There are many benefits to reap from master data management (MDM). Providing higher efficiency or enabling new business – a positive ROI is almost unavoidable regardless which industry you serve or organization you operate.

Taking retail as an example, mastering your various data domains addresses some of the most business-critical issues such as growing the product catalog, increasing customer loyalty, reducing product returns and accelerating sales.

Managing product data more efficiently and saving manual operating costs

Large retailers are typically onboarding over 100,000 products per year, and, along with their supply chain of physical products, have an enormous information supply chain to manage. This wealth of data that comes with the product onboarding process can cause a backlog of products waiting to be onboarded at a cost of maybe a few dollars per day per product line. It doesn’t sound like much, but eventually this adds up to millions of dollars in potential savings as well as increased revenue opportunities if the retailer is able to speed up the onboarding process and get products ready for sale quicker.

With an MDM system, retailers are empowered to streamline the product data onboarding process through automation, synchronization and syndication of product data across enterprise systems and ecommerce platforms, saving costly manual work and reducing error-prone processes.

This is how it works:

>Supplier product data is received into the MDM system in a synchronized format

>The retailer reviews the data and enriches it with sales-enhancing content. In addition, the MDM system integrates with translation and content service providers

>Logical business rules secure the workflows so that information is not published without the fulfillment of certain data sufficiency gates

>Finally, the MDM system syndicates the content to customer-facing applications (websites, catalogs etc.)

Often 50-60% of the manual processes associated with onboarding products to the catalog can be cut back with the implementation of automated processes

Using the MDM system as a central repository for syndication of data not only saves valuable time but also secures data consistency from end-to-end.

Reducing product returns in online retail

High levels of data quality are essential to build and maintain customer satisfaction. An MDM system provides data consistency and integrity that keeps the online experience and the tangible results in unison. Meaning, what is seen online can be experienced in reality.

If this level of service cannot be provided, the risk of product returns is high and customer satisfaction will be low.

Product returns require costly handling and carry enormous revenue potential if they can be brought down by 25% which is not uncommon.

When a retailer combines product master data with other master data domains, like customer and location data, further benefits can be realized. Golden record creation within an MDM platform, in combination with integrated third-party data validation services, like address look-up, geo-location and route planning ensure the right product is delivered to the right person at the right location at the right time.

Increase cross-selling and upselling

Retailers can also benefit from this multiple domain strategy to improve the customer experience in all sales and marketing channels.

Based on the MDM system’s capability to match and link data from disparate sources – like CRM and ERP – and merge data into a 360ᵒ customer view, the retailer can fully leverage their enterprise master data providing new insights to maximize average customer spend through offering complementary products and services.

A multidomain MDM system combines different sets of data like shopping habits, geography and relationships, then maps this data against specific products or locations to provide relevancy and well-timed promotions from a customer point of view.

Return on MDM

The return on your MDM solution in retail depends on the business problems it is intended to solve. In general, raising the product data quality, growing the product catalog without adding extra resources and advancing the speed-to-market will inevitably improve customer experience, reduce product returns and strengthen operational efficiency.

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