Everyone knows shoppers don’t buy products in just one place. They go to the mall, visit online stores, browse catalogs and call toll-free numbers. If retailers could get a clear view of customers’ behavior across all of these channels, building one-to-one relationships would be a breeze.

So why do so few retailers bother to collect data on customer behavior across diverse channels? Because it has been hard to do — so far. Few retailers use unique customer IDs, which give the clearest picture of customer behavior across offline, online, telephone and catalog sales.

Knowing exactly how customers shop in all channels helps retailers create targeted campaigns, build customer loyalty and increase return on marketing investment. But even without customer IDs, retailers can tie together online and offline data. All they need is a robust, multichannel Web analytics platform and a little ingenuity.

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