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Better data collection
Knowing the customer is a key tenant for successful retailing, and multi-channel engagement points provide more opportunities to gather information about customers. There are two benefits to the data collection offered by multi-channel retail: First, the possibility for gathering more information exists, and the information can be used more effectively. "People usually are more comfortable entering information themselves, rather than giving it to a salesperson," said Steve Deckert, marketing manager for Sweet Tooth, a Toronto-based provider of loyalty programs to retailers. "So they are far more likely to enter their email address into a kiosk than give it to a cashier. At the same time, by having that information available across a variety of channels, the retailer has more opportunities to capture the information, and more of it." If a retailer can track what a customer is purchasing, and where, more targeted marketing can be introduced. Someone who tends to browse online and then purchase in-store, for example, can be emailed an invitation to a private showing in a store, and the list of products to be shown can be sent before the event, increasing the likelihood of purchase. Not only is it more likely that the customer will provide important information, but if all the different channels are communicating, then the information only needs to be entered once. "If you're going to ask someone for information about themselves, it needs to be available whenever they come to you," said Verizon's Bagel. "Otherwise, it feels...
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