and preferences, derailing marketing efforts and hindering product development. To mitigate this risk, organizations must strive for comprehensive and balanced data collection that accurately reflects the broader population. 

Unreliable trend analysis: Losing sight of the bigger picture

Fluctuations in data collection methods and sources can undermine reliable trend analysis. Unstable shopper data from all channels can introduce inconsistencies, making it challenging to uncover accurate consumer preferences and behaviors. Without a stable dataset, companies may struggle to identify long-term trends and make informed forecasts. To address this risk, it is crucial to establish consistent data collection practices, standardize data sources, and adopt robust analytical techniques to account for variations and extract reliable insights from unstable data.

Poor data integration: Fragmented understanding

Unstable shopper data often results in poor data integration, leading to a fragmented understanding of the customer journey. Failing to integrate and consolidate data from all available channels and touchpoints hinders accurate segmentation, personalization, and targeting efforts. To mitigate this risk, organizations need to invest in robust data integration processes, ensuring that data from different sources is harmonized and combined effectively. By doing so, brands and retailers can unlock a more holistic view of consumer behavior, leading to improved data-driven decision-making. 

Unstable shopper data poses significant risks to businesses seeking insights and making data-driven decisions. By addressing the risks of inaccurate insights, biased samples, unreliable trend analysis, and poor data integration, organizations can navigate the perils of unstable data and unlock the true potential of omnishopper insights to drive successful outcomes.

Reduce your risks

See how your current data stacks up to ePOS-aligned data.

So, exactly how do brands and retailers best address all of these issues?

Aligned data is the start of the journey

A little context before answering that question. Defining the requirements for solutions that simultaneously reduce risks from unstable data while creating a path to profitable growth starts with confidence in the data. Confidence in the data begins with having 1 source of truth that everyone inside the company and trading partners can agree with and then rely on every day. This means that sales data and omnishopper data must be aligned through the combination of the transaction log, ePOS, consumer panel sources, and all other information streams. 

Having a single, accurate version of shopper data to work from also reduces confusion among teams, with many data vendors that tell different sources that can negatively impact business decisions or lead the analysis down the wrong path. Brands and their trading partners should also be able to use their own custom hierarchy, where possible, rely on their vendors to provide the coding needed to connect all of the very granular, traditional, and in-store data with the online data so all information uses the same standards. This forms truly comparable data sets that will reliably generate omnishopper insights.  

Companies can build the data lakes, attract the talent, and amass the cloud storage and computing power needed to collect, clean, sort, review, analyze, and create actionable insights themselves while maintaining the quality control needed to avoid the risks of unreliable shopping behavior data. But this would require substantial financial resources unavailable to most brands.  

Instead, brands and retailers could use 1 vendor that has a majority of the information they need in 1 spot with the ability to put their own data in where necessary. They can use NIQ’s Omnishopper platform, which features 1 version of the truth with data comprised of panel, sales, and share information on a common self-serve visualization tool. The solution also has superior accuracy powered by NIQ’s exclusive point of sale (POS) truth sets, enabling users to identify potential challenges and opportunities. Last, NIQ delivers unrivaled scale and diversity, offering a complete picture of today’s omnishopper. 

NIQ Discover delivers results

The key tool within the Omnishopper workbench is NIQ Discover, which gives users access to all the information they need from 1 source and with 1 sign-on. This tool gives brands and retailers insights that pinpoint actionable opportunities and create a complete view of the shopper journey while enhancing analytics. It also delivers insights on business questions, visual alerts, and key performance indicators (KPIs) in near real-time to the appropriate collaborators so they can make optimal decisions for the company and the customer. And NIQ Discover is easy to learn and easy to access through a single-entry point. 

Successful brands are deploying NIQ Omnishopper to understand precisely how buyers, known for their fickleness and unpredictability, purchase their products. They typically use the insights gained from the platform to build online/hybrid customer journey maps that can be exploited to uncover incremental growth opportunities in all shopping channels, as well as curate a better in-store/online assortment. These profiles are also used to defend the brand’s position in the market by investing in ideal in-store and online tactics. And they’re used to test new brand innovations through all channels, relying on the insights to improve the odds of a successful launch or promotion while reducing the risk of bad data negatively impacting the outcome. 

Understand your consumer — win in the marketplace

NIQ Omnishopper is the tool that helps brands and retailers answer why and how. A better understanding of the consumer means a better understanding of how to win a marketplace.